Course Syllabus



Kate Orff (studio coordinator), Geeta Mehta, Adriana Chavez, Thad Pawlowski, Dilip Da Cunha

Special Advisor: Hugo Sarmiento, GSAPP Urban Planning Program 

Teaching Associates:  Maria Palomares Samper Cesar Delgado


W/ Johanna Lovecchio & Climate School policy students 



Universidad de Los Andes   Erik Vergel Tovar PhD, Arq Maria Carrizosa and Arq Andrés Martinez 

Universidad del Valle Rodrigo Vargas, Oswaldo Lopez 

Water as Leverage Cartagena 

Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana - Medellín Juan Esteban Correa Elejalde MSAUD (TBC) 


This studio will explore the range of watery landscapes and contested urban terrain in Colombia, with a special focus on justice and climate change in a range of scales and geographies. How is risk produced and experienced through spatial exclusion, urban planning and design?  How can we redesign “resilience” critically and understand the confluence of social, political and ecological factors as intertwined? How does the right to housing intersect with broader ecological imperatives like ecocide, deforestation and the collapse of biodiversity? What are the racial dimensions of climate risk? How are international actors importing models of urban resilience and how are these playing out and mobilizing or hurting capital on the ground?  Image credit; Hugo Sarmiento 


Colombia is poised to be a major voice on the global stage and can help redefine the priorities and approaches to the global climate crisis and notions of adaptation. Gustavo Petro, a former rebel, former Mayor of Bogotá,  and longtime legislator won Colombia’s presidential election in 2022 by galvanizing voters frustrated by decades of poverty and inequality under conservative leaders. There is a turn towards justice and reparations in the urban context, with a particular focus on Afro-Colombian empowerment.  Our work will be informed and anchored by our colleague Hugo Sarmiento’s work with community members in Cali, in particular: Reframing Climate Justice in Santiago de Cali: Afro-Colombian Resistance to Climate Relocations. We will explore the concept of double displacement and how it plays out on the ground. 

Course Summary:

Date Details Due