Dr Emilio Jose Garcia

BArch Urb(UNT-Tucuman), MArch(UNAM), PhD(Well)


Dr. Emilio Jose Garcia is an architect and urban designer. Since 2013 he has been working as a Lecturer in Sustainability at the School of Architecture and Planning in the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He obtained his PhD at Victoria University of Wellington in 2013. In the last ten years he has been teaching, practicing and researching in Argentina, Mexico and New Zealand. He has participated in many international competitions in America, Europe and Asia and won a Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction in 2008.

His latest book, "Unravelling Sustainability and Resilience in the Built Environment" explores what sustainability and resilience means when applied to the built environment, how they are related to each other and why they are still important concepts for designers. The book is the output of 6 years of research on the application of ecological resilience to urban landscapes and it links resilience to the analysis of compact cities, heritage, eco-cities using case studies from Europe, Asia and Latin America. The book offers a measurement of resilience in the built environment using a morphological approach.

Research | Current

My currrent research is focused on getting a deeper insight into the resilience of cities using two approaches:

1) Developing an alternative way of approaching the sustainability and resilience of cities through the research of the limits of urban complexity. The purpose of this project is to collect empirical evidence and to analyse case studies where an increase in urban and architectural complexity has led to the collapse of neighbourhoods, towns, cities or regions. The research uses Tainter’s theoretical framework of collapse, where increments in the complexity of systems produce marginal returns that are unsustainable in long terms. 

2) Exploring how resilience thinking might be useful to understand urgent and timely urban and architectural problems like affordability, gentrification, inequality and limits to urban growth; through the analysis of urban diversity, spatial heterogeneity and urban and architectural complexity. 

Teaching | Current

ARCHDES 200 Design 3 (Coordinator)

ARCHDES 796 MArchProf Thesis 

ARCHGEN 721 Seminar on Urban Resilience

ARCHTECH 108 Architecture and Sustainability (Guest lecturer)

Postgraduate supervision



Doctoral Supervisions

Ta Dung

The production of plural spatiality in the streets of Hanoi


Rugik Gomes, Sergio

Gated territories: Territorial Organization and Control in the Architecture and Urban Design of Gated Communities in Brazil


Mansouri, Aram Shah 

Application of parametric design for manufacturing and assembly to façade retrofit (working title)



MArch(Prof) Supervisions

Darrosh, Ashleigh

Climate migrants and the built environment: Auckland, a case study.


Yi Zhang

Building Resilience to Earthquakes in China 




2008 Holcim Award for Sustainable Construction


Undergraduate Graduate Advisor, Architecture


Areas of expertise







Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Garcia, E. J. (2017). Between grey and green: Ecological resilience in urban landscapes. Landscape Review, 17 (2), 67-82.
  • Garcia, E. J., & Vale, B. (2017). Unraveling sustainability and resilience in the built environment. London, United Kingdom: Routledge. 10.4324/9781315629087
  • Vale, B., & Garcia, E. (2016). The relationship between resilience and sustainability in the built environment. In N. Domingo, S. Wilkinson (Eds.) Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Building Resilience, 550-560. Auckland, New Zealand: Massey University and The University of Auckland. Related URL.
  • Garcia, E. J. (2016). Between grey and green: ecological resilience in urban landscapes. Paper presented at School of Landscape Architecture (SOLA) Research Symposium 2016. Integrated Urban + Green Infrastructure, Christchurch, New Zealand. 9 November - 10 November 2016. Related URL.
  • Garcia, E. J., & Vale, B. (2016). Resilience beyond disasters. In N. Domingo, S. Wilkinson (Eds.) Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Building Resilience held at Auckland, New Zealand, 561-570. Auckland, New Zealand: Massey University and The University of Auckland.
  • Garcia, E. J., Muminovich, M., Vale, B. V., & Radovic, D. (2014). The role of green spaces for the resilience of a city. In R. Cavallo, S. Komossa, N. Marzot, M. Berghauser Pont, J. Kuijper (Eds.) New Urban Configurations, 865-871. Delft University of Technology. 10.3233/978-1-61499-365-0-871
  • Garcia, E. J. (2013). The Application of Ecological Resilience to Urban Landscapes Victoria University of Wellington. Victoria University of Wellington. Related URL.
  • Garcia, E. J., Muminovic, M., Vale, B., & Radovic, D. (2012). The resilience of an assembled identity. Proceedings for International Seminar On Place Making and Identity at Universitas Pembangunan Jaya: Rethinking Urban Approaches to Built Environment, 116-122. Jakarta, Indonesia: Universitas Pembangunan Jaya.


Contact details

Primary office location

Level 3, Room 333
New Zealand

Web links