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Waste Pickers Global Coordinator, WIEGO & Lecturer in Architecture, Design and Urbanism, Universidad de la República Uruguay

Lucia Fernandez is the Waste Pickers Program Coordinator at WIEGO as well as a lecturer and research assistant at the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Urbanism - Social and Solidarity Economy & Cooperatives Academic Unit at the Universidad de la República, in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Lucia Fernandez holds an MA in Architecture on the theme of “spontaneous recycling dynamics in the cities of Montevideo and Paris during the 19th century" from the Ecole d'Architecture de Grenoble. She also holds a MA in Ethics and Sustainable Development from the Faculté de Philosophie de Lyon, France, on the intersection of tradition and modernity around waste management.

An international specialist on informal recycling, Lucia has worked for more than 15 years with waste pickers’ organizations in over 20 countries. Her committed work assisting small cooperatives and trade unions in her native Uruguay and supporting large-scale networking has led to the creation of the Latin-American Waste Pickers Movement and the Global Alliance of Waste Pickers.

Lucia has applied her unique academic foundation, where urban planning and sustainable development come together to bring innovative solutions for sustainable and inclusive cities, to a research affiliation with the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT between 2011 and 2013. At MIT’s D-Lab Waste, Lucia also taught a course on informal recycling, where her knowledge of zero waste strategies was combined with a deep understanding of urban complex dynamics in the global south.


  • –present
    Wastepickers Global Coordinator, WIEGO, WIEGO


  • 2011 
    Faculté de Philosophie de Lyon, France, MA in Ethics and Sustainable Development