Director of Urban Expansion, Solly Angel, delivered the keynote address, “Cities and Information,” at Cátedra Fulbright 2021: Ciudad e Información (in Spanish), offering lessons from his urban-planning career. One lesson was learned while participating in a 1969 international competition to propose a design for a low-income neighborhood in Lima. He spent a month in Comas, a barriada (shanty town) on the outskirts of Lima, which yielded anthropological insights into generalized urban forms that corresponded to the way the people lived:
A culture does not yield its secrets, its unique perspective on life, its expertise, or its traditions to satellites, like Landsat, flying at 700 kilometers above the earth. It requires human contact. It requires patience. It requires engagement.