Vanessa Copa Torrez


Vanessa has a Bachelor of Environmental Engineer and a Masters of Integrated Water Management with the International Water Centre at the University of Queensland, Australia. Vanessa worked as an environmental engineer for five years, across both the public and private sector in numerous community development projects in urban and rural areas of Bolivia. She has also worked as the technical advisor of the Minister of Environment and Water of Bolivia, representing her country at meetings with organisations like the United Nations and the World Bank in events such as the 18th Conference of Parties at Doha, Qatar, the 24th meeting of the parties to the Montreal Protocol at Geneva, Switzerland and the Forum for East Asia-Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC) for Young Leaders in Tokyo, Japan. In the academic field she has worked on a number of research projects in Bolivia, Indonesia, New Zealand and Australia. Currently she is doing a PhD on water and sustainability in developing Asian cities at Monash University.

Research Topic

Developing Asian Cities leapfrogging towards Sustainable Urban Water Management

Research Interests

sustainable development, water management, urban water governance, urban sustainability, transitions theory, developing city contexts, indigenous knowledge

Project Summary

Vanessa’s doctoral research seeks to develop an explanatory framework for assessing potential conditions to inform leapfrogging strategies in developing Asian cities towards sustainable urban water management. The underlying ambition is to advance transitions management (leapfrogging) scholarship and analytically inform urban water strategists, including funding agencies and national governments, through the delivery of a framework that underpins the development of sustainable urban water management in developing countries.


Prof Rebekah Brown
Dr Briony Rogers
Dr Annette Bos

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