Day 1: creativity and fear


Perhaps this is an extreme example of the lack of self-knowledge. Creativity is a potential, but it can happen that will never be used as an element for life and work. Different circumstances, blockages or resistance commonly stand in his way. However, no matter how powerful it is inevitable lock. People have the ability to recognize their potential, discover weaknesses and opportunities. This is critical for the stimulation and development of creativity aspect.



On Wednesday, October 22, I committed to publicly writing a book in 100 days. The assignment, inspired by Elle Luna’s #the100dayproject and the same challenge that was realized by Amber Rae, was very simple (but not easy!): do an action that you are capable of repeating every day. Do it each day for 100 days.

And, so I committed to writing each day about the Landscapes and their relationship with art and identity. Also, I try to publish an academic paper on ISI recognition as a result of that work.

You could follow this challenge in this blog and the instagram account.

Wish me luck!

Looking for Paradise


The more connected generation of human history wanted to be disconnected from everything, and they created a multimillionaire industry: tourism of disconnected landscapes.

Opinion: How Parks Gentrify Neighborhoods, And How To Stop It

[Photos: Celine Grouard for Fast Company] Full text by Eric Jaffe. Originally published in Co.Design Magazine.

On the three Es of sustainability–ecology, economy, and equity–the High Line in New York passes the first two with flying colors. The elevated-railroad-turned-park has brought a fresh mix of plants, flowers, birds, and insects to the once-drab West Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. It has also attracted billions in financial investments, with area property values increasing 103 % between 2003 and 2011, Great Recession be damned.

But the High Line’s record on equity is more troubling. Indicting the popular new park on these grounds in a 2012 op-ed for the New York Times, blogger Jeremiah Moss described how numerous local businesses and working-class residents have been squeezed out by rising rents. Praising the park’s aesthetics just this month, New Yorker art critic Peter Schjeldahl acknowledged that “the High Line has been to usual gentrification what a bomb is to bottle rockets.”

The High Line is an extraordinary example of what’s become an ordinary theme for green design projects: a dazzling park comes in, the low-income locals go out. Inevitable as this process of “eco-gentrification” might seem, it doesn’t have to be, says Jennifer Wolch, dean of the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley. Wolch and some research collaborators who’ve tracked the trend recommend an intervention they call “just green enough”–a delicate balance of sustainability and equity.

“The question is: How do you improve access to parks and open space but not trigger this shift in property values and land uses that completely transform a community?” Wolch tells Co.Design.

To Wolch and others, addressing green gentrification is a matter of environmental justice. Broadly speaking, low-income and minority populations tend to have worse access to city parks than wealthy whites do. But if efforts to address that eco-disparity always lead to displacement, then park-deprived residents will find themselves in an endless pursuit of urban green space. They might also face what Wolch calls a “perverse situation” of rejecting sustainable projects for fear that gentrification will follow.

“Cities change, and it’s not like you can keep things frozen in time,” Wolch says. “But the thing that’s challenging is that you don’t ever want to make the argument that in a poor neighborhood you don’t want to build something wonderful because it’s going to trigger gentrification.”

“Just green enough” might be just the tool to overcome such challenges. The basic idea is that not every sustainable design project need be a market-driven concept that favors new residents to native populations. Instead of a grand waterfront plaza dotted with high-end boutiques and LEED-certified towers, a “just green enough” strategy might emphasize small-scale community gardens or basic environmental cleanup. If a bigger project does make sense, it should at least incorporate local input and protect local culture.

Exhibit A for a “just green enough” approach is Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The working-class Polish neighborhood with industrial roots has an urgent need for sustainable projects. Now a Superfund site, Greenpoint was the unwitting home to a massive oil spill that dates back decades; it also has only about 4% open space, compared to 26% for all of New York City. Despite teetering on the verge of gentrification, Greenpoint has managed to maintain its blue-collar identity, largely by insisting on environmental projects that match the local personality instead of catering to outsiders or developers.

One such project, the Newtown Creek Nature Walk, is sort of the anti-High Line. Labeled an “ironic nature walk” by the New York Times, Newtown is a concrete park wedged between the polluted creek and sewage treatment plant that challenges conventional notions of “nature” and “green.” It’s a vision that sees preserving the neighborhood’s industrial character as equally sustainable to building a green riverwalk with cafés and condos, says Winifred Curran of DePaul University, a Brooklyn native who documented Greenpoint’s environmental approach in a 2012 paper that coined the “just green enough” term.

“We have to separate in the minds of public policymakers or whatever that environmental benefits are luxuries that only people who can afford it get,” Curran tells Co.Design. “It shouldn’t be either-or proposition: either jobs or a park, clean water or affordable housing. Those choices should not have to be made by anybody.”

Just how green is “just green enough” will vary from place to place, says Curran, which makes community involvement critical for distinguishing projects that might lead to environmental gentrification from those that serve the common good. (In Greenpoint, the accepted approach emerged from an unlikely partnership of veteran local activists and concerned new residents.) Wolch says that local officials and planners can do their part by recognizing the potential drawbacks of eco-projects and establishing mitigation measures–such as local job training or rent subsidies–to “ease transitions when neighborhoods change.”

For “just green enough” to take hold, Curran says, people may need to start taking a broader view of what “green” looks like. Green might mean a new LEED-certified building, but it can also mean maintaining an existing building instead of knocking it down. Green might mean cleaner trucks coming into the city, or it can mean more local manufacturing jobs that reduce the need to import goods. Her point extends to the three Es of sustainability: We use “green” as a synonym for ecology and economics all the time; why not use it to mean “equity,” too?

“That’s what the whole ‘just green enough’ concept is about,” she says. “What we mean by ‘green’ has to change.”

Lugares: Como Agua Para Chocolate

Originally posted on Fran Eats:

como agua5

Me encanta cuando los amigos de Fran Eats participan del Blog, y es asi como llegué a este precioso lugar. Ubicado en pleno Barrio Universitario, Como Agua Para Chocolate me sorprendió como un lugar increíblemente bello, con comida rica y un potencial gigantesco.

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About Me

Field Work at Concón Watershed, Chile

I’m a strong passionate about happy cities, urban life and landscape appraisal. Also, I am an entrepreneur, a traveler and an eternal ocean lover.

I really appreciate the values of friendship, family life, freedom, imagination, true communication, and social – animal care. Currently, I’m finishing my Master Thesis at Valparaíso University – Chile about landscapes as a development resource for communities. Formerly, I wrote many articles for different journals around the world and one book about Landscape and Natural Risks at Reñaca – Chile.

If you have some research proposal or do you want to invite me to your Congress, Conference or Seminar; or If you need my collaboration in books or paper: You won’t hesitate and write to me at the email: Also you can find me at instagram and LinkedIn:

#Conference: Demand Solutions: Ideas for Improving Quality of Life


The Inter-American Development Bank and the Blum Centers at UC Berkeley and UCLA are excited to host Demand Solutions: Ideas for Improving Quality of Life, a one-day event where some of the most creative minds in the world come together to discuss and share innovative solutions that address development issues in Latin America and the Caribbean. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from and meet the innovators as well as interact with some of the solutions being presented.

The event is also an opportunity to network with entrepreneurs, development professionals, and other like-minded individuals.

The day’s journey will end with an exciting Venture Night where some of the most innovative and disruptive startups established by young entrepreneurs from Latin America and the Caribbean will pitch their ideas to receive feedback and support.


December 2, 2014

Who should attend

University students, entrepreneurs and other professionals in the fields of technology, design, marketing and communications, entertainment, venture capitalism, infrastructure, government, non-profit, media and academia.

Space is limited. Register now.


Enrique V. Iglesias Conference Center
Inter-American Development Bank
1330 New York Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20577 USA


The event is free. All must register prior to the event as space is limited.

Please be mindful of others and do not register unless you absolutely plan to attend.


Members of the media who wish to attend must register here.

Opinion: Landscapes, Why are they important? (I)

Full text By Peter Holmgren. Originally posted in CIFOR Blog.

In a few days will be held the Global Forum on Landscape and it is time to prepare for the intense debates that aim to answer the following questions: what, why and for what? The concept of landscape has been much interest in the last year but have also raised about what it means to a landscape and how the landscape approach would work in practice.

Over the coming days I will summarize, in a series of blogs, some reflections on the landscapes that have arisen as a result of my conversations with different people. No claim thereby reach a conclusion or a scientist, but I would encourage reflection before the forum.

Getting Started - Why is the “landscape” such an important concept?

The landscape approach is not new to the development, conservation and research. Many, including CIFOR, have highlighted the importance of working across sectors in practice. What is new, however, is that the great interest in the approach has been to a high standard. In previous meetings of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) we learned that the post-2015 climate agreement would integrate agricultural and forestry issues - a starting point for the Global Forum on Landscapes. In addition, further work to Rio + 20 on a post 2015 agenda development highlighted often the need of transverse solutions. It seems that the timing and level of sensitivity are conducive to finding new solutions and greater acceptance of the concept.

It is true that some reviews have been less constructive, suggesting that discussion of landscape is a temporary fad that will soon disappear as supposedly the most robust and common approaches persist. However, I’m not so sure. Considering the current reform at the World Bank and FAO, as well as the CGIAR research programs, there is no doubt that they are cross promoting innovative approaches. It is in this light that we should view the landscape approach. Even if we limit the landscape for agriculture and forest management, and the number of people involved in these activities, it is clear that we are talking about an important part of our common future. Depend on agriculture and forest management:

  • Provide income and livelihoods of billions of people;
  • Produce all our food and natural fibers and 10% of energy through biomass;
  • Maintain key ecosystem services such as biodiversity, water supply, ecosystem resilience and productivity of the land;
  • At the same time, these sectors seriously pollute the air, water and food chains, and are responsible for one third of emissions of greenhouse gases.

If we also include other components of the landscape as renewable energy, mining, cities and cultural uses, it is clear that the landscape is a very important part of our future.

So what we hope to improve using the landscape approach?

The main reason for exploring the landscape approach is that existing sectors based on the land use has a poor record of finding solutions that go beyond their institutional territories. Traditionally, they have limited their scope to spaces defined through the history of economic activity, professional communities, geographical boundaries and governance structures.

The basic hypothesis of the landscape approach is that we can find better solutions if we seek economies crossing opportunities, disciplines and disparate territories. I mean, come find combined solutions that are better than the sum of the parts of their specific sectors.

In economic terms, a landscape approach will aim to reduce or even eliminate the externalities between sectors based on land use. In terms of planning, it will consider a more comprehensive set of options, avoiding too limited solutions. It will also encourage more players to consider a broader set of objectives landscape. This does not mean that the landscape approach always creates win-win opportunities; rather it can help us find advantages and disadvantages between objectives smarter.

In short, the landscapes are important because they represent a key part of sustainable development. To reiterate a point made ​​by the research scientist Terry Sunderland in a recent interview, efforts in the field work and better results are achieved when people communicate. It is only through partnerships that the landscape approach can work. And I hope that some of these associations are forged in the Global Forum on Landscapes.

To solve the problem of climate think beyond the forests. Think of landscapes.

Ganadería en Acre, Brasil. La agricultura y la silvicultura climáticamente inteligentes son igualmente importantes para mejorar los medios de vida, fortalecer la resiliencia y reducir las emisiones. Fotografía de Kate Evans / CIFOR.

Livestock in Acre, Brazil. The climate-smart agriculture and forestry are also important for improving livelihoods, strengthen resilience and reduce emissions. Kate Evans Photography / CIFOR.

Full text By Peter Holmgren. Originally posted in CIFOR Blog.

More than 120 heads of state and tens of thousands of people gathered in New York last September to draw the world’s attention on the deteriorating state of our climate and the increasingly urgent need to take action.

Forests, of course, are and will be a priority item on the agenda as part of the negotiations, discussion and finding solutions. But advocate for their inclusion in climate agreements without having a broader view of their implications, undermines efforts.

Without forests, climate change would be even more serious than it already is. Forests and trees regulate climate and water in landscapes around our planet. Protect soils and nutrition are both sources and renewable energy to hundreds of millions of people. Without these services, our food systems would be extremely vulnerable; the poor, in particular, would lack basic supplies for survival. Forests also serve as protection against the effects of the huge emissions from the use of fossil fuels. If we are to survive, we need forest.

Forests also play a key role in mitigating climate change and strengthening resilience, but we must be careful not to focus exclusively on forests and forestry in the search for solutions.

Our mature and regenerating forests have been storing 4 to 6 gigatons of carbon per year from the 1990s, which means that more than a third of fossil fuel emissions released into the atmosphere during the past 20 years have been absorbed our forests. Do not forget that forests store twice as much carbon than the entire atmosphere, a vital buffer against the adverse effects of current human behavior.

We can benefit even more from the photosynthesis of forests to counteract the effects of fossil fuel emissions. The Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC on mitigation of climate change suggests that we should look for more active forest management forms. Science recommends us to make more efficient use of wood and fiber, while maintaining the ability to capture this huge engine activated by the sun. Photosynthesis forest provides a benefit in combating the effects of fossil fuel emissions and this benefit should not be ignored or underestimated.

And despite everything, we still degraded forests or converting cropland. These activities not only significantly reduce the amount of carbon storage, but also the provision of essential ecosystem services to people. The REDD+ initiative is designed to address these problems in both policy and governance issues, and technical implementation.

Obviously, forests also play a key role in mitigating climate change and strengthening resilience, but we must be careful not to focus exclusively on forests and forestry in the search for solutions.

Let us be clear that it is impossible to separate the adaptation and mitigation in the areas of land use. The same biological processes that dampen CO2 levels in the atmosphere also provide livelihoods, health and food security and strengthen resilience to climate change impacts.

It is true that there will always be trade-offs and we must be aware of them. Addressing the issue of land use separately could lead to a situation where mitigation efforts undermine adaptation efforts, and vice versa.

Therefore, we must accept that forestry and agriculture, together, are an important part of the solution to the climate problem.

As we move towards the COP of Paris, it is essential to see this connection in the context of the intended framework agreement that could allow actions at different levels and scales.

CIFOR and all the research centers of the CGIAR take seriously the challenge of climate change. In fact, for all CGIAR climate change is one of the issues that will define our mission for the next decade, as demonstrated in the Dialogues CGIAR Development last September in New York.

The climate-smart agriculture is high on our agenda, as an expression of our recognition that we must embrace the complexities of soil if we want to improve livelihoods, and strengthen resilience, while reducing emissions.

The climate-smart agriculture and landscapes approach basically share the same ideas in their approach to multiple objectives and multiple stakeholders, and each is broadcast and agree to this logic. By contrast, advocate for individual topics, it may have been useful for awareness and political action, but it may be less successful in providing concrete solutions for the world.

The very complexity simultaneously working to improve livelihoods, increase resilience and reduce emissions is also inherent to REDD +, with its need to negotiate safeguards. In the years since it was first introduced in the climate negotiations UN REDD + mechanism has evolved and matured. In the technical and governance levels, we are ready to increase our efforts. What we need now is the political will, especially in the richer countries to help implement the financial system.

Hopefully the Green Climate Fund will provide the impetus to move forward with REDD +, the governments of the developed world to step forward and contribute capital to the fund, and that innovations in different jurisdictional levels continue emerging and working.

The Climate Summit UN This was an opportunity for concrete commitments to the Green Climate Fund, to continue the work on REDD+, and to climate-smart agriculture and landscapes-both approach needed to meet the challenges broadly.

But also, and perhaps more importantly time, the Climate Summit UN strengthened political commitment and the spirit of cooperation, so that we can reach an agreement in Paris next year for the benefit of man and the world.

Learning from the Barrios: Lima

ReMap Lima – also known as ‘Mapping Beyond the Palimpsest’ – is a research project led by the Adriana Allen and Rita Lambert from the Development Planning Unit (DPU), in collaboration with numerous partners: the UCL Center of Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) and Urban Laboratory; and in Peru: Foro Ciudades Para la Vida (Liliana Miranda), CIDAP (Silvia de los Rios) and CENCA (Carlos Escalante); with the additional support of Drone Adventures.

Every year, students from MSc Environment and Sustainable Development at the Development Planning Unit (DPU) from University College of London embark on an action learning platform in collaboration with organisations in the global south. The current platform is set in Lima, Peru and began in September 2012. The aim is to understand how environmental injustices are produced and how they can be addressed by exploring scenarios and strategies embedded in the wider socio-political, economic and ecological processes at play.

The platform focused so far on five neighbourhoods (barrios) case studies: Barrios Altos, Cantagallo, Costa Verde, José Carlos Mariátegui and Huaycán. Each case study provides a unique lens through which one can learn about the wider processes of change shaping metropolitan Lima. By exploring the challenges citizens face, and the strategies they are adopting at the barrio level, we can gain insight into the wider drivers and dynamics of urban change in metropolitan Lima.

However, the barrio is not a microcosm of the city. The ways in which citizens interact with state and private actors and the obstacles they face in accessing secure housing, services and infrastructure is examined and reinterpreted at every scale, from the household to the city-level. This in turn allows the development of multiscalar strategies and to imagine scenarios for more equitable and sustainable urban development for the wider city.

Barrios Altos
Costa Verde
José Carlos Mariátegui

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