PhD candidate in Environmental Design and Planning at the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech. Researcher at the Global Forum for Urban Regional Resilience (GFURR) and DE Lab Decision Engineering for Sustainable Infrastructure. Her work focus on urban interventions as potential contributions to poverty reduction and sustainable development. Her research interests include informal urbanism, sustainable transport, spatial justice and urban inequality. She has presented her work in several conferences across the United States and South America, and has spoken at a TEDx event in Quito-Ecuador and at Cityworks (Xpo) in Roanoke. Prior to Virginia Tech, Vanessa worked as a project architect, participated with the University of Melbourne-Australia in the project “How Sustainable Transport Networks Build Great Cities” at Munich and Zurich, and taught at USFQ University in Quito-Ecuador, where she also coordinated the seminar “Ecuador towards Habitat III”.