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Elena Castellanos

Class of 2021-2022

About Elena

As a 2021-2022 Henry Luce Scholar, placed at the University of Seoul’s Community and Urban Design Lab, Elena Castellanos studied Seoul’s Seongdong-gu District’s government-led anti-gentrification policies’ impact on Seongsu-dong’s commercial displacement and development. Elena Castellanos graduated from Claremont McKenna College in 2021, majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) and Public Policy. At CMC, Elena found herself immersed in the connections between the soul of a community and its physical form. She was a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Research fellow studying how feminist epistemology can serve as a tool for evaluating unjust spatial arrangements and aid urban planners in justifying participatory planning methods. Elena’s research at the intersections of space and equity has also led her to study the impacts of the 2008 recession on rural community development in Ottumwa, Iowa, and the uses of urban design as a tool for social exclusion during apartheid in Cape Town, South Africa. She is committed to increasing the accessibility of urban planning and enhancing community capacity by offering opportunities to learn, collaborate, and design. This Fall, Elena will begin her Master of Urban Planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

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