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  • Eduarda Aun

  • Design and Urban Ecologies (MS)

    Eduarda Aun

    Eduarda Aun’s social change work started in the neighborhoods of Brasilia. She moved to New York City to pursue her graduate studies in the MS Design and Urban Ecologies program, enabling her to master skills and approaches to assist citizens in navigating, contesting and transforming their urban environments. During her time at Parsons, she worked on innovative public projects with the NYC DOT to improve mobility for New Yorkers, which led to her current work as Program Associate at the Global Designing Cities Initiative.

    After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Urban Planning from the Universidade de Brasilia, Eduarda co-founded Coletivo MOB (Movimente e Ocupe o seu Bairro), a non-profit organization that uses public space as a platform for civic engagement and social change, working alongside local planning agencies, cultural movements and mobility advocates. Her drive for activism and community planning motivated her to pursue the MS Design and Urban Ecologies program at Parsons, where she continued nurturing her passion for public space and commitment to citizen-led processes and democratization of urban knowledge.

    “The program definitely helped me better define and support my beliefs and values and incorporate them into my urban and professional practice. It not only gave me the theoretical framework on which to base it off of, but it also exposed me to some of the methodologies, design processes and the different paths I could take as a designer, other than a traditional architect/planner. It also demonstrated the need to work in interdisciplinary groups and how the different perspectives and skills are complementary and can yield unexpected and more creative work.”

    During her thesis year, Eduarda developed Espaço Público, an interactive platform that provides resources and leverages grassroots initiatives that are reclaiming public space in Brasilia, which was featured on Archdaily. Eduarda received a fellowship at the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC) to implement her thesis project.

    While working at the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) during her studies, Eduarda assisted in the development of the third edition of NYC’s Street Design Manual and in the planning, design, and evaluation of pedestrian-friendly “el-spaces” (spaces under elevated infrastructure) citywide. She also collaborated with both Street Labs and Beautiful Trouble. For this innovative work, Eduarda  received the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) Transit Policy Innovator Scholarship in 2017.

    Today, Eduarda works as a Program Associate at the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO). This role allows her to contribute to the efforts of the Global Designing Cities Initiative (GCDI), working towards more sustainable, accessible, and equitable transportation. NACTO-GDCI supports city governments around the world to implement projects that foster sustainable mobility, public space, and road safety. Through policy and design guidance, capacity building and community engagement, interventions and street transformations, and metric collection and evaluations, they add to the cities’ local knowledge and provide tools to help change the roles of streets and public space.

    Today, Claudia is a lecturer and researcher at the Department of Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, where she teaches and researches using cartography, graphic design, linguistics, and community science as learning tools for environmental justice advocacy. Her Ph.D. research focuses on the demographic and spatial patterns of environmental injustice in the Netherlands. She also joined the Het Nieuwe Institute as a research fellow, where she is developing the project Beyond Polderen: Exposing the Voids of Environmental Justice in the Netherlands.

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