Lyvia Rodríguez Del Valle: Contested Territories and Climate Change Adaptation in Puerto Rico: The case of the Caño Martín Peña Community Land Trust

a street sign partially underwater from a flood

image / Kelly Sikkema


Lyvia N. Rodríguez Del Valle is an urban and regional planner who has worked for 27 years in issues related to the right to the city, disaster risk management, collective land tenure as a means to prevent displacement in self-built settlements, and participatory action-planning. She was the founding executive director of the internationally renowned Proyecto ENLACE del Caño Martín Peña and of the innovative, World Habitat Award recipient Fideicomiso de la Tierra del Caño Martín Peña. As cofounder of El Enjambre, Lyvia accompanies organizations striving to strengthen their grassroots work as it connects to wider issues, and continues to explore the regularization of self-built settlements through collective land tenure, as a strategy of adaptation to climate change. Occasionally, Lyvia teaches at the Graduate School of Planning, University of Puerto Rico.


The archipelago of Puerto Rico, a colonized, unincorporated U.S. territory in the Caribbean, is currently the scenario of disputes for the land as the effects of global warming continue to unravel. Years of severe austerity measures and privatization, economic stagnation, massive emigration, and generous tax incentives luring US citizens to become Puerto Rico residents have spatial dimensions. As cries of large-scale gentrification and displacement and the conflicts between private and common interests, particularly around energy and coastal management, continue to surge, a comprehensive approach to just transitions, particularly with regards to relocations, land, and inequality, is urgent. Using the case of the ENLACE Caño Martín Peña Project as a reference, the talk will explore the lessons and potential of collective land tenure, participatory local governance, and stewardship as an alternative to face such challenges.

Please register in advance for this lecture here.


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