De Salvatierra (MLA/MDes 17) to receive Walking Visionaries Award from Walk21

Alberto Embriz de Salvatierra (MLA/MDes ’17) has been honored with a Walking Visionaries Award by Walk21. Submitted through his research initiative Aesir Lab, de Salvatierra’s winning project, titled “Planned Cities Catalog,” was one of 208 submissions from 47 countries in this year’s competition. 

De Salvatierra and the other winners will be awarded during the 2015 Walk21 conference in Vienna in mid-October. The conference gathers experts across various fields to discuss principles and practices behind city and community walkability.

Currently in its research stage, “Planned Cities Catalog” is a two-year experimental project that will index several hundred large-scale cities that were planned and then immediately built based on their original design. Some of the cities de Salvatierra is examining include Brasília, Brazil; Chandigarh, India; Coatzacoalcos, Mexico; and Masdar City, United Arab Emirates.

De Salvatierra hopes to reveal the processes, patterns, and functional arrangements, whether particular design configurations or effects of subsequent development, that enable walking to become a favored means of human mobility and transportation in a city.

Armed with these insights, he aims to draw from architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design in order to enrich discourse on urban design and directed place-making, with focus on walkability and open, public spaces.

“To receive this award is an honor, but more importantly it is further motivation to continue onward with the attitude of synthesis I’ve sought to bring to the table,” de Salvatierra says.

De Salvatierra plans for both an exhibition and a published book to conclude the project. In the meantime, though, he’s planning to travel to Vienna to attend the conference and award ceremony.

“I am excited for the opportunity to travel to the conference to learn from various experts in urbanism and city life,” he says. “Their mission and vision are inspiring, and the right conversations to be having in regards to city-making.”

Photo: aerial shot of Palmanova, Italy, one of the cities de Salvatierra is examining in “Planned Cities Catalog”