Graduate Student Associate
Maria Atuesta is a PhD candidate in Urban Planning. Her dissertation is about the relocation choices of populations displaced by internal armed conflict in Colombia, and the unfolding of those choices from the point of view of community building and political organization. With more than 6 million internally displaced persons of Colombia’s civil conflict, a great number of people moved to large cities, but the proportionality of impact of population flows has been larger in smaller cities, a phenomenon that has been understudied. Maria's research is an ethnography of a small Colombian municipality called Granada, with a large number of victim population. She focuses on the processes through which displaced people of rural upbringing find a new home in Granada, as opposed to large populated cities. Through Granada's case, Maria inquires whether and how the influx of these households impacts social and political structures in small cities. Her general research interests include post-conflict reconstruction, neighborhood effects, housing policy and urban development in small cities.