Macarena Rau, ICA International President: Community Benefit

Article from the «Mexican Leaders» magazine. Link to the original article in Spanish: https://lideresmexicanos.com/entrevistas/macarena-rau-beneficio-comunitario/

In her early years as a student she worked with her uncle Leopoldo Prat Vargas on different projects, where she discovered that the human being occupied a position in the design of buildings and cities considered as a client and not as an enviromental native expert.

In the search for an alternative, she found hospital architecture, which was complemented by architectural designs that would help the well-being of the sick and their families. That was the prelude to Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED).

Once titled, she looked for work and found a call to learn about a new method in Chile by the Fundación Paz Ciudadana, who had contacted Robert Stephens in Toronto in Canada, a city that had the lowest crime rates and with the lowest fear of America.

“CPTED was one of the strategies that had a decisive influence in Canada. By accepting the invitation, Robert asked for a link to train someone in the methodology. This is how a public contest was opened where I was chosen. That was in the year 2000.”

Macarena had studied how architecture and urban planning help reduce human pain and the leap he took was how, thanks to CPTED’s methodology, human fear is reduced. «Pain and fear are connected. Both are strong emotions which have to do with our survival instinct and are essential in human biology.» She was very interested in the CPTED methodology and from that moment she was a disciple of Robert Stephens, to this day.

In 2012 Macarena Rau came to Mexico to organize a regional CPTED summit in Mexico City, with the Iberoamerican University being the headquarters.

CPTED in Latin America

When the methodology mutated from his first to the second generation there was a very important Hispanic influence. “In Mexico the program starts in 2012, after having generated the necessary evidence to be able to impact in other countries after the Chilean experience. As we have entered a very scientific world, we must measure everything to create the evidence, create the culture of impact evaluation, to see how the phenomenon fluctuates. ”

The challenges

Macarena came to the Presidency of the ICA two years ago, after being part of the Board for 16 years, being the last four in the Vice Presidency.

“When I arrived at ICA, I was the only Spanish speaker, which was a great responsibility, which is why I was appointed Latin American Director at age 26. I spent several years in that position until I was appointed Vice President. Now what I have as responsibility is to lead and realize the vision of the next development of CPTED, backed by the Board, in addition to promoting global initiatives that promote our methodology ”.

After more than 20 years of working with the CPTED methodology and at the ICA, Macarena feels very satisfied, because it is something she enjoys very much.

“In general, the work you love is the basis of success, I have a great time, fun, it really is something that I love. Of course I look for the balance, as a mother, wife, it fills me so much for the community benefit that my work brings and what I lead. When I go to a community where there is less fear and pain, because of the reduction in crime, I am filled with happiness, seeing children play in the squares, talking with people and hearing how their lives have changed after they arrived CPTED ”

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