Architect and urban planner with over 35 years of scholarship, activism and practical experience in planning, urban land policy and housing issues. She is a professor in the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism at the University of São Paulo and coordinator of the LabCidade Research Action Lab and Observatory of Evictions.
Over her career, she has held various government positions, including Director of the São Paulo City Planning Department (1989-1992) and National Secretary for Urban Programmes for the Brazilian Ministry of Cities (2003-2007). She was also Urban Policy Coordinator at the Polis Institute (1997-2002) and has worked as a consultant to cities in Brazil and Latin America.
In 2008, she was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council as UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, a position she held through 2014 that gave her a global view of the housing issue. Part of what she learned during this mandate can be found in the book Urban Warfare: Housing and Cities in the Age of Finance (2018, Verso). In addition to this book, Raquel Rolnik is the author of many publications and papers, a blog and a Facebook page where she is a permanent presence in public debate on housing and urban policy in São Paulo, Brazil and the world.