VANESSA
CUEVA

Founder of Sustainable Design Studio

Vanessa studied architecture as her bachelor degree in Quito – Ecuador and Segovia- Spain. After graduating, she worked in the construction field for a couple of years where she realized the impact that planning, design and construction represent in the increasing rates of GHG. Because of this fact, she decided to follow her passion in sustainability and studied a Master of Sustainable Design and Illumination Design at the University of Sydney, Australia, where she had the opportunity to work in the design industry. After returning to Ecuador, she has been involved in sustainable design, sustainable transport and research. She started her architecture studio (Sustainable Design Studio) which includes passive and active sustainable design strategies in architecture and interior design projects. Vanessa has also worked as a lecturer in the Faculty of Architecture and Urban planning. Moreover, she is concerned about the importance of creating quality social housing projects and has been actively working in this field. At the moment, Vanessa is involved in the transport sector at the Ministry of Transport and Public Works, where she has directly works with transport, as an important actor to climate change. She is developing and coordinating sustainable transport projects in this government organization such as the winner proposal of Ecuador in the international contest EUROCLIMA+.

DESCRIBE YOUR MOTIVATION FOR AND COMMITMENT TO CREATING A BETTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANET. 
Architecture and Urbanism play a significant role in climate change. The urban environment needs to be planned and interconnected to transport, land use, architecture and sustainable design principles. This factors are vital to promote high quality cities and living spaces which allow similar opportunities to all individuals. As designers and planners, we need to ensure all these actors when developing urban systems which need to bear in mind environmental issues to mitigate and adapt to climate change

The thoughtful development of holistic planning strategies which relate land use, urban planning, transport and sustainable design is vital to address climate change. Social housing projects in Ecuador are not being developed within public policies which ensure that all these criteria is considered. For this reason, three main problems can be found in relation to social housing in Ecuador: the quantitative housing deficit, the qualitative characteristics of the unit and the unbundling of these construction projects within holistic planning strategies and national policies.  For this reason, WASI-H, wants to create a national policy framework which include minimal requirements that social housing projects need to achieve in order to provide quality solutions that contribute to mitigation and adaptation of climate change. Within a holistic framework, which considers transport, accessibility, design and materials.