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Hesam Kamalipour

Dr Hesam Kamalipour

Co-Founding Director of Public Space Observatory Research Centre
Co-Director of MA Urban Design
Senior Lecturer in Urban Design

School of Geography and Planning

Email
KamalipourH@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 29208 74463
Campuses
Glamorgan Building, Room 2.98, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3WA
Users
Available for postgraduate supervision

Overview

I am the Co-Founding Director of the Public Space Observatory Research Centre and the Co-Director of the MA Urban Design programme at Cardiff University. I am also a Senior Lecturer in Urban Design at the School of Geography and Planning and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Advance HE.

My work lies at the intersections of urban design, informal urbanism, public space, urban morphology, and comparative urbanism. My research has primarily focused on the challenge of understanding the dynamics of informal urbanism in relation to urban design and the ways in which different forms of informality work in a global context. Google Scholar lists over 1,500 citations to my publications, with an h-index of 20 and an i10-index of 30.

I have explored a wide range of international case studies from different countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, Venezuela, and Vietnam.

I have led a major co-edited handbook project titled The Routledge Handbook of Urban Design Research Methods. The handbook represents the culmination of several years of work and features chapters from 80 international contributors from over 20 countries worldwide. I am currently leading a co-authored book project on urban design education.

My current research interests include informal urbanism, forms of urban informality and adaptation, typology, urban morphology and morphogenesis, tactical and temporary urbanism, public space and streetlife, place identity and urban mapping.

I am a member of the Urban Design Group, the Academy of Urbanism, the Architectural Humanities Research Association, the AESOP Public Spaces and Urban Cultures, the UReM - Urban Evolution Morphology, the AESOP Planning and Complexity and the GUDesign Network - Genealogy of Urban Design. I am also a member of the Informality Research Observatory and the Research Excellence Framework committee at the School of Geography and Planning and a Senate member at Cardiff University. 

I have been invited to review articles for more than 30 international peer-reviewed journals, including Cities, Habitat International, Urban Studies, Urban Geography, Urban Design International, Geoforum, Journal of Environmental Psychology, Sustainability, Urban Design and Planning, Journal of Urban Management, Heliyon, The Journal of Public Space, Urban, Planning and Transport Research, Journal of Environmental Engineering and Landscape Management, Education Sciences, Frontiers of Urban and Rural Planning, Journal of Asian Architecture and Building Engineering, International Planning Studies, Sustainable Cities and Society, Journal of Urban Affairs, Area Development and Policy, Urban Planning, Journal of Urban Mobility, Planning Theory & Practice, Geography Compass, The International Journal of Housing Policy, Planning Practice & Research, Applied Geography, and Land Use Policy, among others. The Web of Science lists over 80 verified peer reviews on my profile.

I am an Associate Editor of Frontiers in Sustainable Cities - Cities in the Global South and an editorial team member of Habitat International (Editorial Board), Urban Design and Planning (Editorial Panel), The Journal of Public Space (Scientific Board), International Journal of Architectural Research (Review Board), and Urban Planning (Editorial Board). I am also a Topical Advisory Panel member of Sustainability - Sustainable Urban and Rural Development, Land - Urban Contexts and Urban-Rural Interactions, and Urban Science.

News

The Routledge Handbook of Urban Design Research Methods 

A major co-edited handbook project that I led on urban design research methods has recently been published. Links to the publisher's web pages for the book: Routledge | Taylor & Francis

 

As an evolving and contested field, urban design has been made, unmade, and remade at the intersections of multiple disciplines and professions. It is now a decisive moment for urban design to reflect on its rigour and relevance. This handbook is an attempt to seize this moment for urban design to further develop its theoretical and methodological knowledge base and engage with the question of "what urban design can be" with a primary focus on its research. 

This handbook includes contributions from both established and emerging scholars across the global North and global South to provide a more field-specific entry point by introducing a range of topics and lines of inquiry and discussing how they can be explored with a focus on the related research designs and methods. The specific aim, scope, and structure of this handbook are appealing to a range of audiences interested and/or involved in shaping places and public spaces.

What makes this book quite distinctive from conventional handbooks on research methods is the way it has been structured in relation to some key research topics and questions in the field of urban design regarding the issues of agency, affordance, place, informality, and performance. In addition to the introduction chapter, this handbook includes 80 contributors and 52 chapters organised into five parts. The commissioned chapters showcase a wide range of topics, research designs, and methods with references to relevant scholarly works on the related topics and methods.

 

 

Invisible/Visible Urbanities: Framing Public Space in a Global Context

 

 

An urban photography exhibition has been on display in the foyer and central corridor of the Glamorgan Building at Cardiff University. The exhibition presents a visual exploration of how places and public spaces are being made, unmade, and remade in a global context. It features a curated collection of black and white photographs taken by me as part of my storytelling urban photography project, which explores forms of urbanity across cities in the global North and South.

 

Publication

2024

2023

2022

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

Articles

Book sections

Books

Conferences

Research

My current research interest lies at the intersections of:

  • Informal Urbanism, Forms of Urban Informality and Adaptation
  • Typology, Urban Morphology and Morphogenesis
  • Public Space, Streetlife and Urban Mapping
  • Place Identity, Visibility and Image

I am interested in exploring the dynamics of informal urbanism in a global context with a particular focus on mapping the morphologies and incremental transformations of informal settlements as well as the relations between informal and formal across different scales and multiple case studies. Investigating the processes of morphogenesis in relation to the dynamics of place identity is then a key part of my research to explore the space of possibilities for harnessing the productive capacities of urban informality in the processes of upgrading and formalisation.

PROJECTS

Co-Producing Place Narratives

This project aims to advance an impact agenda through the collaborative production of knowledge, fostering engaged learning and reflection, cultivating practical skills, raising awareness, and promoting collaboration. Building upon the team's existing research, our scalable initiative empowers the communities, particularly the young people, to share their place-based narratives through participatory storytelling urban photography. In collaboration with: Dr Nastaran Peimani. Related funding: UKRI Harmonised Impact Acceleration Account

Forms of Informality in Public Space

This project engages with the ways in which forms of informality work in relation to streetlife and gender mix in public space with a focus on the spatial and temporal appropriations of space. Drawing on multiple case studies, this project aims to provide a better understanding of how different forms of informality negotiate space and visibility within the public realm. In collaboration with: Dr Nastaran Peimani

Morphogenesis of Urban Villages

Cities of the Global South have been experiencing processes of rapid urbanisation through which many village settlements have become villages-in-the-city. This project explores the morphogenesis of urban villages by mapping their incremental transformations. The findings of this study inform how the built environment professions can effectively engage with the upgrading of villages-in-the-city. In collaboration with: Dr Ngo Kien Thinh

Mapping Incremental Urbanism

This project adopts urban mapping as a key method to unravel how the processes of morphogenesis work in emerging settlements. With a few exceptions, most informal settlements can be upgraded incrementally without displacement. Engaging with such processes of upgrading relies on a sophisticated understanding of the ways in which adaptive processes work in emerging settlements. In collaboration with: Dr Aminreza Iranmanesh

Framing Urbanity in a Global Context

This project incorporates a visual exploration of how places and public spaces are being made, unmade, and remade in a global context. It includes storytelling urban photography as a primary method, exploring forms of urbanity across cities in the global North and global South. An exhibition of this project was supported by the GEOPL Community Fund 2022-23.

Forms of Informal Settlement

This project focuses on how urban morphology, adaptive processes, and visibility work in informal settlements to inform the ways in which the built environment professions can most effectively engage with the complexity of upgrading processes. Drawing on multiple case studies from the cities of the Global South, this project aims to explore how different forms of informal settlement work. In collaboration with: Professor Kim Dovey. Related funding: RTP, IPRS and APA Scholarships

Urban Life and Public Space Design

This project is part of a post-occupancy evaluation research, which aims to explore public life in changing urban spaces by investigating the ways in which certain public open spaces in Cardiff are being used, appropriated, and managed by different groups of people. In collaboration with: Dr Nastaran Peimani. Related Funding: On-campus Internships Scheme

Negotiating Livelihoods and Rights in Contested Urban Space

This research project addresses the challenge of informal urbanism with a particular focus on the ways in which forms of street trading work in relation to gender, politics, and types in public space. It engages with the dynamics of street trading and explores the synergies and contradictions among multiple agents in public space. In collaboration with: Dr Nastaran Peimani and Dr Debdulal Saha. Related funding: GCRF Small Projects

Public Space Observatory Research Centre

The Public Space Observatory Research Centre has been co-founded as a knowledge exchange platform in public space research, practice and policy. The mission is to bring together local, national and international academics, practitioners and policymakers engaged with the provision, design, management and use of public space. In collaboration with: Dr Patricia Aelbrecht and Dr Nastaran Peimani

My/Your Cardiff Public Space Campaign

The My/Your Cardiff Public Space Campaign has been co-founded with the aim of raising public awareness on the social, cultural, economic and environmental values and benefits of well-designed, used and managed public spaces. In collaboration with: Dr Patricia Aelbrecht, Dr Nastaran Peimani and Dr Wesley Aelbrecht. Contribution to the project until November 2021. Related Funding: ESRC Impact Acceleration Account

Public Space Toolkit for Wales

This project aims to introduce a public space toolkit for Wales to support the work of Local Authorities. The toolkit can become a steppingstone towards innovative practices around placemaking for the public realm in Wales. In collaboration with: Dr Patricia Aelbrecht, Dr Francesca Sartorio, Dr Wesley Aelbrecht, Dr Richard Gale and Dr Nastaran Peimani. Contribution to the project until December 2021. Related Funding: Innovation Project Grant

Teaching

Course Co-Director

The MA Urban Design programme at Cardiff University is one of the largest programmes of its kind and is jointly delivered by the Welsh School of Architecture and the School of Geography and Planning. Design studio teaching in the programme focuses on developing critically informed as well as creative and practical proposals for real sites, addressing important contemporary issues of design and urbanism.

Module Leader / Co-Leader

  • Urban Design Foundation 2023/2024 (Postgraduate)
  • Autumn Studio 2023/2024 (Postgraduate)
  • Urban Design Foundation 2022/2023 (Postgraduate)
  • Autumn Studio 2022/2023 (Postgraduate)
  • Urban Design Foundation 2021/2022 (Postgraduate)
  • Autumn Studio 2021/2022 (Postgraduate)
  • Spring Studio 2021/2022 (Postgraduate)
  • Urban Design Foundation 2020/2021 (Postgraduate)
  • Research Based Design Project 2020/2021 (Postgraduate)
  • Urban Design Foundation 2019/2020 (Postgraduate)
  • Space and Place 2019/2020 (Postgraduate)
  • Planning Theory and Practice 2019/2020 (Undergraduate)
  • Space and Place 2018/2019 (Postgraduate)
  • Planning Theory and Practice 2018/2019 (Undergraduate)

Module Contribution / Supervision

  • Urban Design Foundation 2023/2024 (Postgraduate)
  • Autumn Studio 2023/2024 (Postgraduate)
  • Urban Design Guidance in Planning Practice 2023/2024 (Undergraduate)
  • Research Project 2023/2024 (Undergraduate)
  • Urban Design Research Methods 2023/2024 (Postgraduate)
  • Urban Design Dissertation 2023/2024 (Postgraduate)
  • Urban Design Foundation 2022/2023 (Postgraduate)
  • Urban Design Research Methods 2022/2023 (Postgraduate)
  • Urban Design Dissertation 2022/2023 (Postgraduate)
  • Urban Design Foundation 2021/2022 (Postgraduate)
  • Urban Design Research Methods 2021/2022 (Postgraduate)
  • Urban Design Dissertation 2021/2022 (Postgraduate)
  • Urban Design Foundation 2020/2021 (Postgraduate)
  • Autumn Studio 2020/2021 (Postgraduate)
  • Research Methods and Techniques 2020/2021 (Postgraduate)
  • Research Based Design Project 2020/2021 (Postgraduate)
  • Urban Design Foundation 2019/2020 (Postgraduate)
  • Space and Place 2019/2020 (Postgraduate)
  • Planning Theory and Practice 2019/2020 (Undergraduate)
  • Autumn Studio 2019/2020 (Postgraduate)
  • Research Methods and Techniques 2019/2020 (Postgraduate)
  • Research Based Design Project 2019/2020 (Postgraduate)
  • Space and Place 2018/2019 (Postgraduate)
  • Planning Theory and Practice 2018/2019 (Undergraduate)
  • Spring Studio 2018/2019 (Postgraduate)
  • Development Management 2018/2019 (Postgraduate)
  • Research Project 2018/2019 (Undergraduate)
  • Research Dissertation 2018/2019 (Undergraduate)
  • Dissertation 2018/2019 (Postgraduate)
  • Research Methods and Techniques 2018/2019 (Postgraduate)
  • Research Based Design Project 2018/2019 (Postgraduate)

Biography

I have previously served as Research Fellow at Monash University, Research Assistant and Guest Lecturer in Urban Design at the University of Melbourne and Doctoral Academy member at the Melbourne Social Equity Institute. I have a background in Architecture and hold a PhD in Urban Design from the University of Melbourne as well as the Melbourne Teaching Certificate from the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education.

Research and Teaching Experiences

  • Senior Lecturer in Urban Design, School of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University, UK
  • Co-Founding Director of the Public Space Observatory Research Centre, Cardiff University, UK
  • Co-Director of the MA Urban Design programme, Cardiff University, UK
  • Lecturer in Urban Design, School of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University, UK
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Monash Art, Design and Architecture, Monash University, Australia
  • Research Assistant in Urban Design, Melbourne School of Design, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • Guest Lecturer in Urban Design, Melbourne School of Design, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • Academic Tutor in Urban Design, Melbourne School of Design, University of Melbourne, Australia

Professional Development and Memberships

  • Member of the Urban Design Group
  • Member of the Academy of Urbanism
  • Memebr of the Architectural Humanities Research Association
  • Member of the Public Spaces and Urban Cultures Group, Association of European Schools of Planning
  • Member of the UReM - Urban Evolution Morphology
  • Member of the Planning and Complexity Group, Association of European Schools of Planning
  • Member of the GUDesign Network - Genealogy of Urban Design
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Advance HE
  • Member of the Senate, Cardiff University
  • Member of the Research Excellence Framework committee at the School of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University
  • Member of the Informality Research Observatory, Cardiff University
  • Member of the Cities Research Centre, Cardiff University
  • Member of the SPACE Research Group at the School of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University
  • Doctoral Academy Member at the Melbourne Social Equity Institute, University of Melbourne (2016)
  • Member of the University of Melbourne Delegation in the Habitat III Conference in Quito (2016)

External Committees and Reviewing Engagements

  • Reviewer for more than 30 international peer-reviewed journals, including Cities, Habitat International, Urban Studies, Urban Geography, Urban Design International, Geoforum, Journal of Environmental Psychology, Sustainability, Urban Design and Planning, Journal of Urban Management, Heliyon, The Journal of Public Space, Urban, Planning and Transport Research, Journal of Environmental Engineering and Landscape Management, Education Sciences, Frontiers of Urban and Rural Planning, Journal of Asian Architecture and Building Engineering, International Planning Studies, Sustainable Cities and Society, Journal of Urban Affairs, Area Development and Policy, Urban Planning, Journal of Urban Mobility, Planning Theory & Practice, Geography Compass, The International Journal of Housing Policy, Planning Practice & Research, Applied Geography, and Land Use Policy, among others
  • Associate Editor of Frontiers in Sustainable Cities - Cities in the Global South
  • Editorial Board member of Habitat International 
  • Editorial Panel member of Urban Design and Planning
  • Topical Advisory Panel member of Sustainability - Sustainable Urban and Rural Development
  • Scientific Board member of The Journal of Public Space
  • Topical Advisory Panel member of Land - Urban Contexts and Urban-Rural Interactions
  • Review Board member of International Journal of Architectural Research
  • Topical Advisory Panel member of Urban Science
  • Editorial Board member of Urban Planning

Supervisions

My supervision interest lies at the intersections of:

  • Informal Urbanism, Forms of Urban Informality and Adaptation
  • Typology, Urban Morphology and Morphogenesis
  • Public Space, Streetlife and Urban Mapping
  • Place Identity, Visibility and Image

I supervised a total of 23 postgraduate/undergraduate students and co-supervised 7 research assistants.

Research themes

Specialisms

  • Urban design
  • Informal urbanism
  • Public space
  • Urban morphology
  • Comparative urbanism