Pimentel Walker, Arquero de Alarcon Brazil Capstone & Studio Wins Planning Award

An Urban and Regional Planning Capstone Studio and Architecture Studio won the Michigan Association of Planning’s “Outstanding Graduate Student Project Award” for 2018. The project “Ocupação Anchieta Avança! (Ocupação Anchieta Forward!),” was led by instructors Assistant Professor of Urban and Regional Planning Ana Paula Pimentel Walker and Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban and Regional Planning Maria Arquero de Alarcon.

As more residents claim space outside Sao Paulo, Brazil, in informal settlements, the occupied development highlights the extreme clash between environmental protections and the right to housing of informal settlers. Poverty, precarious housing and substandard infrastructure threaten public health and degrade natural resources. As such, informal dwellers and landowners welcomed the partnership with the University of Michigan to address conflicts between the right to dignified housing and a healthy environment, led by faculty and students from U-M’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning.

The graduate students enrolled in the award-winning work include: Ashish Bhandari (MArch); Michelle Bohrson (MURP); Cheng Cheng (MURP); Abhishek Alark Desai (MArch); Laura Devine (MArch); Ning Ding (MArch); Grant Hong (MURP); Xiyao Hu (MArch); Sophie Jantz (MURP); Sara Pizzo (MURP); Alexandra Ramirez (MURP); Nikita Sharad Rane (MArch); Antonela Sallaku (MArch); Yao Tang (MArch); Charisma Thapa (MURP); Isaac Wolf (MURP); Lihang Wu (MURP); Shiyu Wu (MArch); Yameng Zhang (MArch); and Anyuan Zhou (MArch).

Graduate students collaborating in the development and implementation of the plan recommendations through the FORD C3 and DOW Distinguished Sustainability Award, and the dissemination through the Michigan Journal of Sustainability include: Michael Amidon (MArch/MUD); Olaia Chivite Amigo (MArch); Erika Linenfelser (MUD/MURP) and Bruna Oewel (MDes).

The award will be presented at the Michigan Association of Planning (MAP) Annual Conference on September 21, 2018.

The Michigan Association of Planning, the state chapter of the American Planning Association, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting sound community land use planning that benefits the residents of Michigan. Learn more at