Platform logo
Explore Communities
Profile Avatar
Alvaro Valera Sosa

Born in Venezuela, Alvaro spent most of his childhood in the U.S.A. to later return and achieve an architecture diploma in Caracas. In Spain, he completed construction management and then moved to Berlin, Germany. His vision to combine health and architecture got him accepted to study at the Charité Medical University of Berlin, the first architect to achieve a Public Health master at this institution. In academia since 2011, Alvaro has been an Evidence-based Design Researcher at the Technische Universität Berlin, where he has conducted numerous pedestrian evaluation projects in various countries. At the TU-Berlin Urban Management Program, he teaches Urban Walkability, and at the Architecture faculty, he conducts research on healthcare delivery environments in collaboration with WHO Téchne. In practice, Alvaro is the founder and manager of BHL Building Health Lab, a Think & Do Tank that creates health strategies to integrate sustainable development goals in urban planning and architectural design. At BHL, he conceptualized and developed UrbanCare, a methodology to assist city planners in structuring cases for urban health in different climate zones such as the Oceanic in Gothenburg, Continental in Berlin, Intermediterranean in Florence, and the Mediterranean climate in Nicosia. Alvaro also acts as commissioning editor for the Cities & Health Journal, collaborates with the German Architects Declare for Climate and Biodiversity, and is a member of the German Alliance for Global Health and the pedestrian advocacy group “Fuß e.V.” in Berlin.
01/08/2022| By
Alvaro Alvaro Valera Sosa,
Göran Göran Lindahl

In planning an urban hospital, the complex priority-setting of goals often neglects how landscape designs impact ecosystem quality and threatens public health. As a result, the difficulty in counteracting the urban heat island effects and reaching sustainable development goals on time exponentially increases. In this context, a research workshop conducted with facility managers, planners, designers, and various groups of hospital users helped to analyze and propose actions to solve climate and health environmental issues for the future redevelopment of the Sahlgrenska University Hospital campus. The groups participated in community-led research and applied landscape planning tools to visualize and problem-solve climate, energy, and urban environmental health issues that affect outdoor campus users and pedestrians. This research is an illustrative case study that depicts how the methods employed in the four-session research workshop and the development of its results on (i) visualizing the street environment and spatial inequities in urban scenes, (ii) reviewing heat, runoff, and biotope data at the pedestrian level, (iii) applying prioritized planning at critical urban scenes, and (iv) proposing spatial design solutions centered on vulnerable hospital outdoor users. The results are descriptions of the group dynamics and their outputs on how public transportation stops, street crossings, free-seating areas, and spaces at building en-trances affect the local urban ecosystem, the energy balance of buildings, and mobility of vulnerable pedestrians, including outdoor workers.