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Vanessa is an architect and urban planner who is currently a researcher and PhD candidate in Environmental Design and Planning at the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech. Her research interests include urban interventions (such as urban regeneration, public space, sustainable transport, slums clearance) as potential contributions to poverty reduction and sustainable development. 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”. She is currently a member of the Global Forum for Urban Regional Resilience (GFURR), DE Lab Decision Engineering for Sustainable Infrastructure, a member of the Regional Studies Association (RSA), and co-founder of LIGNUM, an architecture and urbanism firm in Ecuador.