Hernán Bianchi Benguria

PhD Student, (he/him)


Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

Political ecology of extraction, green capitalism, socioenvironmental justice, land and natural resource conflicts, Latin America.

Working Dissertation


Demystifying electromobility: The lithium hinterland and socioenvironmental justice in the Atacama Desert


Prof. Scott Prudham
Prof. Sharlene Mollett
Prof. Kanishka Goonewardena
Prof. Christian Abizaid


I am a PhD in Human Geography student at the University of Toronto, supervised by Prof. Scott Prudham, and part of the political economy of environment and political ecology ‘PE2’ research group based in the Department of Geography and Planning and the School of the Environment at UofT. I have been recently collaborating as a board member in the non-profit OPSYS Landscape Infrastructure Lab in a series of publications on landscape urbanism, territory, and colonialism; which included the Canadian EXTRACTION Exhibition at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. I was a 2017–18 Canada Program Research Fellow at the Harvard Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. I have experience in urban and environmental planning for both the private and public sectors in Chile, having served in Chile’s Ministry of Land as Head of the Territorial Studies Department and Coordinator for the creation and reconfiguration of numerous official protected areas, including four National Parks and Reserves.

My research lies at the intersection of clean energy hinterlands, sustainable development policies, and socioenvironmental justice while concerned with how the electromobility transition—marketed as a technological fix in the global move towards decarbonization under climate change—is interacting with the traditional livelihoods of local Atacameño/Lickanantay Indigenous communities in the Atacama Salt Flat, Chile. This work aims to uncover how the electromobility industry, facilitated by the Chilean state and global sustainable development policies, is driving narratives that essentially make invisible the territorial and ecological dispossession of Indigenous communities.


BArch, MSc in Urban Development, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.
MDesS in Urbanism, Landscape, and Ecology, Harvard Graduate School of Design.