Carlos Tapia

Senior Research Fellow

Dr Carlos Tapia is specialised in the application of quantitative research methods and statistical learning tools for sustainable and inclusive territorial development. His research interests range from the exploration of territorial inequalities, social vulnerability and regional economic resilience, to the analysis of local innovation processes and the sustainability shifts driven by green and circular transformations.

Academic qualifications
PhD in Geography, University of the Basque Country


Prior positions
2010-2020: Researcher at Tecnalia (Spain)
2007-2009: Consultant in land information systems at Geotech, SL (Spain).
2005-2006: Data analyst at the Ministry of Finance of Italy, Rome (Italy)
2003-2005: Post-doctoral Researcher at the Istituto Agronomico per l’Oltremare (Italy)


Peer-reviewed publications

Bianchi, M., del Valle, I., Tapia, C. (2021) Material productivity, socioeconomic drivers and economic structures: A panel study for European regions, Ecological Economics, Volume 183.

Tapia, C., Bianchi, M., Pallaske, G., & Bassi, A. M. (2021). Towards a territorial definition of a circular economy: exploring the role of territorial factors in closed-loop systems. European Planning Studies, 1-20. 

Bassi, A. M., Bianchi, M., Guzzetti, M., Pallaske, G., & Tapia, C. (2020). Improving the understanding of Circular Economy potential at territorial level using Systems Thinking. Sustainable Production and Consumption27, 128-140.

Bianchi, M., del Valle, I., & Tapia, C. (2020). Measuring eco-efficiency in European regions: Evidence from a territorial perspective. Journal of Cleaner Production276, 123246.

Bianchi, M., Tapia, C., & del Valle, I. (2020). Monitoring domestic material consumption at lower territorial levels: A novel data downscaling method. Journal of Industrial Ecology24(5), 1074-1087.

Mazzanti, M., Tapia, C., & Pegoraro, A. (2020). Innovative local policy instruments enabling sustainable innovation: benchmarking worldwide best practices. Argomenti, (16), 101-131.

Carlos Tapia‘s spatial story

When thinking about my past professional trajectory as a geographer, I always remember myself as a first-grade student of physics in the middle of an existential crisis. Should I really become a physicist? Was the prospect of working on a technical or technological field appealing enough to me? Was that the kind of life I really wanted?

Not only these questions were complicated to answer, but their implications were also quite tricky. Because, if I was to answer no to any of them, well, what was then the alternative? What field should I pick? At the time, I did not have any specific preference for natural or social sciences, not even for humanities or technical disciplines. I was simply curious and interested on the things that were going on around me in a rapidly changing world: the development crisis caused by decolonization and the cold war, the demographic and urban explosions, the climate and environmental crises, the rise of globalization, internet and the technological revolution…

What discipline could possibly allow me to dig into these problems with an inclusive and integrated perspective? Which discipline could have developed a method to systematically address challenges with a broad lenses, avoiding silos and partial views on such complex and multidimensional matters? Well, this is how Geography came in the scene to rescue me. I was lucky enough to find a brand new undergraduate program on Geography launched in the University of the Basque Country, close to my born city of Bilbao.