Gabriella is an associate professor of urban planning and international development in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP) at MIT, where she leads the City Infrastructure Equity Lab (CIEL). She advises the UrbanAfrica and LatinX student initiatives in DUSP, and also works within MIT as a collaborating member of the Displacement Research and Action Network and on the Faculty Council of the Community Innovators Lab (CoLab). Professionally, Gabriella has served as the lead chair of the Global Planning Educators’ Interest Group and as a member of the Task Force on Global Planning Education, both for the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning.
Gabriella’s research and teaching interrogate how the governance of the financial architecture behind infrastructure projects, such as those in the water and sanitation sectors, matters to the distributional fairness of benefits and the health of urban communities across North America, Latin America, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her work has been published in journals including the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Urban Studies, Environment and Planning C, and the American Journal of Public Health, among others.
Prior to arriving at DUSP, Gabriella taught at Rutgers’ Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, and worked in various capacities with the UN Millennium Project, UNFPA, UN-HABITAT, Rockefeller Foundation, Center for Sustainable Urban Development at Columbia’s Earth Institute, Oxford Analytica and a private management consultancy focusing on fixed income finance in New York. Gabriella has studied and been an affiliated researcher in universities in Brazil, France, Mozambique, and the UK. She holds a BA in Political Science from Columbia, a Master of Philosophy in Development Studies with a concentration on Economics from the University of Oxford, and a PhD in Urban Planning from Columbia, where she was a NSF-IGERT fellow in international development and globalization.
CIEL - City Infrastructure Equity Lab
The City Infrastructure Equity Lab (CIEL) works toward building more equitable infrastructure systems—particularly in the water and sanitation domain. Our research provides a grounded critical analysis of how the governance of infrastructure development, including its financial architecture (e.g. budgeting, financing), evaluation, and partnering practices in the delivery of systems, currently shapes the distributional fairness of infrastructure benefits and community health outcomes. Our work examines infrastructures across a broad portfolio of country and city-level contexts, and within framings of climate change, public health, affordability, and knowledge production, in order to provide practical policy recommendations that improve equity outcomes, particularly for and with marginalized communities.
Anne is a Master in City Planning candidate (2020) in the Housing, Community, and Economic Development (HCED) group. Prior to joining DUSP, she worked as a public elementary school teacher and teacher leader for six years in Hawai’i and California. Her current interests include social infrastructures, school segregation, and participatory planning. Anne graduated from Pomona College in 2012 with a BA in Asian American Studies and earned her Master of Science in Educational Studies while teaching in 2015.
Braxton Bridgers is a Master in City Planning candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, focusing on issues at the intersection of climate resilience and energy policy. Originally from the Washington D.C. area, Braxton previously worked on issues regarding energy security and climate conflict in the nation’s capital. During his time in D.C., Bridgers worked as an energy and environmental policy researcher at a Japanese public research and development firm, the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). Most recently, he completed a public policy fellowship with New America, a think tank dedicated to the pursuit of innovative solutions to U.S. policy challenges. At New America, his research focused on examining the efficacy of currently deployed digital disaster preparedness tools in the field of emergency management, identifying policy interventions that would enhance data sharing practices between first responders and electric utilities during emergencies. He holds a bachelor’s degree in international affairs with a concentration in law and public policy from Northeastern University.
Passionate about participation, global governance and social justice, Daniela joined MIT’s MCP 2020 cohort after almost 10 years of professional experience in the national and international public and non-profit sector. In her last position as Social Innovation and Participatory Planning Director at the Buenos Aires City Government, she was responsible for community engagement and participatory planning at the Barrio 31 slum urbanization plan. She also worked at UNDP Argentina and collaborated with several Civil Society Organizations in her country as well as in Spain and Ethiopia. She holds an MA in International Cooperation and Public Policy (Madrid) and a BA in Political Science (University of Buenos Aires). She has also specialized at the Sorbonne (Paris, France), FLACSO (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and ECLAC (Santiago, Chile). Her research interests include participatory planning, global governance, collaborative creation, social justice and inequality.
Diego is a Master's degree student from Chile in the International Development Group at MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Prior to MIT, he worked in strategic planning in the private sector as a manager in LATAM Airlines. Diego holds a Bachelor's degree in business management and economics from Universidad Católica de Chile. He is now transitioning his interests in planning and strategy into urban affairs, focusing on sustainable development, land-use planning, climate change mitigation, and urban supply chains.
Isadora Cruxên is a doctoral student in the International Development Group at MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Her research interests include urban water supply governance and finance, urban social movements, and participatory planning. Originally from Brazil, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Brasília and a Master in City Planning from MIT/DUSP. Prior to coming to MIT, Isadora worked as a research assistant at the Institute for Applied Economic Research in Brazil on projects about public participation in policy development. She is currently the Media and Communications Director of the MIT Water Club, having previously served as Lecture Series Chair and Co-Vice President of the club.
To learn more about Isadora's MCP Thesis on a water supply crisis in São Paulo, Brazil, click .
MIT Spectrum Interview with Isadora: "Lessons from the MIT Water Club"
Neha Doshi is a Master’s degree candidate in the International Development Group at MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Prior to MIT, she worked for a major pharmaceutical retailer in healthcare customer analytics. She has also worked in Gujarat, India as a field research associate for the Poverty Action Lab (JPAL). Her interests are related to rural-urban migration and informality. Neha holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Wellesley College.
Samra is a Master in City Planning candidate (2020) in the International Development Group at MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Prior to MIT, Samra completed her undergraduate degree in Materials Engineering at McGill University. Her work experience includes risk management consulting in the US and Ethiopia. Samra’s current interests include infrastructure development, urban systems, spatial modeling and analysis, data visualization, and audio storytelling.
An adage I have heard about MIT is that students do not come here to be taught; they come here to learn. As an academic, there couldn’t be a more stimulating environment and abundant supply of innovative, caring, and dedicated individuals with whom to learn. The photo above captures a few of us in 2018 (Asmaa, Prassanna, myself, Mark, Isadora, and last but not least an insert of my youngest student of all). Those who study with me—across methods and subjects of infrastructure, public finance, and Southern theory—know that professors who come to MIT also do not come to simply teach, but to continuously learn.
DUSP Class Page
I have had the immense pleasure of working with a very talented group of students in both Masters and Doctoral programs of planning (their names and topics follow below). Their research on some of the most challenging issues in development inspires me, and I am very honored by their recognition of our work together through the DUSP Student Council's Excellence in Advising award in 2014, 2015, 2018, and 2020, as well as the Excellence in Teaching award in 2017 and MIT's Committed to Caring award in 2019.
Prassanna Raman, PhD 2020
The Politics of Visibility in Urban Sanitation: Bureaucratic Coordination and the Swachh Bharat Mission in Tamil Nadu, India
Daniel Gallagher, PhD 2019
Enduring or Escaping Legacies? Politics, inherited institutions, and rebellion in the struggle over water futures in Chile
Brittany N. Montgomery, PhD 2019
Delivering Urban Projects: Contracting, Voice, and Anti-corruption in Infrastructure
MASTER IN CITY PLANNING THESES
Isadora Araujo Cruxên, Master in City Planning 2016
Fluid Dynamics: Politics and Social Struggle in São Paulo's Water Crisis (2014-2015)
Jenna Harvey, Master in City Planning 2016
Deepening Democratic Capacity Through Collective Inquiry: Community-Led Research at Palma's Lab
Alison Coffey, Master in City Planning 2015
Negotiating Neighborhood Priorities: The Politics of Risk & Development in Medellín’s Comuna 8
Callida Cenizal, Master in City Planning 2015
Governing the metropolis: The evolution of cooperative metropolitan governance in Mexico City’s public transportation
George Beane, Master in City Planning 2014 & Master of Science in Architecture Studies 2015
Hydro-Social Infrastructures: New Models for Water-Sensitive Urban Development in Mexico City
Hector Flores-Ramirez, Master in City Planning 2015
Notes Towards a Place-Based Approach for the Development of Southern Mexico
Kate Mytty, Master in City Planning 2015
The Role of Actors and Incentives in Municipal Solid Waste Management: a Case Study on Muzaffarnagar, India
Yael Borofsky, Master in City Planning 2015 & Science, Technology and Policy 2015
Towards a Transdisciplinary Approach to Rural Electrification Planning for Universal Access in India
Sarah Dimson, Master in City Planning 2014
A Planning Paradigm for Electrification in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Case Study of Tanzania
Laura Martin, Master in City Planning 2014
Culture, Cooperation and Planning for Development in Maputo, Mozambique
Lillian Steponaitis, Master in City Planning 2014
Too Legit to Quit: Exploring Concepts of Legitimacy and Power in Scaling-Up Community Development Work (Brazil)
Anna Gross, Master in City Planning 2013
Stree Mukti Sanghatana: Exploring the Work of an Indian NGO through Gender, Economy, and Civil Society
- African Studies Association (ASA)
- American Public Health Association (APHA)
- Association of American Geographers (AAG)
- The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP)
- Brazilian Studies Association (BRASA)
- Latin American Studies Association (LASA)
- Urban Affairs Association (UAA)
- New England Graduate Student Water Symposium
- Urban Africa
- The Science Impact Collaborative
- Presidential Fellows Program
The Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress Fellows Program allows undergraduate and graduate students a year-long opportunity to study U.S. leadership and governance. Fellows attend two conferences, write a paper, and gain professional mentors.
- BRASA Brazilian Initiation Scholarship (BIS) Award
The Brazilian Initiation Scholarship award helps cover the costs of exploratory research or language training in Brazil.
- CDC Fellowships
The Public Health Associate Program (PHAP) is a two-year fellowship, and the Public Health Prevention Service (PHPS) is a three-year training and service fellowships for master's level public health professionals. The CDC also has the Pathways Program, providing opportunities for students and graduates.
- MIT Language Conversation Exchange
Informal conversation partnerships open to all members of the MIT community.
- The Cambridge Center for Adult Education
The Cambridge Center for Adult Education provides reasonably priced 9-week Portuguese classes.
- Middlebury Language Schools: Portuguese
This seven week summer program at Middlebury College in Vermont focuses on language, culture, and literature.
- Harvard Extension School
The Harvard Extension School provides fall and spring classes in elementary Portuguese.