Marcela Angel

Research Program Director, MIT

Big Bet: Prevent landslide deaths through data prediction and community action.

Project: Promote equitable climate change adaptation through the integration of enhanced technologies and community-based planning aimed at developing landslide risk data collection, modeling, and forecasting capacities; informing urban planning; and promoting ecological restoration. The project was developed in the city of Mocoa in the Colombian Andean-Amazon piedmont, and has the potential to serve as a model for other regions facing similar climate risks.

Marcela Angel is Research Program Director at the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative ESI, where she conducts research at the intersection of environmental policy and planning and international development, leveraging technology development and community-based planning to advance natural climate solutions.
Marcela serves as the director for ESI’s Natural Climate Solutions Program, a platform for collaboration among researchers, government agencies, environmental planning authorities, and community-based groups, aimed at designing, executing and disseminating innovative low-carbon and regenerative development models to mitigate climate change, conserve biodiversity, and reduce climate risks, while generating local economic development and prosperity for communities living in vulnerable ecosystems in Latin America. Her previous work at MIT´s Department of Urban Studies and Planning includes the development of spatial analysis tools and qualitative research to make the distribution of ecological services from green public spaces more equitable in urban areas.

Marcela has a Master’s in City Planning (MCP´18) from MIT and a Summa Cum Laude B.A in Architecture from Los Andes University in Bogotá, Colombia. Marcela is a member of the BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Network.