In Memoriam

Mario Lungo
Martim O. Smolka and Laura Mullahy, July 1, 2005

We are deeply saddened to report that in early May the Lincoln Institute lost one of our key partners in the Program on Latin America and the Caribbean. Mario Lungo was knowledgeable, talented and prolific as a teacher, researcher and author. Moreover, he truly understood the mission of the Latin America Program and how he could best contribute to it.

An architect, urban planner and social scientist from El Salvador, Mario was head of the Department of Spatial Organization at the “Jose Simeón Cañas” Central American University in San Salvador. He lectured on architecture, urban studies and planning and conducted research on large-scale urban development projects, immigration, risk management, urban planning and governance. He was previously director of the Planning Office of the Metropolitan Area of San Salvador in El Salvador between 1998 and 2003, and conducted research programs in Central America for more than 15 years. He published extensively in books and journals in different languages and taught in several countries of Europe, North America and Latin America.

Mario was the leader of the Institute’s work in Central America and specifically on large-scale urban development projects. Martim first met Mario Lungo in 1988 in Quito at an international seminar on environmental and urban development issues. When we began organizing a Latin American network of scholars and experts to develop research and educational programs on land policy, Mario stood out as a key figure, not only in El Salvador, but in all of Central America. He was definitively one of the best known scholars in the region, as well as a respected and admired colleague.

Martim O. Smolka and Laura Mullahy, Program on Latin America and the Caribbean, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

In Central America the magnitude and impact of Mario Lungo’s work has been significant since he introduced the field of urban land studies to the region in the 1990s. He had a great capability to organize local networks, to encourage young students to develop in the field, to understand Central America’s urban problems, and to visualize ways to address them. Mario left behind an important heritage and with his death he encourages us to continue the work he started. We learned from him not only academic issues, but also his way of facing life.

Silvia García Vettorazzi
Program in Planning and Urban Development, Rafael Landívar University, Guatemala City, Guatemala

I had the opportunity to be with Mario in many different cities at different times. He is now in a city that I do not know, but I’m sure he’s making marvelous observations about it.

Alfredo Garay, Under-Secretary of planning, Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina