Early Fall Virtual Seminar Iquitos, Peru: Urban Development and Human and Ecological Health in the Amazon Rainforest


The virtual exploration seminar in Iquitos is up on the study abroad website & applications are open now through May 15. Info sessions to be scheduled.

Program Description

Iquitos, a city in the Amazon Rainforest, is the fifth largest city in Peru with 0.5 million people. The organically formed urban development has exacerbated poverty levels and social inequity with profound implications on quality of life, health and well-being, and ecological resilience. Offered by the Departments of Landscape Architecture and Global Health, this program will immerse students in contemporary interdisciplinary dialogue surrounding intersections between urban design, global health, and ecology in the Amazon ecosystem.

 

Adaptation of the exploration seminar to virtual reality (VR) technology will create unique, immersive experiences for students. Students will study pristine rainforest ecosystems and draw comparisons to new peri-urban nodes and mature urban developments that are coming face-to-face with social, ecological, and health crises at local and global scales. Using VR technology, students will also visit projects and initiatives leading efforts aimed at mitigating these problems and will apply tools to research, document, and assess the built and natural environments.

 

This program will include three general areas of study: 1) Social, Cultural and Ecological Context 2) Community Based Participatory Action and Community Intervention 3) Health and Built Environment Impact Research and Intervention Assessment. The program will include lectures and discussions and virtual site visits and field assessments facilitated by use of 360 degree footage and 3D glasses. Students will examine questions such as: What are the social, political, and environmental drivers and implications of rural-urban migration? What are the socio-cultural, spatial and material characteristics of Iquitos’ public spaces and their impacts on health? What are the conditions of life for people and animals in the Peruvian Amazon like? How might community based participatory action and community interventions in the built environment serve as agents of positive change?


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