United Nations University

The United Nations University (UNU) is the academic arm of the United Nations (UN). It bridges the academic world and the UN system. Its goal is to develop sustainable solutions for current and future problems of humankind in all aspects of life. Through a problem-oriented and interdisciplinary approach it aims at applied research and education on a global scale. UNU was founded in 1973 and is an autonomous organ of the UN General Assembly. The University comprises headquarters Tokyo, Japan, and more than a dozen Institutes and Programmes worldwide.


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Adriana López Valencia


Visitor Researcher

Tel.: + 49-228-815-0326



Adriana Patricia López received a Bachelor´s degree in Architecture from the Universidad del Valle, Colombia, and a Master´s degree in Urbanism from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. She is a 2010 winner of the International Green Talents competition, which is supported by the United Nations University Bonn.

Aside from teaching and academic research, Ms. López Valencia worked as a consultant for the city of Yumbo in western Colombia and for Energy Rating Services, an energy and sustainable design consulting firm in the UK.Adriana is currently pursuing a PhD in Environmental Science at the Universidad del Valle in Colombia. As part of her doctoral work, she was conducting research at the Université du Québec à Montréal in Canada as a winner of the Emerging leaders of the Americas program (ELAP).

Ms. López Valencia is interested in holistic approaches to capturing economic, ecological and societal components of an urban space as a basis for land-use planning. Her work involves innovative use of different tools like geographical information systems designed to develop spatial simulation models to measure the sustainability in urban areas and propose contemporary eco-neighbourhoods adapted to its context. This approach is ideally suited for climate-friendly and sustainable urban planning in the future.

Working area at UNU-EHS

Until June 2012 she will be working at the Vulnerability Assessment, Risk Management and Adaptive Planning Section (VARMAP), conducting research on the relationship between urban development, risks related to urbanization processes and poor settlements.