Domingo Acosta: Affordable Public Housing in Venezuela Planning and Urban Design in a Socialist Context

Photograph of a rural housing tract in Venezuela.

Department of City and Regional Planning Professional Planning Colloquium

Domingo Acosta is an architect and urban designer whose research concentrates on sustainable urbanism and architecture, with a practice focused on new affordable public housing developments. He is also a professor at the College of Architecture and Urbanism at the Universidad Central de Venezuela. Acosta received a master of architecture and a doctorate in architecture from the University of California–Berkeley.

Acosta will discuss the current planning environment in Venezuela which is facing challenges as the Venezuelan government has undertaken an unprecedented program to build hundreds of thousands of affordable housing units. This goal was intensified by the 2012 presidential election campaign promises of better housing. One main result is an ethical challenge for planners and designers — how to deal with the government’s election promises and populist-socialist goals, while giving priority to serving the public interest and improving the quality of life of tenants and their communities.