Ghana, Urban Development Planning and Management
Eric Gaisie is from Kumasi, the second largest city in Ghana. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Settlement Planning in 2012 from the Department of Planning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). After his B.Sc.. he served as a Teaching and Research Assistant in his alma mater and later worked with OAK Development Advisory, a private consultancy firm, where he handled land use planning projects. He also worked on short-term basis with research and development organisations like Tropenbos International Ghana (TBI – Ghana), the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD – Ghana) and the Millennium Villages Project. Eric seeks to pursue academia further and has special interests in studies on informal settlements, housing policy and infrastructure planning.
Elvia Angelica Erosa Mercado
Elvia was born in Mexico. She grew up surrounded by architects and civil engineers, which made her extremely comfortable playing in construction sites. She studied architecture at Universidad del Valle de México. After graduating Elvia worked for municipalities and as a general manager for a small construction company. During her professional years, she got a deeper view into her city´s socio-economic problems and often questioned the urban policies implemented by the government. She is interested in green architecture and urban planning. Elvia is convinced that small-scale projects can make the biggest difference.
Frederico Duff de Azevedo
Brazil, Civil Engineer
Frederico Duff de Azevedo is from Sao Paulo, Brazil. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, granted by Sao Paulo State University (UNESP). After graduation, he worked for four years for an urban developer private company in the infrastructure area. As for professional goals, Frederico wants to acquire theoretical knowledge in urban and infrastructure planning to help Brazil and other countries to develop in a sustainable and organized way.
Hamza was born and raised in Damascus, Syria. He graduated in 2011 from Damascus University with a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture. After graduating, he began his professional career in Lebanon at a private architecture firm. The humanitarian crisis caused by the recent political turmoil and rapid demographic changes in Syria inspired him to turn his focus to aid work. Working as a shelter technician with the international NGO “Save the Children”, he dedicated himself to assisting displaced people with housing issues. Now, as he studies in the Mundus Urbano programme, he hopes to gain further skills relating to urban development and social cohesion. Considering that he has roots in an ancient city, he also has a keen interest in matters of heritage preservation.
Edith Minerva De Los Santos Jimenez
Dominican Republic, Architect/ Landscape
Edith was born and raised in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic, between the active and accelerated life of an energetic society. She lived in a society built between the mountains, the sea and the rhythm of the Caribbean music and was influenced by an intercultural family spread across on the globe. While studying architecture at Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra, she started working on her field in different governmental institutions of her country. In 2013, Edith completed her degree. Her last work experience was at the Planning and Projects Department of the Ministry of Tourism of the Dominican Republic, where her task was to organize, evaluate and coordinate projects in the interest of the ministry, which took place in different areas of the country. From this experience, her involvement on development projects and with her background knowledge, Edith realized that she wanted to work on the participatory level, volunteering and working on non-profit projects in the development countries in order to make direct and positive impacts on communities. This program of “International Cooperation in Urban Development” would be the stepping-stone into a long-lasting career, which she believes would allow her to complete her studies and help her to become a well-rounded and globally aware architect.
Reza, who was born in Indonesia, is an architect, adventurer, and self-taught musician. After graduating from Catholic University of Parahyangan in his hometown, Bandung, he worked in a real-estate private company in Jakarta and specialized in project management. He worked on high-rise buildings and high-rise apartments in various areas in Indonesia. His work also involved working with municipalities and urban planners. His passion in architecture transformed to the macro level since he did a diving expedition for potential diving spots in eastern part of Indonesia. This required him to work with local groups and communities. He finished his studies with research about the Colonial Master Plan Preservation in the City of Bandung. His other research also talked about how traditional architecture transformed in modern building. He is always fascinated with culture, society development, and how they connect within the urban fabric. These strings of experience and passion led him to Mundus Urbano programme, where he wants to nurture his experience and skill in urban development.
Bolivia, Civil Engineer
Born in La Paz, Bolivia, Arturo Crespo obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the ‘Universidad Catolica Boliviana.’ After completing the programme, he worked as an intern at the Latin American Development Bank (CAF), where he reviewed documentation concerning the technical, economic, social and environmental aspects of the hiring processes for multiple infrastructure projects. Later he worked in the newly implemented mass cable transport system in La Paz City as a junior engineer. His main focus is contributing to the transformation of Latin American cities by making them inclusive, competitive and sustainable.
Pinar studied architecture (B.Sc.- Honours) and worked as an architect, both in private businesses and in the local government for several years in her hometown of Ankara. Working in the municipality in a rapidly growing city and in a highly politicized atmosphere shifted her professional focus towards planning. She was in charge of architectural project supervision and a large portion of her everyday work involved ‘dealing’ with slums. This has long been a process of massive urban transformation which made her question if it is really worth it to take social and ecological risks at this scale: who decides how urban environments are produced and reproduced? Who benefits and who suffers from social and ecological configurations? Motivated by these big questions, Pinar finds it extremely valuable to have studied at Mundus Urbano.
Rekik Beyene Getahun
Rekik was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopian. At the age of ten, his family moved to Germany. Living in two different multicultural countries greatly contributed to his identity and desire to explore other countries and cultures. His desire to understand urban planning skills and innovative urban development strategies in order to reduce high social inequality between countries was one of the reasons why he enrolled at the Technical University of Darmstadt and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture in 2014. Following that, he worked in an urban planning firm in Darmstadt, where he gained valuable professional experience. In Mundus Urbano, he is looking forward to extending his knowledge in urban development, especially in the context of developing countries. He is confident that studying with international students and scholars will broaden his horizons and enable him to develop a global consciousness and also to improve his skills in cross-cultural communication.
Dana is an architect and a growing self-taught visual artist. Since her graduation in 2012, she has been participating in various art exhibitions in Amman, Jordan as well as working as a teaching and research assistant at the German Jordanian University where she was involved in supervising student design projects about refugee camps and livelihoods. Apart from her work, Dana is engaged as ‘Project Design and Support’ with the Refutrees grass-roots initiative that targets refugee communities and seeks people-led, sustainable development for Palestinian refugees, helping end donor reliance through food sovereignty and green, social innovation. Through her academic and professional experiences, Dana continues to focus on concepts of social, political and environmental solutions to sustain cities, and explore concepts that are holistic in their understanding of communities’ needs. Dana has a genuine interest in taking an active role in the strategies towards sustainable urban transformations and in the future, wishes to work on projects and decisions that have real consequences for real people.
Wilbert Jose Aguilar Mendez
Wilbert Aguilar studied his Bachelor in Architecture in Universidad Marista de Mérida in México. He has work experience in the public and private sector. He worked for the Local Government at The Cartography Department for two years. He also has experience working for an Architecture firm and a Construction enterprise. Therefore, he gained knowledge and skills in different fields, as well as experience working with professionals from many backgrounds. Additionally, he has volunteered for several years in communities affected by poverty. As a result of both, professional experience and volunteering, he views urban development from different approaches, understanding that there are many factors involved in this complex topic that should be considered in order to propose projects and plans that become successful. His areas of interest are sustainable emergency architecture and social participation in construction.
Anthony Hugh Jaganaught
Jamaica, Civil Engineer
Anthony Jaganaught, born in St. Andrew, Jamaica, completed his Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering at North Carolina A&T State University. His professional experience includes research on pavement materials at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as working in his home country on road and building construction projects. Through his experiences, both abroad and at home, Anthony realized the impact of urbanisation processes on energy demand and infrastructures in the built environment. This motivated him to pursue further study in International Cooperation in Urban Development, to fill gaps in his knowledge, strengthen his decision-making principles and to be a better-rounded engineer.
Julissa Kiyenje holds a B.Sc. in Architecture from Cardiff University. Driven by her fervor for socio-economic development within the built environment discourse, Julissa co-founded the architectural NGO Orkidstudio and worked on sustainable projects in Uganda and Bolivia. She proceeded to work for the Nairobi-based architecture and land use firm Planning Systems Services in both their Project Management and their CSR department, Community Cooker Foundation (CCF), which was seed-funded by UNEP. As a Programme Officer, Julissa’s efforts focused on alternative technical solutions to address waste management and access to energy within informal settlements in Kenya. Her areas of interest include social entrepreneurship, urbanisation and slum upgrading.
Russian Federation, MBA & Architect
Maria Krylova is from Moscow, Russia. She completed her Bachelor’s degree of Architecture and Specialist of Urban Planning in Moscow Architectural Institute (MARHI). She worked for several years in the private sector with diverse types of architectural projects. The Mundus Urbano programme brings an opportunity for international work experience and development projects.
Montenegro, Landscape Architecture
Vuk Markovic is from Niksic, Montenegro. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Belgrade. His professional experience includes practice in the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism of Montenegro, where he worked on national landscape policy, implementation of the European Landscape Convention and coordination of spatial plans. He also cooperated with the UN system of Montenegro as a freelance Landscape Architect. He finds the Mundus Urbano master programme a great opportunity to acquire theoretical and practical knowledge in dealing with challenges of urban development on the global scale, in international and interdisciplinary environment, as an added value.
Andrew hails from Vancouver and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from McGill University in Montréal. He was first introduced to the unique challenges of informal urban development while on a field study in East Africa. He subsequently interned with an implementation agency in Nairobi to support the establishment of a women’s crisis centre. He returned to Vancouver, first working for the region’s public transit agency. Later he joined Free the Children, a Canadian charity, where he worked to empower youth to address local community issues in Western Canada. Andrew is passionate about cycling, gardening, group facilitation, community housing, collaborative design, experiential environmental education, block parties, and evolving our cities to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
Alexandria Tillie Novokowsky
Canada, International Development/ Latin American Studies
Alexandria Novokowsky, born in Ottawa, Canada, holds a combined Bachelor’s degree in International Development Studies and Latin American Studies (Honours) from the University of King’s College in Halifax. Since graduating, she has worked for several NGOs in a variety of development projects in Latin America. More specifically, she worked in project management positions in the Andean region of South America, focusing on gender/youth empowerment in Bolivia and youth employment/volunteer programming in Peru. Additionally, she has extensive professional experience fundraising in Canada for organizations such as Doctors Without Borders, UNICEF, Amnesty International, the Canadian Red Cross, the Nature Conservancy, among others. After completing an investigative research paper at the University of Havana on agricultural cooperatives, her main interest lies in incorporating urban agriculture solutions into refugee camps and economically disadvantaged neighbourhoods.
Turkey, City and Regional Planning
Ege Özer is from Istanbul, Turkey. He graduated as an urban planner from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University. He works at Kaunos Archaeological Excavation, Mu?la during summer seasons. He has a habit of entering design competitions. He believes design is the ultimate form of immortality, building something that will live on after one passes away. His current goal is merging design, archaeology and architecture in today’s modern cities.
Italy, Urban Planning and Policy design
Giulia Sala, from Italy, obtained a Master’s degree in Urban Planning and Policy Design in 2011 at the Politecnico of Milan. She had the opportunity to explore the theme of participatory processes at the London South Bank University and to apply these studies in an internship in a private practice in Rotterdam. After graduation, she started working in a private practice, based in Milan that has several years of experience in Urban Planning in the East Africa region. The dynamics and issues that these areas are facing represented a new challenge in her working experience. The participation to the UN-Habitat 6th World Urban Forum was the occasion to get in touch with new perspectives in the urban planning field. The needs to acquire more knowledge about international cooperation and its role in urban development were the reasons for her application to the program.
Brazil, Communication Management
Manoel Schlindwein is a journalist with more than 10 years of practice in newsrooms and public relations agencies in Brazil. In 2007, after working in Brasília for the magazine of the federal think tank IPEA (Institute for Applied Economic Research), he moved to São Paulo to lead the strategic content division of the official State Department of Communications. Now he is in charge of BluePR branches in Europe, managing the Work the World Initiative across 27 other PR companies. He had merit-based scholarships for specializations in communication management at Universidade de São Paulo and in public administration at Harvard University. At Mundus Urbano, Manoel wants to strengthen his awareness about global issues and deepen his research skills.
China, Urban Planning
Qiong Shen is from Zhejiang, China. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning from Sun Yat-Sen University. After studying and working in an internship in an institute of planning and architectural design, she became a planner for an A-level planning company in Shanghai after a year. Throughout her work, she focused on regulatory planning and comprehensive planning on both local and regional scales, which mainly concerned land use, deployment strategy, policy statement, etc.
Gladys Vasquez Fauggier
Guatemala, Architect/ Urban Planning
Gladys Vasquez Fauggier born in Guatemala City and completed her Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of San Carlos de Guatemala in 2012 while working at the Municipality of Guatemala City at the Urban Planning Department in the last 4 years. This experience helped her to realize and be aware of all the problems and complexity of cities in terms of environment, culture, economy and politics, so that brought her to Mundus Urbano.
Adha Montpelierina Viala
Adha Montpelierina Viala was born and grew up almost for her entire life in Bandung, a student city 200 km away from Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. She graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Parahyangan Catholic University in Bandung. She developed a keen interest in the area of social-economic penetration in urban development. Later on, she spent three years living in Jakarta and worked in a private architecture consultancy, mostly dealing with public and commercial buildings. Parallel with her work, she was involved in a non-government program, increasing child education awareness up until she joined the Mundus Urbano programme.
Greece, Civil Engineer
Eugenia Marinaki comes from Athens, Greece. She studied civil engineering with a specialization in hydraulic systems at the National Technical University of Athens. Along with her studies, the working experience she gained in the Special Secretariat for Water of the Greek Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, reinforced her interest in urban infrastructure and water resourses management. After graduation, she moved to Frankfurt in order to participate in the masters program in urban planning at the University of Applied Sciences in Frankfurt.