Learning Lima was established in 2012 to understand the relationship between water, risk and urban development and devise strategies to disrupt unjust trajectories of urban change. The alliance has included five cohorts of DPU ESD students (from 2012-2017) – approximately 250 students – interns from Peruvian academic institutions, and staff from four NGO partners: Foro Ciudades para la Vida, Instituto de Desarrollo Urbano (CENCA), Centro de Investigación, Documentación y Asesoría Poblacional (CIDAP), and Servicios Educativos El Agustino (SEA), in addition to hundreds of local residents and civil society groups from various case study areas. Together these areas capture the full diversity of Lima, both in terms of its ecological structures and the everyday and institutional practices that drive urban change across Metropolitan Lima.

Learning Lima also expanded its scope, through two action-research projects led by DPU in collaboration with local partners:

‘ReMapLima’(http://remaplima.blogspot.co.uk/) used drones to generate up-to-date images of otherwise invisible settlements in the historic centre and steep slopes of the periphery.

‘cLIMA sin Riesgo’ (https://climasinriesgo.net/) explored the conditions that produce and reproduce risk accumulation cycles, how and where they materialise, and with what consequences for marginalised women and men, as well as their capacity to act individually, collectively and with state organisations.
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José Carlos Mariátegui
El Agustino
Quebrada Verde
Costa Verde
Barrios Altos
Type of output
Policy Briefs
Transformative planning and environmental justice in metropolitan Lima. Water, risk and urban development: Present outlooks, possible futures
Environmental Justice in Lima: Co-learning for Action
Co-Learning for Action: Exploring the Relationship between Everyday Risk and Urban Development in Lima
Barrios Altos: Urban renovation with rife and memory (English)
Barrios Altos: Renovación urbana con vida y memoria (Español)
Uncertainty in the city: Respect for rights and identity (English and Español)
Huaycán: The city of hope (English)
Huaycán: The city of hope (Español)
Displacement of injustices in San Migual, La Perla and the northern districts of Callao (English)
Displacement of injustices in San Migual, La Perla and the northern districts of Callao (Español)
Derecho al Centro Para Todos (English and Español)
Cantagallo: Re-claiming production of space for socio-environmental justice (English and Español)
missing title
Redefiniendo 'periferia': Aprendiend Huaycán. Re-framing the periphery: Learning from the past - building for the future (English and Español)
Disrupting Everyday Risk Cycles for an Inclusive Urban Renewal of Barrios Altos (English and Español)
Chuquitanta Shifting Perceptions of Water: A stepping stone toward a better future (English and Español)
A common vision for the coast (English and Español)
Beyond everyday risk: Transforming an invisible settlement into a visible community (English and Español)
Beyond risk: Co-responsibility at the edge of the city (English and Español)
Exploring the relationship between risk and livelihoods, ecological infrastructure and urban development (English and Español)
Costa Verde: Governing the coast (English and Español)
Mas allá de un centro renovado: Un centro vivo/Beyond a renovated centre: A centro vivo (English and Español)
[Re]conciendo El Agustino: For the creation of 'Lima para todos" (English and Español)
Jose Carlos Mariategui: Refefining the periphery
Exploring the relationship between everyday risk and urban development in Chuquitanta
Ecological infrastructure and risk mitigation in a splintered urban transition
Agricultura en la ciudad: Cultivando resiliencia, cosechando bienestar (English and Español)
Interruumpiendo injusticas para reducir el riesgo urbano: Redefining water culture and sanitation through non-conventional alternatives and progressive policies (Español)
Policy Briefs
Policy Brief
Ecological infrastructure and risk mitigation in a splintered urban transition (English)
Policy Brief
Infraestructura ecológica y mitigación del riesgo en una transición urbana astillada (Español)
Policy Brief
Costa Verde: Governing the coast (English)
Policy Brief
Costa Verde: Gobernanza de la costa (Español)
Policy Brief
Beyond a renovated centre: A centro vivo (English)
Policy Brief
Mas allá de un centro renovado: Un centro vivo (Español)
Policy Brief
Governance and everyday risk in the heart of Lima (English)
Policy Brief
Gobernanza y riesgos cotidianos en el corazón de Lima (Español)
Policy Brief
Co-reducing risk at the periphery (English)
Policy Brief
Reducción conjunta del riesgo en la periferia (Español)
Policy Brief
Exploring the relationship between everyday risk and urban development in Chuquitanta (English)
Policy Brief
Explorando la relación entre riesgos cotidianos y desarrollo urbano en Chuquitanta (Español)
Learning Lima was established by Rita Lambert and Adriana Allen from the Development Planning Unit (DPU, UCL) in collaboration with Liliana Miranda from Foro Ciudades Para La Vida, Silvia de Los Rios from CIDAP, Carlos Escalante Estrada from CENCA, Carmen Robles from SEA. The research was supported by DPU staff Etienne Von Bertrab, Matthew Wood-Hill, Liza Griffin, Diana Salazar, Zeremariam Fre, Monica Bernal, Julia Wesely, Teresa Belkow and Rosana Poblet.

The Bartlett Development Planning Unit (DPU)

ForoCiudades Para La Vidais

Centro de Investigación, Documentación y AsesoríaPoblacional (CIDAP)

Instituto de Desarrollo Urbano (CENCA)

ServiciosEducativos El Agustino (SEA)

Strategic Team
Carlos Escalante Estrada is an urban architect with more than 30 years of professional experience in the field of urban planning and popular habitat. He has been a Consultant of the National Institute of Urban Development in Urban Planning, Productive Habitat and Development of Urban Environmental Capacities. Associate member of CENCA and Chairman of its Board of Directors of Coordinator of the Campaign for the Right to a Decent Housing for all of November, member of the Regional Action Committee of global campaigns promoted by the United Nations Habitat Agency, member from the AGFE Mission (Group of Experts against Forced Evictions) to the Dominican Republic and Argentina. Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Metropolitan Institute of Planning and Chairman of the Board of the Cadastral Institute of Lima of the same municipality. Co-researcher in Vulnerability and Risk projects with IDRC, IMP, CENCA, and DPU, currently participating in action research projects with DPU-PUCP KNOW project and GEMDev Grounded energy modelling of equitable urban development in the global South.
Architect, urban planner, and environmentalist with decentralist approach, IPCC AR6 lead author, chapter 12th. Doctorand at Amsterdam University, dissertation onKnowledge building in Metropolitan Water Governance in cities facing climate change, master’s in real estate management and construction (UPM, Madrid) with several postgraduate courses abroad. Lecturer and invited master’s teacher at several Universities in Peru and abroad. Founder and Executive Director of Cities for Life Foro inter-institutional network and Coordinator of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy in Peru. Consultant of national and international organisations. Former Principal Advisor of the Environmental Commission and Indigenous Communities in the Congress of Peru.

Published 5 books, 15 peer review (mainly English) articles, 12 book chapters and writes a monthly article at a governmental journal in Peru since 2014. Being a civil society activist uses mass media, journals, and social networks regularly. She is engaged in world-wide conferences, such as the Conference of the Parties (UNFCC), UNCSD - Rio + 20 and World Urban Forum and Habitat. Ashoka Fellow and Avina Leader with several other recognitions for her trajectory and policy development impact.
Silvia is an architect and urbanist with more than 30 years of professional experience. She has a masters degree in Architecture and various postgraduate diplomas. She is specialised in Integrated Cultural Heritage Management. She has undertaken research on urban housing, infrastructure and risks in collaboration with various institutions from Latin America and Europe. She is a researcher and project planner at the Centre for Research, Documentation and Demographic Advisory (CIDAP). She is a consultant and co-investigator on Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded project Knowledge in Action for Urban Equality (KNOW) and Disrupting urban “risk traps” in collaboration with Development Planning Unit (DPU), UCL. She has also worked with various civil society organisations, including Slum Dweller International (SDI), Institute of urban development (CENCA) and ForoCiudades para la Vida (FCPLV) in varying.
Rita is an urban development planner and architect with over 19 years of international experience based at the Bartlett Development Planning Unit, UCL. Her research, postgraduate teaching and consultancy are closely linked and span across various countries (mainly Latin America and Africa). Her work focuses on environmental justice, urban risk, energy justice, urban regeneration, affordable housing, mapping and participatory methodologies. She undertakes action-research, training and capacity building working closely with communities, NGOs, local and national governments, and local researchers, to co-produce strategies towards just urbanisation.
Adriana is Prof of Development Planning and Urban Sustainability at the Bartlett Development Planning Unit, University College London, and has over 30 years of experience in research, postgraduate teaching and consultancy undertakings in 25 countries across the Global South. Through the lens of risk, sanitation, water, land, food and health, her work looks at the interface between everyday city-making practices and planned interventions and their capacity to generate transformative spaces, places, and social relations.
Etienne’s research is focused in the areas of urban mobility, water governance and energy transitions, having done most of his work in Latin America. He is particularly interested in social movements and in examining the potential of grassroots resistance, of solidarity networks and of alternative justice mechanisms towards enhancing environmental justice and sustainability.

Étienne has been an environmental and human rights activist in Mexico, where he continues to work with collectives and networks. In London he is a member of the organisation Justice Mexico Now. He more recently explores the use of video in research and advocacy: www.vimeo.com/etiennista He is also a consultant in the areas of citizenship and entrepreneurship for the empowerment of marginalised groups.
Julia is a post-doctoral research fellow in the Knowledge in Action for Urban Equality programme at The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, UCL.

With an interdisciplinary background in social and environmental sciences, her research and postgraduate teaching have addressed themes of disaster risk management, urban resilience, urban planning, and more recently, critical pedagogy, epistemic injustice and overlooked cities. Over the past decade she has been collaborating in action-research programmes with partners in cities of Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe, with the aim of learning together to activate and build capacities for more just and equal urban development.
Zeremariam is an associate professor at DPU UCL. has been involved in several projects in different International Organisations. Over the past three decades, he has worked on medium /short term consultancies, external evaluations and applied research with a variety of UN, International and national NGOs. From 1989 to 2016, he has served as the founding director and head of a Regional NGO (the Pastoral and Environmental Network in the Horn of Africa, PENHA www.penhanetwork.org) over the last 27 years.
Dr Monica Bernal Llanos holds a PhD in Development Planning from University College London (UCL).Her main research interests are climate change and systemic racism, as the two major (and interconnected) ills of humanity. Monica’s doctoral studies focused on the co-production of knowledge and politics for climate change adaptation in Colombia, and she’s also conducted empirical research on public perceptions on the history of teaching and research of eugenics at UCL.Monica has worked in Bogota, Lima and London, using participatory action research whilst working hand in hand with disenfranchised communities as well as with government officials, the private sector and members of the civil society.
Liza Griffin is a lecturer at the Bartlett's Development Planning Unit at UCL. She writes about environmental politics and the governance of 'wicked problems'.

Her research lies broadly within the fields of critical governance studies and political ecology. She has written about how we collectively manage socio-ecological problems and what is at stake in the different political regimes and governing techniques intended to address them.
Diana has several years of experience facilitating multi-stakeholder projects in conservation, sustainability and education in various Colombian cities and in London. Her research interests include the concept of security and the strategies developed by social organisations to resist in areas of armed conflict. She volunteers with activist groups supporting struggles for environmental justice in the global South.
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