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Hugo Sarmiento

Hugo Sarmiento is an Assistant Professor in the Urban Planning Program at Columbia GSAPP, and faculty affiliate at the Climate School’s Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes. His research critically examines the relationship between climate adaptation and spatial injustices such as racial segregation, unequal housing markets and poor infrastructure in the urban context.

He draws on urban critical theory, political economy and comparative research to interrogate dominant paradigms in resilience theory and emerging adaptation and disaster recovery strategies. Central to his research agenda is centering the grassroots resistance, social movements and insurgent planning efforts which shape these strategies, and more broadly the social-ecological transition cities are undergoing in response to the climate crisis.

He has a special interest in US and Latin American urban geographies, having completed projects in Brazil, Colombia and Puerto Rico. His most recent research has focused on the relocation, and displacement, of communities vulnerable to flooding in Colombian cities.

In New York City, he has collaborated with the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice on studies of community-centered approaches to managed retreat, most recently via a GSAPP studio. Currently, he is researching collective land rights as a basis for climate adaptation, in collaboration with community leaders in Edgemere who are in the process of forming a community land trust on the Rockaway peninsula.

Hugo is also an Early Career Faculty Impact fellow at Columbia World Projects. Here, his research, in partnership with Colombia’s national adaptation fund, is focused on planning strategies for sustaining and scaling community-based strategies for climate resettlements and the recovery of water ecosystems.

Hugo received his PhD at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the Department of Urban Planning.


Course Semester Title Student Work Instructor Syllabus Requirements & Sequence Location & Time Session & Points Call No.
Pla4208‑1 Fall 2024
Planning Methods
Hugo Sarmiento
W 3 PM - 5 PM
3 Points
PLA6036‑1 Spring 2024
Urban Political Ecology and the Climate Crisis
Hugo Sarmiento
F 1 PM - 3 PM
3 Points
PLA6944‑1 Spring 2024
Cities at Risk: Climate Adaptation in a Global Context
Hugo Sarmiento
M 3 PM - 5 PM
3 Points