Vanessa Guerra



Ph.D. in Environmental Design and Planning, Virginia Tech; Master of Urban Planning, University of Melbourne, Australia; Bachelor of Architecture, USFQ University, Quito, Ecuador


Dr. Vanessa Guerra is an architect, urban planner, researcher, and scholar working on urban interventions to promote social inclusion, resilience, and sustainable development in cities and regions worldwide. She joined the UVA School of Architecture in July 2021. Most recently, at Virginia Tech’s College of Architecture and Urban Studies (CAUS), she serves as the Interim Program Director of Rhizome LLC, a project-based learning forum that explores global challenges in local communities. Under this role, Dr. Guerra led the development and planning for this initiative and presented the project this year at the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale Italian Virtual Pavilion Sezione del Padiglione Italia. At Virginia Tech, she also served as a research associate at CAUS’ Dean office and an active member of the Institute for Policy and Governance and the Community Change Collaborative, where she serves as a researcher within the Maré research group.

Starting fall 2021, Vanessa will teach across urban planning and urban design at UVA. Her teaching focus will intersect with her research interests in the areas of urban informality, spatial justice, sustainable infrastructure, resilient cities, co-production, design thinking, and cognitive urbanism. Prior to obtaining her Ph.D. (dissertation, “Informal Car Share’s Contribution to Quito’s Urban Resilience”), Vanessa served as a consultant at the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank in Washington, D.C. She earned a Ph.D. in Environmental Design and Planning from Virginia Tech, a master’s in Urban Planning from the University of Melbourne in Australia, and a Bachelor in Architecture from USFQ University in Quito, Ecuador. She has presented her work in conferences and exhibitions across the United States, Europe, and South America, including the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale, a TEDx event in Quito, Cityworks (Xpo) in Roanoke, and Oxford Talks at the Transport Studies Unit at Oxford University.


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