Paulina Campos Villaseñor

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2016


This profile was prepared when Paulina Campos Villaseñor was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2016.
The New Idea
Seeing the destructive effects of the housing development, stripped of any type of social cohesion, Paulina has launched a new approach that empowers residents in housing units, by creating self-sustaining community organizations, revitalizing public spaces, and developing projects that promote social cohesion. Paulina´s approach is based on residents´ real needs, which she surveys, maps, and analyzes before all community interventions. She intervenes to establish resource centers and reclaim neighborhood public spaces and catalyze self-sustaining neighborhood organizations directed at solving the specific location-specific issues. From the very beginning, participating members are given the duty of identifying and prioritizing community problems, and then designing and managing all aspects of their projects to allow the programs to be sustainable long-term.

Approaching the issue from the structural side, Paulina is influencing credit lenders, construction companies and developers by showing the monetary and public relations benefits of investing in the construction of vibrant communities which both raises the value of the units and lowers abandonment rates. Not only empowering residents, but also forming a private and public sector framework is an essential part of Paulina’s long term vision of all relevant actors having communities´ needs and wellbeing as their core motivation.

Paulina has created a unique intervention program focused on changing the ingrained patterns of disconnection and apathy by reimagining housing centers to be incubators of resilient, connected and vibrant communities.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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