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Gara Villalba Méndez

ICREA Acadèmia 2020

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona · Engineering Sciences

Gara Villalba Méndez

Gara Villalba holds a BSc in Chemical Engineering (Massachusetts Institute of Technology,1998), and a PhD also in Chemical Engineering (Universitat de Barcelona, 2003). Presently, she is a full professor in the dept of Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona where she develops her research in the field of Industrial Ecology with a focus on urban systems and nature-based solutions.  

Research interests

My primary research interests and experience stem from Industrial Ecology, a field that aims to reconfigure industrial activity in response to knowledge of environmental consequences. One of the impact areas I have concentrated my efforts is the evaluation and design of urban systems, exploring how nature-based solutions such as green infrastructures can be effective in contributing to making cities more resilient to climate change and more sustainable in terms of water management, food production, air quality, human well-being and biodiversity. To this end, I was recently awarded an ERC Consolidator grant entitled Integrated System Analysis of Urban Vegetation and Agriculture (URBAG, 2019-2024) to develop a novel and comprehensive analysis that integrates the life cycle impacts of the resources required for green infrastructures with the understanding of how green infrastructures impact the urban atmosphere interaction. 


urban atmospheric modeling, urban metabolism, green infrastructures, nature based solutions, urban and peri-urban agriculture, life cycle assessment, urban planning, air quality, GHG emissions.

ICREA Memoir 2023