Skip to content

Juliana Carvalho joins the PLUS Change project to represent migrants and mothers, and specialises in the topics of sustainable mobility & accessibility.

My name is Juliana Carvalho, I’m a PhD candidate in Transport Systems at the Faculty of Engineering – University of Porto, Portugal, associated with INESC TEC, but I’m not a STEM graduate. I’m an International Relations graduate, with a masters in Human Settlements and Environment (specialising in spatial planning and sustainability transitions). My doctoral research is focused on sustainable urban mobility planning, with a particular focus on metropolitan areas. One of the reasons I’m interested in the “larger than a municipality” planning process, is the acknowledgement that socio-spatial dynamics often surpass political-administrative borders and that we need to have a look at this larger scale of interactions between mobility and land use to promote equitability within sustainability transitions.  

I’m originally from Brazil, I have done my masters in Chile and lived there for about 6 years, then I moved to Argentina, where I worked for the MERCOSUR Human Rights Public Policy Institute. Besides my doctoral studies at the Faculty of Engineer of the University of Porto and my role as a researcher at INESC TEC, I’m also part of Area Europa, a cooperative based in Italy that works with sustainability transition projects, including non-formal education projects, and WEgate, an association that promotes women entrepreneurship.

What community or organisation are you representing in the project?

I would like to represent researchers involved in sustainable urban mobility planning (from a professional standpoint) and parents that want to advocate for safe, healthy and enjoyable living spaces in our cities (from a personal standpoint as I’m a mom of a toddler). As someone who has lived in different cities, I have become particularly interested in how the spaces we inhabit and move in can affect our overall well-being and facilitate or hinder certain behaviours (such as being willing to ride a bike with a small kid).  

What motivated you to apply to become an ambassador?

One of the reasons that motivated me to apply is because I want to learn more about how to effectively connect research and practice. I’m interested in collaborative planning practices as levers for policy integration and contributors to sustainability transitions. In this sense, as a PhD candidate researching mobility planning, I was thrilled to learn about the PLUS project, as it presents an interesting opportunity to engage not only with land use and transport integration, but also other key topics such as nature-based solutions and resilience building. I also hope to gain a deeper understanding about European projects, transnational collaboration, and to have the opportunity to expand my network

How does your work correspond with PLUS Change?

My PhD research work has many overlaps with the PLUS Change project, as one of the core assumptions is that land use and transport systems need to be better integrated in order to promote sustainability transitions that are comprehensive and cohesive, addressing socio-spatial disparities and acknowledging the importance of the climate emergency we are facing. I plan to collaborate with the project with different tasks, such as contributing to revisions and key terminology on topics such as policy integration and accessibility planning, participating in online meetings and focus groups, helping with dissemination, among others.   

What are you looking forward to in the coming years?

I hope to learn a lot and to be in a better position to advocate for and contribute to collaborative planning practices and livable cities for all generations. I’m curious to learn more about certain approaches that are included in the project such as “policy simulations” and “scenario storylines”. I also hope to learn more about European projects and transnational collaboration to promote positive impact and contribute to sustainability transitions. Even though I’m doing a PhD I’m not interested in a solely academic career but would rather prefer being engaged with more project-oriented practices.