Learning from International Urban Planning Practice **********

Thurs 17 October 6pm, UCL Gower St., Pearson Building Exhibition Room, G07

Rosanna Law (AECOM Design and Planning, London)


Robin Bloch (ICF GHK, London)

Dicussants: Mike Raco (Bartlett School of Planning, UCL) and Camillo Boano (Development Planning Unit, UCL).

Chair: Jenny Robinson (Geography, UCL)

Rosanna Law will draw on the case study of the Doha Masterplan. Her article with Kevin Underwood, Msheireb Heart of Doha: An Alternative Approach to Urbanism in the Gulf Region (International Journal of Islam Architecture, 2012) can be found on the urban salon website (www.theurbansalon.org). 


The objective of this article is to highlight some of the challenges faced by emerging Gulf nation states in modernizing their cities. The Msheireb Heart of Doha Masterplan is used as an exemplar project to offer an alternative approach in urban planning and regeneration in the region. The article describes how the challenges of land ownership, privatization, climate, social diversity and cultural relevance are dealt with in the masterplan, which seeks to create a modern Qatari homeland that is rooted in its local traditions and heritage. Towards the end of the article, reflections and evaluations are examined to prompt further thoughts and discussions. 

Robin Bloch will draw the lessons derived from a number of recent projects with DFID, the World Bank, GFDRR and EuropeAid. These include a guidebook on Urban Flooding (https://www.gfdrr.org/urbanfloods); a five city climate change adaptation planning initiative in Latin America and the Caribbean; urban and spatial plan making in Sierra Leone and in Ghana; and a new large-scale urbanisation research programme just starting in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa. The presentation will argue that a new era of state-driven urban reformism has now emerged with which practitioners and academics need better to understand and engage.

Guidebook on Urban Flooding.  



Rosanna Law is a Director/Senior Associate of urban design at AECOM Design + Planning, London. An architect-urbanist by training, Rosanna Law sees the crafting of places and spatial planning as an integral part of social policies. Her design leadership for the Msheireb Heart of Doha Masterplan has set a new benchmark for urban planning in the region. Global urban issues such as climate change, cultural diversity and rapid urbanization are consciously addressed through her masterplanning strategies in the United Kingdom, Russia and the Middle East.

Robin Bloch is a Technical Director: Urban Planning at ICF GHK, London, with responsibility for consultancy in Planning, Land and Economic Development. He is an urban and regional planner and economist, educated first in South Africa, and then at the University of California, Berkeley. His principal areas of expertise include urban and metropolitan spatial and land use planning; urban and regional economic development; and urban environmental management, resilience and sustainability. Robin has over 20 years of international experience of research, policy making and urban planning, at local, regional and national government levels in sub-Saharan Africa, South and East Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. He is a Visiting Professor in Urban Planning at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa and a Co-investigator on the Global Suburbanisms: Governance, Land and Infrastructure project, funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council, Government of Canada.