Social Production of Housing

On March 20th, as part of the 2023 Spring Urbanism Lecture series, co-hosted by the City Design & Development Program (CDD), SMArchS Urbanism Program, and Norman B. Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism at MIT, Claudia Acuña Fernandez, Infonavit-Mexico, Claudia Dobles Camargo, Loeb Fellow, and Mora Orensanz, La Firme-Peru joined a round table discussion on the Social Production of Housing, moderated by Garnette Cadogan.

Claudia Dobles Camargo is an Architect and a Senior Political Advisor, with more than 15 years of experience focusing on urban mobility, affordable and social housing, climate change, and community engagement. She served as First Lady of Costa Rica from 2018 to 2022, working as a political coordinator in the infrastructure, mobility, and transport sector as co-leading, along with President Alvarado the Costa Rican National Decarbonization Plan. As Presidential advisor, she advocated creating a legal framework for the first time in Costa Rica for the First Lady or the First Gentleman can go beyond traditional duties. Before becoming First Lady, she worked in the private sector as a Regional Design leader for a multinational design firm in Latin America and the United States.

She Graduated as Architect from the University of Costa Rica and was visiting student at the Kanto Gakuin University in Japan for studying sustainability in architecture. She is currently a Loeb Fellow at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.

Claudia Acuña Fernandez is Mexico´s National Coordinator of Housing Self-production, with 20 years of experience in Mexico’s urban development and housing sector. She has held different positions in the public sector in the Ministry of Social Development (SEDESOL), the Federal Mortgage Society (SHF), and INFONAVIT (National Institute of the Workers´ Housing Fund), designing and implementing programs aimed at improving access and quality of housing for low-income families. She has also collaborated as a board member of several civil society organizations developing social housing. She completed her undergraduate studies in International Relations at the Autonomous Institute of Mexico- ITAM and a master´s degree in Social Policy and Planning in Developing Countries from the London School of Economics and Political Sciences- LSE.

Mora Orensanz studied architecture and urbanism in Argentina and completed the master’s in City Planning at DUSP MIT in 2021. She has worked in design and research and is currently part of the Resilient Cities Housing Initiative, led by DUSP Professor Lawrence Vale. Recently, together with Fiorella Belli and Raul Briceno, she co-founded La Firme, a startup focused on making architecture and engineering services accessible for low- and middle-income families in Latin America.

By Sylvia Jimenez, Norman B (1938). and Muriel Leventhal Fellow, MIT Norman B. Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism.

Premio Nobel [Credit: INVU]



Norman B. Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism

Research center focused on the design and planning of large-scale, complex, future metropolitan environments.