TijuanaAs our 2016-17 academic year comes to a close, we are excited to welcome our new group of students for the 2017-18 term! Here’s what we have in store for our upcoming course, which starts September 26.

New professors

We say it often: One of the aspects that makes our master program so special is the range and quality of its faculty. As a course focused on the role of architecture and urban planning in the field of emergency and development, our professors are not only architects and planners with exceptional experience in those fields, but are also social, political and environmental scientists, anthropologists, geographers, humanitarian workers and logisticians from both local and international institutions, universities and agencies.

In addition to returning professors like  Gonzalo Sanchez-Teran (African geopolitics and humanitarian assistance expert), Nabeel Hamdi (Oxford Brookes University), Reena Tiwari (Curtin University), Alejandro Haiek (LAB.PRO.FAB) and  Clara Irazabal (University of Missouri, Kansas City) this time as our external jury member, we are proud to announce three new additions to our visiting faculty:

Aditya Kumar

Aditya_Kumar-200x200Aditya has a master degree in Architecture MR+D (Metropolitan Research and Design) from the Southern California Institute of Architecture, in Los Angeles. He work focuses on supporting communities living in poverty stricken slums in Southern and Eastern Africa, with a strong focus on South African slums, townships, housing and backyard communities. He has an outstanding work which comprises among others the reconstruction of Nahr El Bared Palestinian refugee camp, and is Head of the Design and Planning Unit of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in Tripoli, Lebanon. He previously gave an open lecture to our students on community-based planning in managing disaster reconstruction, post-war reconstruction and slum upgrading.

Aditya’s workshop will be on Resettlement Strategies in Post-Disaster and Post-Conflict Reconstruction

Wilbard Kombe

ACTUS_Kombe_Potrait_SquareWilbard Kombe has a PhD from the Technical University of Dortmund (TUD) and is Professor of Urban Land Management, and Director of the Institute of Human Settlements Studies (IHSS). He has worked extensively to promote good governance and has accumulated extensive international experience consulting with the UN-Habitat, the World Bank, DANIDA, Sida in the last 20 years, and conducting research on urbanization, public infrastructure services, livelihoods, and public policy across the African continent.

Wilbard’s workshop will be on Land Use, Planning, and Development

Stelios Grafakos

Stelios Grafakos is an environmental economist with 15 years experience in the field of environment, sustainability and climate change. He has a PhD from Erasmus University Rotterdam and works with urban sustainability assessment and evaluation, environmental decision making and analysis, environmental economics and ecosystems valuation and urban low carbon and climate resilient development and planning, having advised agencies such as the European Commission, UN-HABITAT, The World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the Dutch government.

Stelios’ workshop will be on Climate Change Mitigation and Sustainable Development 

Gregory Beals

Gregory_Beals-200x200Gregory Beals is a media and communications professional with extensive expertise working in humanitarian response, conflict and other hazardous zones where innovative and hands-on approaches are needed to ensure the development of accurate, authentic narratives of affected populations and international organisations. He has over 20 years of expertise working as a journalist with publications including Newsweek, Foreign Policy and Al Jazeera, and as a humanitarian information response specialist with a variety of NGOs and the United Nations.

Gregory’s workshop will be on Humanitarian Intelligence: An exploration into understanding communications and coordination in real life emergencies

New course on Gender and Development

Public toilet_Kumasi GhanaOur faculty member and UIC professor Apen Ruiz, anthropologist and expert in gender studies, will be leading a new class, Introduction to Gender and Development, lending students a much-needed focus on feminist perspectives in urban development. Visit our program section to learn more about the structure and curriculum of the course.

For those of you unfamiliar with our program, it is worth reminding that students will complete an IFRC-certified 3-week/6-credit course on humanitarian shelter and settlements for posts-conflict and post-disaster situations. The IFRC-approved course trains students with the protocols and expertise of IFRC as the main international organization in post-disaster situations, and the expertise of The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in post-conflict situations. Professors include seasoned professionals from organizations like IFRC, AECID and Médicos sin Fronteras.

Field trip to Ecuador

9_chamanga_public_stairwellOur field trip destination for next year will be Ecuador, once again, where students will have the chance to continue the post-earthquake rebuilding of the coastal town of Chamanga begun by last year’s students. Past locations have included Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, India.

For more updates, stay tuned to our Facebook page!

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