The award recognises Dr. Pineda Zumaran’s outstanding professional and academic contribution to the field of urbanism and planning, and particularly the contribution to Peruvian cities. The award ceremony took place as part of a wider event to mark World Urbanism Day, with architect Álvaro Ugarte and economists Álvaro Espinoza and Ricardo Fort also honoured.
Since her graduation in 2013, Jessica has been straddling the divide between academia and practice to promote the importance of evidence base and social justice in shaping urban decision-making. I am very pleased that her dedication and contribution to improve planning practice and research has gained recognition from the Association of Architects in Peru. Jessica truly deserves the honour.
Dr Zumaran achieved her PhD in Planning and Environmental Management in 2013, with support from two doctoral scholarships - the Overseas Research Scholarship programme by the School of Environment and Development (now School of Environment, Education and Development) at The University of Manchester and the FINCyT Doctoral Scholarship Programme, awarded by Presidency of the Council of Ministries of Peru. During her studies at Manchester, Dr Zumaran also acted as a Graduate Teaching Assistant.
Since leaving Manchester, Dr Zumaran has held postdoctoral positions in Japan and Chile, before returning to Peru as lecturer in planning and urban development at the National University of Saint Augustine. Now Research Director at URBES-LAB , a Research Centre in Urban and Territorial Theory, Dr Zumaran works on issues such as urban informality, inequality, and the impact of neoliberalism on urban and territorial development, in the Peruvian and Latin American context.
I know that sometimes it is difficult to imagine that there can be a better future, when the political, social and economic situation we live in Peru seems to indicate the opposite. Although this scenario is possible, I choose to have faith and believe that everyone, from where they are and from where they act, can contribute to improving the way we live in our cities, placing the common good and collective rights at the centre of our decisions and actions.