Carmen Mendoza analyses the challenges of humanitarian architecture in Lisbon

Carmen Mendoza-Arroyo, the assistant director of International Relations at UIC Barcelona School of Architecture, took part, on 15 November, in the 8th International Conference on Building Resilience held in Lisbon between 14 and 16 November. Carmen Mendoza presented a paper entitled “Creating social and spatial integration frameworks: overcoming the emergency approach to urban refugee reception models” in which she presented new approaches to integrate refugees in cities. “The refugee camp model is unsustainable and, when implemented, it calls into question whether architects and designers are not only helping perpetuate their state of emergency, but also abetting governments and the policies keeping them in power,” she stressed.

In its eighth edition, the event was entitled “Risk and resilience in practice: Vulnerabilities, displaced persons, local communities and inheritance” and, for three days, international experts debated issues such as displaced persons, challenges of climate change, risk governance models, urban design, or informal settlements.

Carmen Mendoza also served as a member of the jury of the first edition of the Marielle Franco Community-Design Award, whose winner was announced during the conference. The award aims to recognise the daily work of architects working in marginal neighbourhoods or disadvantaged areas. The award is named after the Brazilian sociologist and politician, Marielle Franco, recently killed on the streets of Rio de Janeiro for her activism to help the poorer classes in Brazil. Another lecturer from the School, Raquel Colacios, also took part as a jury member in the Building 4Humanity Design Competition, which was also awarded during the conference in Lisbon with 60 aspiring competitors from different countries from across the world.

The International Conference on Building Resilience is an international conference held annually and which explores resilience as an analysis framework on how society can cope with the threat of natural disasters or those induced by human activity. The event was organised, in this eighth edition, by the University of Lisbon, the University of Coimbra and the Global Disaster Resilience Centre at the University of Huddersfield (United Kingdom), in association with the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).

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