Laura Sobral (Brazil)

Laura Sobral (*1985) is a brazilian urbanist and architect. She has a BA 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, reconnecting citizens with this space by creating the sense of belonging. Laura is currently pursuing a MSc in Social Foundations of Urbanism at USP, where she is researching the social production of public spaces. Laura is also a co-founder of the Instituto A Cidade Precisa de Você [The City Needs You Institute], a NGO that aims to improve public spaces by social actions through publications, projects, seminars, etc.

Today's urban and social challenges need to be thought collectively towards a common goal. The urbanists of our times have the role of mediating and facilitating these community processes, contributing to new ways of making city.