“I went from theory to practice, and from local to global.” —Alfonso Vegara (Spain ’87)
Alfonso Vegara, calls himself an architect who builds the cities of the future. His motivation for his work is that he believes the key challenges of humanity can be addressed at the scale of the city. Solutions for challenges such as social integration, climate change and job creation can all be faced through urban design and planning. After his fellowship, he went on to found Fundacion Metropoli, an international center of excellence dedicated to research, design, and innovation in cities around the world.
Vegara’s fellowship experience took his work from “theory to practice” and from “local to global,” building on his connections and relationships with the Fellows in his program from 1987 to develop new partnerships with 25 countries where his fellow Fellows lived. He contacted every one of them shortly after the completion of his fellowship to begin developing relationships with their respective governments. Thirty years after his Eisenhower Fellowship, Alfonso Vegara is still traveling all over the world designing sustainable models for major metropolitan cities, including his latest project in 10 new sustainable and ethically developed tourist attractions throughout Indonesia – a project that involves partnering with another Eisenhower Fellow, Bambang Brodjonegoro (Indonesia ’02), the national director of planning for the Republic of Indonesia.
Brodjonegoro, prior to this most recent role, was formerly the minister of finance for Indonesia. His training in both urban planning and economics makes him a perfect partner for working with Vegara. Vegara and Brodjonegoro discovered one another through a global conference that Eisenhower Fellowships hosted in Spain in the fall of 2017, where another Indonesian Fellow made an introduction for the pair.
Read here for more details on the Indonesian development project.