Founder of Urban Oasis
2019 Global Fellow
Urban Oasis seeks to empower communities of informal settlements across Latin America to actively engage in their own development. Although informality is the dominant urban form in the Global South, governments and planners frequently overlook local communities as key actors of transformation processes. Urban Oasis unites underrepresented communities with diverse stakeholders in multidisciplinary urban labs to co-create sustainable, inclusive tools for citizen-driven change. Activating local knowledge and potential of communities offers innovative paths for holistic urban development and scalable collective solutions to tackle the global challenges of the urban age.
Albert Kreisel is co-founder and co-director of Urban Oasis, an international think-and-do-tank co-producing solutions for inclusive and sustainable transformations of informal neighborhoods. Trained as an architect in Berlin, he has taken his most vital inspiration from journeys across Latin America investigating the way people live, their diverse and common struggles and dreams, and how urban planning affects our societies, defining spaces for individual and collective evolvement. In 2013 Albert first came to live in the informal Moravia neighborhood in Medellín, an experience that changed his personal and professional life. Moravia’s extraordinary people, history, genesis, and actual situation between rising opportunities and the threat of state-driven relocation became Albert’s strongest motivation to act. Together with Cielo María Holguín Ramirez and other friends, he started the platform Urban Lab Medellin | Berlin, bringing together different urban actors to unite powers and skills, exchange perspectives, and co-create strategies to improve life in Moravia. The project has great potential, and he wants to share this experience and scale up the impact by empowering other communities to shape their habitat. Albert is a 2019 Echoing Green Fellow.