The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Monica Bernal Llanos

Monica is a recipient of the DPU60 PhD scholarship, covering full fees, a monthly stipend for three years and fieldwork travel.

Nationality: Colombia

Year of entry: 2014


Architect, MBA and a graduate of the MSc Environment and Sustainable Development (ESD) at the DPU. My masters’ dissertation involved a nuanced understanding of the policy agendas in Colombia, in regards to climate change and disaster risk reduction and their potential for integration both at the national and at the city level. I’ve worked for the DPU as a research assistant in the fieldwork component of the ESD course and in a research project that aims to evaluate the agency of 3D mapping in social, ethical, legal and regulatory issues in urban contexts focusing in Lima, Peru.

Research information

Title: “ The co-production of natural and social order in the context of climate change adaptation. The case of Region Capital “

Key Topics: co-production, science/policy interaction, adaptation


Cities in the Global South are increasingly being called for the mainstreaming of the climate change adaptation agenda into development planning as developing cities are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change than their industrialised counterparts. There are several narratives in the literature of how this mainstreaming is taking place but these are not accounting for how the unfolding of this agenda brings to the surface the way local governments approach development more in general.

This research draws on the theories of Science and Technology studies (S&TS) to explain how the incorporation of the adaptation agenda highlights both the politics and the processes of knowledge production within the local government. As an analytical framework, this thesis uses and adds to the idiom of the co-production of natural and social order proposed by the field of S&TS. This co-production can be observed in four different but crosscutting processes: the making of identities, discourses, institutions and representations. These pathways of co-production serve to frame the findings of this research and to make a comprehensive case for unpacking how local development planning and governance both shape and are shaped by the government’s efforts to adapt to a changing climate.

The conceptual proposition of this thesis is applied to the first attempt in Colombia to mainstream climate change into city planning: a climate change plan for Bogotá and the region where it is embedded. The thesis presents empirical findings that illustrate how new identities, discourses, institutions and representations are emerging as a result of the framing of climate change as a new hazard to development. At the same time, this framing is missing the fact that the impacts of climate change are being exacerbated by the liabilities of past and current development models.


Dr Cassidy Johnson
Professor Julio D. Davila