His professional practice focuses on urban plans and projects for historic districts, the rehabilitation of areas affected by extraordinary natural events, new centralities and mixed use districts, improvement of existing informal settlements and planning ahead for emergent informal occupation, tourism/recreational areas, and the rehabilitation of cultural landscapes.
His work engages different actors involved in important issues affecting the urban arena, particularly addressing social inequalities, environmental problems and cultural erosion.
His research focuses on the notion of Informal Armatures, an alternative method to address the rampant urbanization in developing countries. Informal Armatures may prove to be a powerful tool to foster the sustainable growth of informal settlements, as the dominant form of territorial occupation in the developing world. The ideas are condensed in his most recent publication, Planning and design for New Informal Settlements: Shaping the Self-constructed city, Routledge, 2015.
He frequently offers cross-disciplinary design studio courses addressing, social, environmental, cultural and economic issues in developing countries, mainly in Latin-America and Africa. Field trips to the selected sites include working sessions/charrettes with local planning authorities, politicians, community leaders and universities. The products of such studios are frequently shared with the host cities to induce further discussion and changes in local policies.
Adapted from www.design.upenn.edu