Transform Latin American cities by bringing people with diverse planning and technological skills together in labs where they can collaborate to create change within their local communities.
Urban Oasis seeks to empower communities of informal settlements across Latin America to actively engage in their own development. Although informality is the dominant urban form in the Global South, governments and planners frequently overlook local communities as key actors of transformation processes. Urban Oasis unites underrepresented communities with diverse stakeholders in multidisciplinary urban labs to co-create sustainable, inclusive tools for citizen-driven change. Activating local knowledge and potential of communities offers innovative paths for holistic urban development and scalable collective solutions to tackle the global challenges of the urban age.
Cielo María Holguín Ramirez is co-founder and co-director of Urban Oasis, an international think-and-do-tank co-producing solutions for inclusive and sustainable transformations of informal neighborhoods. Since her early youth she has been a community leader in the informal neighborhood of Moravia in Medellín, voluntarily engaging herself for the progress of her community and a people-centered transformation of the habitat. Growing up as a trash picker in Moravia, which was founded on the city’s landfill and used to be one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Medellín, taught her to take responsibility and to fight for her personal growth and to work to change her community for the better. To achieve these goals, she worked hard to go to university and study psychology, learn English, and gain international experiences. Equipped with new tools and perspectives, she led various programs to empower the community and create spaces of knowledge exchange and co-production. Now she wants to share her personal experiences and encourage other disadvantaged communities to play a key role in the transformation of their habitat. Cielo is a 2019 Echoing Green Fellow.
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