The Sanford Latin American and Caribbean Group (LAC) hosted a workshop on Friday, April 21, on conflict-sensitive urban development in the region.

Speakers included Monica Ayala (left), research coordinator for homicide reduction strategies with México Evalúa; Jota Samper (center), former co-founder of DukeEngage Medellin, Colombia, who is currently assistant professor of environmental design at the University of Colorado at Boulder; and Juan Carlos Cristaldo (right), director of the research department at the School of Architecture at the National University of Asunción, Paraguay.

Ayala shared the Hot-Spots tool, which is being used to understand conflict in a historically violent area of Mexico City, and shared common perceptions of violence within and outside the affected area. She also highlighted the different grievances from previous public policies that led to non-intended spikes in violence.

Samper shared the dynamics of urban planning policy in Colombia, highlighting how specific policies help identify sources of conflict resilience. He also demonstrated how the use of tools such as aero spatial imagery and geographic information systems can help in better understanding population and land dynamics for conflict-sensitive urban planning.

Cristaldo emphasized the need to consider the mapping of Paraguay as a way of democratizing urban planning and enabling more widespread access to information and decision-making.

The event was co-sponsored by the Duke Center for International Development (DCID), the Duke Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, the Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Center, the Duke Office of Global Affairs, the Hanscom Endowment, and the Sanford School of Public Policy.

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