MArch student Maria Angela Viaje is the 2024 recipient of the Learning from Liveable Cities: The Joyce Drohan Travel Award. The prize will support travel to Indonesia, the Philippines, and Japan to conduct research for her project, Understanding Desakotas: A Study on Land Use and Subverting Binary Urban-Non-urban Paradigms. Desakota, a term coined by UBC urban geographer Terry McGee, describes regions that are the outcome of rapid urban growth, creating “corridors joining large cities, strong rural-urban linkages, and a mixture of urban and rural activities.” These spaces also demonstrate high mobility, a coexistence of different land uses, and higher female participation in labour. In investigating these spaces and their unique outcomes, Angela’s research proposal aims to deepen the understanding of non-Western urban frameworks, speculating upon ways North American models of urbanism could be improved upon.

A luncheon to honour Angela will be held on Tuesday, March 19 at the Ideas Lounge at 12:30 p.m. The event will also feature a presentation by last year’s winner, Chloe Boisvert. Space is limited, so please RSVP to attend.

Learning from Liveable Cities: The Joyce Drohan Travel Award is a $10,000 award given annually to a student enrolled in a graduate program at SALA. The award is funded through gifts from the family and friends of Joyce Drohan (1954-2022), who taught urban design at the school and was an award-winning architect and urban designer of public sector projects and sustainable communities. She believed that good urban design was crucial to creating liveable, sustainable, and resilient cities that expressed the historic, cultural, and social dimensions of their communities. She also believed that knowledge and experience of international examples and best practices enabled designers to accomplish these goals in Canadian cities.