Cara Flores MSc

PhD Candidate
Urban Futures

As a four-year PhD candidate, Cara is working on a project focused on Decolonizing Mapping Practices Towards Sustainable Development. This is a joint project between the Urban Futures Studio and the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development that looks into applying a decolonial framework to mapping practices with the purpose of better addressing island communities unique sustainable challenges. This project focuses on small island environments and involves participatory Geographic Systems, as well as qualitative methods and creative processes to co-design visualizations of local place knowledge. 


Cara has always been interested in people and their relationship to place and how factors like gender, migration, and histories of colonisation, impact a community's sense of place. She is interested in how artistic methods of visualization can be used to not only subvert dominant narratives, but imagine alternate ways of being. Before coming to th Netherlands, Cara completed a series of mapping projects in Taiwan, through a Fulbright Fellowship which also funded her Master's in interdisciplinary design. While in Taiwan, she worked closely with migrant workers and Non-govermental organizations to host map-making workshops that visualized relationships to place, migration histories, as well as hopes and desires to make better placemaking suggestions for Taiwan’s growing migrant worker population.


With a sociology and fine arts background, she has always been interested in working within the intersection of social science theories and creative thinking. This has led her to study migration and printmaking in Florence, Italy, and how better design practices could be used to tackle social issues in Cebu, Philippines. As a member of the Urban Futures Studio she aims to more closely look into how a decolonial praxis within sustainable development can open the opportunity for more imaginative and inclusive futures.