Dr. Carlos Cadena Gaitan

Affiliated researcher

Research group(s):
5. Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Sustainability Transitions

Dr. Cadena Gaitán obtained his PhD at the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance, within UNU-MERIT, in 2014. Previous to his current post, Dr. Cadena Gaitán accumulated a breadth of experiences in different industries. Within the cultural sector, he has managed the oldest and most important theatre in the city of Medellín. He worked for a government relations agency in Washington D.C, and collaborated with the International Cooperation Agency of Medellín, The Carter Center in Atlanta and the New York City Department of Health. He holds a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies (Georgia State University), and a B.A in Business Management from the McCamish School of Business (Reinhardt University). An avid biker and tennis player, Carlos is also a weekly columnist for several media outlets in Colombia, and co-founder of La Ciudad Verde (www.laciudadverde.org), a think tank  advocating for urban sustainability in Colombia.

Research focus:
Dr. Cadena Gaitán’s work is focused on urban mobility and urban sustainability, with a specific focus in the developing world. He collaborates actively with the National University of Colombia, and EAFIT University in Medellín. His Ph.D research examined the conditions that determine variations in urban transport sustainability outcomes in metropolitan areas of Latin America. Current theory suggests that building urban sustainability cannot just be a local technical dynamic; rather, it must be constructed and contested at various governance levels and through multiple political spaces. Similarly, theory posits that present urban policies are predetermined by previous decisions, which implies high reversal costs for making major changes to the system. Deviating from previous studies that have focused on analyzing urban sustainability technically, and at the local level, his Ph.D work developed an empirical characterization of transport sustainability for Latin American metropolitan areas, and mapped the political determinants of urban sustainability.

Selected publications by Carlos Cadena Gaitan