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Leonardo Ricaurte

ESR15

Leonardo holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the National University of Colombia. He has experience in design, regulatory coordination, and construction site supervision of housing projects in Bogotá. Likewise, he holds an Erasmus Mundus joint master’s degree in international cooperation in urban development and urban planning between the Technical University of Darmstadt in Germany and the University Grenoble Alpes in France. He has collected experience in participatory design activities and co-creation sessions with communities in Colombia and Germany, by partaking in collective projects of capacitybuilding, urban upgrading, and grassroots movements in the crossroads of academic and professional scenarios.

Similarly, he has research experience in sustainable and affordable housing projects fostering participatory practices, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the New Urban Agenda, as part of an internship in the research laboratory CRAterre in Grenoble. In 2020, he defended his master's dissertation “Possibilities of participatory tools in the attainment of sustainable housing solutions: The case of Bogotá” receiving a "mention très bien" with commendations from the jury. This research focused on the production of social housing in the context of international frameworks of sustainability, and the impact of market-led housing systems, urban inequality, and gentrification when creating comprehensive policies and strategies.

Research topic

Updated sumaries

September, 17, 2021

Housing regeneration in Europe: Possibilities for social value creation in the context of the Renovation Wave

In the framework of integrated plans such as the Renovation Wave and the European Green Deal, several urban renewal projects are to be implemented in cities across the continent in the coming years. This depicts a remarkable opportunity to channel expertise, decision-making and funds towards better practices and trigger a paradigm shift in city-making. Accordingly, the research question that will steer the development of this study is: How can the social value and wellbeing generated by housing projects be better captured and capitalized in the context of major urban regeneration schemes?

 

Housing projects that envision creating more cohesive and inclusive communities will be targeted in a series of data collection activities, planned to offer the possibility of experimenting with different methods, and considering all the actors involved. The methodology to be used is a mix of quantitative and qualitative data collection processes, incorporating methods like participatory action research, and selected from the array of existing Post-Occupancy Evaluation (POE) frameworks and social value toolkits for architecture, selected through a systematic literature review.  The feedback acquired will be instrumental in informing the development of an own tailor-made social evaluating framework. The intention is to demonstrate the benefits of conducting POE and showcasing projects that reconcile affordability and sustainability. And ultimately inspire decision-makers, private developers, academia, and civil society to get on board.

 

The secondments that complement this research are fundamental for the creation of tangible and productive links between academia and industry. In this aspect, the findings obtained will potentially contribute to the institutions’ own activities. Counting on Clarion’s expertise in regeneration projects for carrying out data collection activities. Consequently, England and France are subjects of a comprehensive analysis, yet other countries participants of the RE-DWELL network remain considered possible sources of input that resonates with the research aims. This study emphasizes the great potential that resides in incorporating practices such as POE, wellbeing and quality of life and social value assessment when developing housing regeneration schemes. Hence, by leveraging on the experiences and momentum, the generation of new projects could be attained.

 

Keywords: Post-Occupancy Evaluation; social value; Renovation Wave; quality of life; housing regeneration; affordability by design; collaborative housing

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Chega de Saudade, see you next time!

Posted on 29-09-2021

The RE-DWELL Lisbon workshop was a particularly challenging experience for me. It was the very first time that the entire cohort of ESR's would summon, several lectures and guest speakers would come to complement and enrich the variety of perspectives on the issues that interest us the most. The three-days programme seemed an utterly refreshing event that would inspire us to take off in this research journey. Lisbon was the perfect scenery, with its distinctive pleasant weather, sinuous alleys full of history and architectural enchant. But also with an acute housing crisis that demands immediate solutions.   All of this sounds quite positive, so you might be wondering why it ended up being so challenging. Well, simply because I was the only one that couldn’t make it to Lisbon. That’s right, the Coronavirus post-pandemic world kept stubbornly making my life difficult and what in other times would entail a really simple trip from London to Lisbon, now meant the possibility of going back to quarantine afterwards. So, I had to catch up with the team in activities that were clearly designed to be carried out within the classroom, hands-on, organic and open to, perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of (on site)-human interaction, unpredictability. The unpredictability that leads to opportunities, the doses of chaos that make workshops a fruitful encounter. And inevitably, Microsoft Teams became my best ally to plough through the 985 miles* that were separating me from the vivid tête-à-têtes that my colleagues were having those days.   However, it was not always difficult to engage during the sessions. The open roundtable with guests experts discussing transdisciplinary research on housing rendered a very refreshing debate on how to apply transdisciplinary principles and theories, and common pitfalls and opportunities when researching sustainable and affordable housing. It was the demonstration of the evolution that these ideas have had in time and an urgent call to truly consider transdisciplinary and participatory practices in decision-making boards and academia. The importance of devoting comprehensive efforts to develop the field of housing studies, assembling not only economists but also architects, urban planners and other professionals involved in the production of the built environment; and to bring about a real research culture at the heart of architecture schools, are some of the takeaways I got from this stimulating debate.   Now that the workshop is done, and after witnessing my fellow ESR's having such a prolific time there. I only have to say that I won't miss the Nicosia summer school for anything in the world! So see you in Cyprus from the 15 to 19 Nov!             *1,585.76 km. (For the ones that, like me, are still trying to get used to the odd imperial system)   

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New beginnings: paving the way towards sustainable and affordable housing for all

Posted on 19-07-2021

Contemporary times have shown us that telecommuting is something that is here to stay. And here we are, in front of our screens, taking the first steps into what will definitely be one of the most exciting journeys we will ever undertake. Finally, after a competitive and exhaustive recruitment process, composed of several months of waiting, a dose of stress, a tablespoon of excitement, and a myriad of desires, objectives, and goals, the RE-DWELL network is officially launched; by incorporating a team of avid early-stage researchers and I'm part of it. The squad is now complete, and a series of introductory sessions are the backdrop to meet each other, identify affinities and envisage potential synergies.  RE-DWELL project contends an enticing premise under its title, at least this is how I perceived it from the very first time I read about it. It's inviting us to re-think how we are producing and shaping the built environment and its most valuable ingredient, housing. To re-evaluate the level of effectiveness of current policies and strategies of housing provision, and to re-connect with civil society, communities, and everyone that co-habits in modern-day urban agglomerations. To do so, we have the best human resources available and the collaboration of superb partners in academia and industry. Likewise, the support of an ambitious project like Horizon 2020 and the leverage of being part of a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative training network.  As part of the challenging exercise of producing knowledge under the limitations that living in the post-pandemic world supposes, we are invited to participate in a kick-off session. A meeting that despite lacking physical interaction, didn't fail to deliver the most important feature when a group of interesting minds convenes: dialogue and effective communication, exchange of ideas, points of view, and collaboration. Personally, I was truly amazed by the set of skills, experience, and capacities gathered in my fellow ESRs, supervisory panel, and secondments representatives.  By making the most out of the tools available, we were able to produce mind maps and diagrams intertwining the key concepts that serve as the cornerstone of our approach, i.e., affordability, sustainability, and transdisciplinarity. A first attempt to gauge the countless possibilities for producing cooperation and collaboration between our individual projects and the common aims that we all share. I’m thrilled to imagine the enriching conversations and projects that will bring about the workshops, conferences, and summer schools scheduled in the coming years. Current travel restrictions and a visit that had been postponed for several years have left me stranded in Colombia, from where, despite the 8510 km that separate Bogotá from Barcelona, I was able to participate in these meetings (thank you very much broadband and Microsoft Teams). I hope that next time we'll meet in person in Lisbon (and not having to get up at 3 am to attend one of the training sessions that unfortunately wasn't scheduled in the afternoon).   I am convinced of the immense potential of this project that just started, the possibilities are infinite, comparable to our ambitions. There is a lot to be done, but we have the best team to make it happen. 

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