You are here

A Statement from IES Director, Maria Goula

Photo of Maria Goula, Director of the Institute for European Studies


As a landscape architect, I am interested in the defense of public space: public space as the physical and immaterial fabric for emancipation and social education of the young, as a test field for inclusion and tolerance toward the other; as a reserve of land for species and earth’s processes; ultimately, as the necessary resource for health and wellness for all without fees. My work involves the study of the conditions and processes which contribute to the making of good public space as a catalyst for genuinely shared commons.

Coming in as director, my training obliges me to listen; not to interrupt the ongoing conversations, as late Michel Corajoud, one of the most relevant representatives of the European Landscape Architecture tradition, would say. I aim to understand, support, and when possible, unfold and expand the potential that is already in place. I am excited to continue the work of former directors, to develop further the migration series project and to engage with Cornell faculty and students, as well as facilitate the collaboration of Einaudi Center with IES staff this coming year.

As the Migrations initiative is aligned to Cornell’s mission on Global Development I am thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to a territorialization of the discussions already developed on such poignant matter. 

I am excited to multiply synergies between the scholarly production in Europe and enhance Cornell’s role as an intellectual hub that has the power to propel deeply needed change in regard to a broader understanding of migration phenomena and their spatial footprint, recomposing models for placemaking that include other species and newcomers, incorporating complexities and embracing their implied uncertainties, as a new framework toward alternative, responsible models of inhabitation.


Maria Goula, PhD UPC

Director Institute for European Studies

Associate Professor

Landscape Architecture Department

Cornell University