Our President

April 14, 2013
By City Space Architecture



Dr Luisa Bravo

Founder and President

Executive Director of International programs

Founder and Editor in Chief of The Journal of Public Space



Luisa Bravo is a global academic scholar and educator, social entrepreneur and public space activist. She has more than 15-years experience in the professional field as urban planner and designer with a specific focus on public space. Her expertise is grounded in extensive academic postdoctoral research and teaching in Italy and Europe, the United States, Middle East, Asia and Australia. Throughout her academic career, she held different academic positions, in Italy and abroad, and she has been the recipient of prestigious grants and awards such as the Marco Polo scholarship for a postdoctoral research period as Visiting Scholar at IURD – Institute of Urban and Regional Development at University of California Berkeley (USA, 2012) and the Australia Award Endeavour Executive Fellowship for professional development, fully funded by the Australian Government, Department of Education and Training, hosted at the Queensland University of Technology (Australia, 2018).
Luisa collaborates with the UN-Habitat's Global Public Space Programme and she is an international renowned speaker at major UN-Habitat global summits, such as Habitat III conference in Quito (Ecuador, 2016), 9th World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia, 2018), the 2nd Saudi Urban Forum in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia, 2018).
Luisa is currently Adjunct Professor in Urban Design at University of Florence in Italy. 

As Founder and President of City Space Architecture and as Founder and Editor in chief of The Journal of Public Space, Luisa is fully committed to spreading awareness on the importance of public space for sustainable urban development and to work for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda adopted at the Habitat III conference in Quito. Luisa’s lecture ‘Stand up for Public Space!’ has been included in the UN Habitat Global Urban Lectures series (season 4 - 2017), one of the UN-Habitat’s most publicly shared online outreach initiatives. 'Stand up for Public Space!' is also a global campaign promoted by City Space Architecture that Luisa is leading as principal researcher, in collaboration with scholars and professionals affiliated to Queensland University of Technology (Australia), The Chinese University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong), University of Auckland (New Zealand) and City Urb (Ecuador).

Join Luisa and City Space Architecture's campaign, stand up for public space! http://www.standupforpublicspace.org/


Extended curriculum 

Luisa Bravo holds a MSc five-year degree in Architectural Engineering (2001), with a thesis in Urban Planning and Design - mark 100/100 - and a Ph.D. in Building and Territorial Engineering (2008), from University of Bologna, Department of Architecture, with a thesis on Contemporary Urbanism entitled “Public versus private: the fickle search for a plan for the urban well-being”. She received her education also in France (1996), at CEPIA - Centre d’Etudes sur le patrimonie et l’Italianitè en Architecture, supported by Conseil General de la Loire Atlantique - Direction du Development educatif, culturel et des transports, and in UK (1997), at the Prince of Wales’s Institute of Architecturewithin the Urban Design Task Force in Lebanon (Beirut and Sidon). 


Since 2002 Luisa has been enrolled in the Professional Register of Engineers in Italy. After four years (2001-2005) of professional practice at “Studio Enarco” (Bologna, Italy), as a Project Manager for new public buildings and infrastructures, in 2005 she founded her own Architectural Engineering professional studio “Bravo Design” in Bologna, where she currently works.

Since 2003 she has collaborated in research programs in Italy promoted by the Institute of Artistic, Cultural and Natural Heritage of Emilia-Romagna Region, by MIBAC – Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Environmental Conservation, both for the Regional Department in Emilia-Romagna and for the Main Office in Rome (PaBAACex PARC), and by the Department of Architecture and Territorial Planning, University of Bologna.
Research fellow in 2008 for a National Research Program funded by the Italian Ministry of University, Research and Education, in 2009 she has been appointed as a Postdoctoral research associate at the Department of Architecture, University of Bologna (2009-2014). In the past 15 years she held several academic positions: Lecturer in Urban Design at University of Bologna (Italy, 2011), Lecturer for the Direct Study Abroad promoted by Carleton University, Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism in Bologna (Canada, 2011-12) Visiting Scholar at IURD - Institute of Urban and Regional Development, University of California Berkeley (USA, 2012), Guest Lecturer at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, School of Architecture (Hong Kong, 2014) and at Keio University, co+labo Radovic (Tokyo, 2015), Adjunct Professor in Architecture and Landscape at University of Parma (Italy, 2014-15), Adjunct Professor in Urban Planning and Design at University of Florence, Department of Architecture (Italy 2013-present),Visiting Assistant Professor at Lebanese American University, School of Architecture and Design (Lebanon, 2015), Adjunct Associate Professor (2016-2019) and Endeavour Executive Fellow (2018) at Queensland University of Technology (Australia), School of Design, Faculty of Creative Industries, Instructor for the 'Advanced Urbanism Studio. Urban Spaces of the City' at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Master in Urbanism Studies, in Stockholm (Sweden, 2018-19). Over the past 15 years, Luisa organized and curated exhibitions and conferences in Italy and abroad, working in collaboration with international and multi-disciplinary teams, she extensively published contributions and essays in peer-reviewed journals and books, she served as reviewer for international conferences, journals, and doctoral dissertations, advisor, supervisor and co-supervisor for Master thesis, she was the recipient of international grants and awards, she was also involved as a professional in urban planning activities for Italian Municipalities. 
Luisa presented her research work in several leading academic conferences as invited/selected speaker, such as (most relevant): the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland (UK), the International Planning History Society (IPHS), the International Forum on Urbanism (IFoU), the International Seminar on Urban Form (ISUF), the European symposium on Research in Architecture and Urban Design (EURAU), the Italian Institute of Urbanism (INU) Annual Congress, the Biennial of Public Space (BiSP) in Rome, the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, the Italian Society of Urbanists (SIU) and the American Association of Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting. Luisa was also selected to attend the Urban Age 'Shaping Cities' conference promoted by the London School of Economics and Political Science held at the Venice Architecture Biennale (2016) and the Meeting of the Minds Mobility Summit in Boston held at the Microsoft New England Nerd Center (2017). Luisa was one of the keynote speakers of the 10th IFoU - International Forum on Urbanism 'The Entrepreneurial City' held at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (2017).


In 2013 Luisa founded "City Space Architecture", a non-profit cultural association based in Bologna (Italy), aimed at creating an international network discussing about architecture, public space, cities and urbanity. More than one hundred scholars already joined City Space Architecture, from leading Universities, together with professionals, public administrators, city managers, artists and designers, photographers and film-makers, thus establishing a real network of cultural exchange and international knowledge. Luisa was the Chair of the first "Past Present and Future of Public Space. International Conference on Art, Architecture and Urban Design", held in Bologna (Italy), on June 25-27, 2014, and she is currently coordinating “MaPS. Mastering Public Space”, a collaborative research network on cities and urbanity, "Pop-up City", a photography research project on instant urbanity and "Urban Visions. Beyond the Ideal City", a cinematography competition for short films, a section of the Italian Festival "Visioni Italiane" promoted by Cineteca di Bologna.

Under her visionary leadership, City Space Architecture grew very fast: in 2016 it was included in the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs' Civil Society database and was engaged in the United Nations General Assembly of Partners (GAP), Research and Academia Partner Constituent Group, and in 2017 became partner of the UN-Habitat's Global Public Space Programme.


Luisa is Founding Editor and Journal Manager of 'The Journal of Public Space', the first, international, interdisciplinary, academic, open access journal entirely dedicated to public space, as a research project she developed thorugh City Space Architecture in partnership with UN-Habitat, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme. In 2018 she took the role of Editor in Chief. The Journal was launched at the Habitat III conference, the United Nations conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, that took place in Quito, Ecuador, on October 17-20, 2016, during a talk at the Urban Library, on October 19. At Habitat III Luisa also coordinated the networking event 'Stand up for Public Space!' and launched the global campaign aimed to raise awareness about the importance of public space in our cities, promoted by City Space Architecture in collaboration with the Queensland University of Technology, based in Australia, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, based in Hong Kong, the University of Auckland, based in New Zealand, and LASE+CityUrb based in Ecuador.
After being selected and invited to attend the 26th UN-Habitat Governing Council in Nairobi (May 2017) and the High Level Meeting on the New Urban Agenda of the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York (September 2017), Luisa was also engaged in multiple events at the 9th World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur (February 2018), for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda adopted in Quito. City Space Architecture was selected as exhibitor to be part of the 9th World Urban Forum, together with other 200 exhibitors from 50 countries. In City Space Architecture's booth at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre Luisa curated the interactive exhibition 'We the people, We the public space' and interviewed 30 global stakeholders to discuss on the importance of public space. She also coordinated the networking event 'We the public space: strategies to deal with inequalities in order to achieve inclusive and sustainable urban environments'. More info on Luisa's activities at WUF9 are available here.

Luisa’s lecture ‘Stand up for Public Space!’ has been included in the UN Habitat Global Urban Lectures series (season 4 - 2017), one of the UN-Habitat’s most publicly shared online outreach initiatives. 


Follow Luisa on Academia: https://cityspacearchitecture.org.academia.edu/Luisa_Bravo

Follow Luisa on ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Luisa_Bravo

Follow Luisa on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/luisabravodesign

Follow Luisa on Twitter: https://twitter.com/luisabravodsgn

Follow Luisa on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/luisa.bravo.design