Urban Socio-Spatial Development

The Urban Socio-Spatial Development cluster focuses on the making of cities and the interactions with and transitions within cities.

It addresses topics such as the creation and appropriation of urban space, civic engagement leading to transformations in the built and social environment, the right to the city, with a focus on the right to land and housing. The cluster critically reflects on the phenomenon of urban informality and assesses social, spatial, economic and cultural impacts of urban dynamics. It pays special attention to inclusive urban development and gender issues in planning and housing. It investigates bottom-up and middle-out approaches to city-making. It also comprises self-administration and urban planning as disciplines established at the local level. The cluster highlights the inextricable link between urban planning and housing. It applies social, spatial and gender justice principles as a framework for analyzing urban processes and assessing projects, plans, and policies. It introduces the concept of housing justice and the principles behind the attainment of adequate housing to make just, inclusive and livable cities.

This thematic cluster requires an understanding of urban societies, the interaction of diverse stakeholder groups, gender, political economies and the dynamics of social interactions in space and time. It also includes the active transformation and conservation of space through urban renewal.

Typical questions relating to this cluster entail: How do urban communities develop? What characterizes the space created by urban societies? What are the links between gender relations and socio-economic and spatial processes in cities? To what extent can historic features accommodate urban transition? What are the impacts of housing and urban renewal on the social and economic life in the cities? To what extent land, housing and gender approaches in urban planning contribute to social and spatial justice?

Meet the Urban Socio-Spatial Development Department

IHS

Dr. Alonso Ayala | Head of Urban Socio-Spatial Development

Alonso Ayala is an architect and development planner specialized in regional development planning, human settlement planning and urban and housing research in emerging economies, as well as academic and professional capacity building. 

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Dr. Alexander Jachnow | Lead Specialist in Strategic Urban Planning and Policy

Dr. Alexander Jachnow is an urban development specialist with more than 20 years of working experience as a researcher and consultant in the fields of urban capacity development. 

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Dr Anitra Baliga | Urban Development Specialist

Dr Anitra Baliga is an urban sociologist, with a background in Architecture. She researches real estate development, financialization, and the commodification of land within the context of liberalization.

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IHS

Dr. Bahar Sakizlioglu | Specialist in Housing & Urban Sociologist

Bahar Sakizlioglu is as a member of the Urban Housing, Equity and Social Justice team. Among her main research interests are gentrification, displacement, housing, feminist urban studies, social reproduction and the city and comparative urbanism. 

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Carolina Lunetta | Specialist in Spatial Planning and Gender

Carolina has seven years of working experience in urban management and architecture projects in public and private sectors. Her main areas of interests focus on urban planning, urban development, informal land markets and gender.

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Charmae Nercua | Specialist in Land and Housing Development Strategies

Charmae Pyl Wissink-Nercua is an urban management and development expert specializing in land and housing development strategies with more than 15 years of professional experience in the field. 

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IHS

David Schelkshorn | Academic Assistant in Urban Housing, Equity and Social Justice

David Schelkshorn is a Research Assistant in the Urban Housing, Equity and Social Justice team. During his previous studies and work, questions about the housing markets of cities and related socio-spatial dynamics particularly evoked his interests.

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Elina Makousiari

Elina Makousiari is an Urban Sustainability and Resilience planner. Her fields of expertise are sustainable urban planning,  environmental urban management, and strategic and land use planning.

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IHS

Dr. Maartje van Eerd | Senior Specialist in Housing & Social Development

Maartje van Eerd is a Human Geographer by profession with extensive experience as researcher, trainer and advisor on housing and social development issues. She has conducted extensive research on resettlement projects, forced evictions and acquisition.

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Remco Vermeulen | Specialist in Urban Heritage Strategies

Remco Vermeulen is an Urban Heritage Strategies Expert at IHS. He has relevant working experience in the private and (semi-)public sector, mainly in the field of urban heritage, shared history, gentrification and cultural diplomacy.

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photo by Mauro Mora on Unsplash.com

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