AN URBANIST SPECIALIZED IN PUBLIC SPACE
AND URBAN LIFE.
Laura Sobral is a Brazilian Urbanist and Architect and a German Chancellor Fellow with the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung, a foundation established by the Federal Republic of Germany to promote international academic cooperation between excellent scientists and scholars from Germany and from abroad. She has a BA and MA in Architecture and Urbanism from the University of Sao Paulo [USP] and completed an exchange program at Universidad Politecnica de Madrid in 2008. Since 2007, Laura has been researching and organizing urban interventions and temporary architecture projects in public spaces with the intent of fostering active citizenship by linking culture and city. One of the results was the creation of the initiative A Batata Precisa de Você [The Potato Needs You], an occupy movement that encourages the regular and collective usage of an empty square in São Paulo, Largo da Batata, by reconnecting citizens with this space to create a sense of belonging. She is a co-founder of the Instituto A Cidade Precisa de Você [The City Needs You Institute], a CSO that aims to improve public spaces through social actions such as publications, projects, seminars, etc. Currently, she is based in Porto doing her PhD (ISCTE-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa and TU Wien) about territorial policies that foster the distribution of local power through the co-production and co-governance of public spaces.