Vanessa is a PhD candidate in Environmental Design and Planning at the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech. She has consultancy experience at the Inter-American Development Bank and at The World Bank, in Washington D.C. She earned a master in Urban Planning at the University of Melbourne in Australia, and a bachelor in Architecture at USFQ University in Quito, Ecuador. Her work focuses on urban interventions for social inclusion, community development, and urban sustainability. She has experience in urban informality, spatial justice, sustainable infrastructure, resilient cities, co-production in urban areas, design thinking, and cognitive urbanism. She has presented her work in conferences across the United States, the United Kingdom, and South America, including a TEDx event in Quito-Ecuador, Cityworks (Xpo) in Roanoke, VA and Oxford Talks at the Transport Studies Unit at Oxford University.