Editors and Authors


David Smith is an architect and postdoctoral researcher at the Université de Montréal’s School of Architecture. His research interests are located at the intersection between the built environment and food security, livelihoods, disaster risk reduction, and collaborative governance. He holds a master’s degree in architecture from Université Laval in Canada and a master’s in development and emergency practice from Oxford Brookes University in the United Kingdom. David completed his PhD at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), before holding an assistant professor.  His doctoral thesis is titled “Marketplaces as critical urban infrastructure: Relational attributes and disaster resilience from the perspectives of traders and customers in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.”

Benjamin Herazo completed his PhD at the Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Environmental Design. He holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Colombia and a master’s degree in economics. For more than 15 years, he was an associate professor, director, and dean at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana’s School of Environmental Studies. He also has more than 10 years of experience in architecture firms and has worked as a consultant and researcher in environmental management. His PhD dissertation examines how sustainable development contributes to the alignment between strategic and tactical management in the building sector.

Gonzalo Lizarralde’s work has significantly contributed to current debates about climate change action, the role of informality in project governance, the usefulness of the resilience framework, the impacts of rapid urban transformation, and low-cost housing in developing countries. He holds the Fayolle-Magil Construction Research Chair in Architecture, the Built Environment and Sustainability at the Université de Montréal. He is also the director of the IF Research Group (GRIF), the director of the Canadian Disaster Resilience and Sustainable Reconstruction Research Alliance (Œuvre durable) and one of the founders of i-Rec, an international network of specialists in disaster risk reduction and reconstruction. He is the author of the books Unnatural Disasters: Why Most Responses to Risk and Climate Change Fail but Some Succeed; The Invisible Houses: Rethinking and Designing Low-Cost Housing in Developing Countries; and co-editor of Rebuilding after Disasters. In 2016, he became a Member of the College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada.

Lisa Bornstein is an expert in international planning, economic development, environmental policy and planning, and institutions and governance. Her interests center on the role of institutions and decision-making processes in public debates and consultations. She has vast experience in research and consultation in urban planning, as well as in analysis of policy interventions in Latin America and Africa. She is a member of the Canadian Disaster Resilience and Sustainable Reconstruction Research Alliance (Œuvre durable). Lisa has recognized expertise in citizen participation in development and has published important contributions in journals such as Public Administration and Development and Contemporary African Studies and Development. She has supervised several master’s and doctoral students doing research on post-disaster and post-conflict vulnerability and reconstruction. She managed an important project funded by Canadian research funds, which included over 13 partners. Lisa holds a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. Her Ph.D. dissertation is titled “Flexible production in the unstable state: Employment, linkages, and the Brazilian information technology industry.” 

Authors of Case Studies

Adriana López-Valencia is an architect and assistant professor at the School of Engineering, Natural Resources, and the Environment at the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia. She holds a master’s degree in urbanism and a PhD in environmental sciences. Adriana has been conducting research on the sustainability of informal settlements for more than 10 years. She was an invited researcher at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and at the Université de Montréal, where she studied multivariable indicators for urban sustainability assessment. In 2010, she was awarded the Green Talent Prize by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research for her work on sustainability assessment. Adriana was also a visiting researcher at the United Nations University in Bonn, Germany, where she worked on vulnerability to climate change in informal urban settlements.

Initiatives in Yumbo, Colombia

Gonzalo González is an architect and assistant professor at the Department of Architecture of the Universidad Central Marta Abreu de la Villas in Santa Clara, Cuba. He holds a master’s degree in sustainable building and conducts research on risk reduction, resilience, and the built environment. His PhD dissertation focuses on the resettlement of populations at risk of climate change impacts in the coastal areas of Cuba. He works as a municipal advisor for the international development program Hábitat 2, where he has developed experience in participatory design and the implementation of instruments for housing management with social participation. He is part of the municipal management group for adaptation to climate change in the city of Quemado de Güines, Cuba.

Initiatives in Carahatas, Cuba

Claudio Araneda holds a PhD from the Architectural Association in London, England, and a degree in architecture from the Universidad del Bío-Bío in Concepción, Chile. In 2000, he was a visiting scholar at the Architectural Association, for which he was awarded the British Council’s Chevening Scholarship for postgraduate studies in the UK. From 2008 to 2011, he was a postdoctoral researcher for the Trust for the Development of Science and Technology, supported by Chile’s National Commission of Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT). From 2009 to 2013, Claudio was the director of the master’s program in project didactics at the Faculty of Architecture, Construction and Design of the Universidad del Bío-Bío, where he continues to conduct his research. He is currently a member of the Project Didactics Research Group at the same university. He was also a member of the Taller de Barrio (2016-2020) teaching team, an award-winning innovative pedagogical initiative at the Universidad del Bío-Bío’s School of Architecture, where he currently teaches.

Initiatives in Concepción, Chile

Andrés Olivera is an architect and holds a PhD in architecture from the Universidad Central Marta Abreu de las Villas in Santa Clara, Cuba. He has taught various courses in the School of Architecture and is a member of the advisory committee for the master’s program in restoration and rehabilitation of built architectural heritage. He was a rector of the Universidad Central Marta Abreu de la Villas, director of the Department of Construction Technology, and dean of the Faculty of Construction. He is the director of the international development program Hábitat 2.

Initiatives in Carahatas, Cuba

Holmes Páez is an associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia. He has more than six years of teaching experience in construction management and has significant research and teaching experience in the areas of construction productivity, Building Information Modelling (BIM), project management, and organizational studies and economy in the construction industry. From 2003 to 2015, he worked as a project manager, consultant, and accredited engineer in four leading companies: Norco S.A., ConConcreto S.A., Flowtite S.A., and Maersk Sealand. He has successfully managed significant project budgets, ensuring quality control, construction project profitability, and profits. He has also provided professional advice and consulting services to senior managers and construction companies.

Initiatives in Salgar, Colombia

Oswaldo López-Bernal is a professor at the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia, and a consultant at the Institute for Prospection, Innovation and Knowledge Management at the same university. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Faculty of Environmental Design of the Université de Montréal, funded by a grant offered by the Canadian government. He holds a PhD in urban planning from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City, and a master’s degree in sustainable development, with a specialization in disaster prevention and management, from the Universidad del Valle in partnership with Tulane University. He also holds a master’s degree in urban environmental management for development from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, and a certificate in environmental management of solid urban waste from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Nagoya, Japan.

Initiatives in Yumbo, Colombia

Roberto Burdiles is an architect and a professor in the Department of Design and Theory of Architecture at the Universidad del Bío-Bío, in Concepción, Chile. He conducts research and teaches in the areas of design, materials, composition, expression, heritage, and project didactics. He has also held positions as director of the architecture program and director of the Department of Design and Theory of Architecture, as well as in several academic commissions. He is the current dean of the Faculty of Architecture, Construction, and Design.

Initiatives in Concepción, Chile

Julia Díaz is a systems and computer engineer with a master’s degree in industrial engineering and a PhD in management. She was a doctoral fellow at the International Research Network for Social Economic Empowerment (IRENE-SEE), supported by the Siemens Stiftung Foundation. She is currently a professor at the International School of Economics and Administrative Sciences of the Universidad de la Sabana and at the Faculty of Administration of the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia. She has worked in the public sector in Colombia, namely in the Ministries of Education and Information and Technology. She is currently a member of the editorial committee of the Annual Review of Social Partnerships (ARSP). Her research in the field of organizational studies focuses on the study of social partnerships and the relationships between technology and society.

Initiatives in Salgar, Colombia

Authors of Policy Briefs

Other Team Members and Contributors

Anne-Marie Petter
Elsa María Monsalve
Karine Bouchereau
Kevin Gould
Danielle Labbé
Marcela Ochoa
Gloria García
Margarita Restrepo
Hernán Ascui
Christopher Bryant
Faten Kikano
Trent Bonsall
Steffen Lajoie

Maria Isabel Vélez
Lisa Hasan
Arturo Valladares
Ernesto Aragón
Gabriela Gonzales

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