Successful doctoral defense of M.Sc. José Fernando Chapa

Title: “Co-design and Implementation of a Green Infrastructure Prototype in an Urban Context of Latin America”


The doctoral defense of José Fernando Chapa Zumba, M.Sc., of his thesis entitled “Co-design and Implementation of a Green Infrastructure Prototype in an Urban Context of Latin America” took place at the Technische Universität Darmstadt on March 09, 2022. José’s research focused on the experience in planning, designing, and constructing a prototype for improving the urban drainage in the metropolitan area of Costa Rica in the context of the BMBF funded SEE-URBAN-WATER project.

A key aspect of the study was the involvement of scholars and non-scholar actors in the definition of major parameters for the placement and performance of the experimental infrastructure. This study is reported as one of the first academic efforts in the region to explore the potential of nature-based solutions from a socio-ecological perspective. The examination committee graded José’s oral defense and thesis with Magna Cum Laude (“very good”) and the title of Doctor of Engineering (Dr.-Ing), becoming the first graduate from the section of Ecological Engineering at the Department of Materials and Geosciences, and also the first doctoral student under the supervision of Prof. Dr.-Ing Jochen Hack. Major results of the study can be found within the four publications that comprised the research:

• Chapa, F., Hariharan, S., Hack, J., 2019. A new approach to high-resolution urban land use classification using open-access software and true color satellite images. Sustainability 11.

• Chen, V., Bonilla Brenes, J.R., Chapa, F., Hack, J., 2021. Development and modeling of realistic retrofitted Nature-based Solution scenarios to reduce flood occurrence at the catchment scale. Ambio 50, 1462–1476.

• Towsif Khan, S., Chapa, F., Hack, J., 2020. Highly Resolved Rainfall-Runoff Simulation of Retrofitted Green Stormwater Infrastructure at the Micro-Watershed Scale. Land 9, 339.

• Chapa, F.; Perez, M.; Hack, J. Experimenting Transition to Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems — Identifying Constraints and Unintended Processes in a Tropical Highly Urbanized Watershed. Water 2020, 12.