The development of urban upgrading plans and rehabilitation strategies in response to local needs, particularly in low-income and informal settlements; policies and strategies for improving access to affordable land and housing; land registration and regularisation; rapid urban appraisals, stakeholder consultations and community participatory processes; contingency planning; disaster risk reduction and management; urban heritage conservation; technical assistance to planning and urban management institutions in post-conflict situations; institutional needs assessments; training and mentoring of young professionals; analysis of survey findings; field research and appraisals; drafting of visually enticing presentations and reports, as well as the design of effective dissemination material.

Country experience
Italy, France, United Kingdom, Mexico, Cuba, Tanzania, Malta, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan and Ethiopia

Italian & English (mother tongue), French (fluent), Spanish (fluent), German (conversational), Dari (rudimentary)

Educational and professional qualifications

MSc in Development & Planning, Development Planning Unit (DPU), University College of London

Licence for Professional Practice (Italy)

Degree in Architecture, Faculty of Architecture, Polytechnic of Turin, Italy

Certificate courses

Introduction to Disaster Risk Management, World Bank Institute, 4-week online course

Risk Sensitive Land Use Planning, World Bank Distance Learning/Earthquakes and Megacities Initiative (EMI), 4 weeks online course (100/100 certified credits - among the top 3 performers)

Sustainable Urban Land Use Planning, World Bank Institute, 7-week online course (100/100 certified credits)

Managing Projects in Emergencies, London, RedR-UK

Managing People in Emergencies, London, RedR-UK


Urban Planner, Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Historic Cities Programme - Afghanistan ( Responsible for the development of planning strategies in support of AKTC’s on-going rehabilitation programme of the historical core of Kabul; institutional capacity-development in the field of urban heritage in Afghanistan; regular planning inputs for the safeguard of the old city of Herat; contribution to development of dissemination & advocacy campaigns; training of local staff; analysis of physical and socio-economic survey findings; build-up of photographic documentation and research material.

Lecturer and Course Coordinator for MSc in Building and Urban Design in Development, Development Planning Unit, University College London, UK ( Course coordinator with teaching responsibilities in the modules of: Form and Formation of Cities, Participation in Urban Planning, Appropriate Building Design, Transforming Local Areas; Other tasks included the editing and graphic layout of the DPU News; contributions to several DPU-led publication and dissemination initiatives; management of training workshops and organisation of students’ field trips.

Project architect. Development of numerous projects of restoration and rehabilitation of historical landmarks and complexes; design contribution to large-scale urban projects; housing and office developments in design offices in Italy, Paris and Mexico City.

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Afghanistan: Process Analyst/Technical Writer for International City/County Management Association (ICMA), for USAID’s 36-month Regional Afghan Municipalities Program for Urban Populations – Regional Command-North (RAMP UP North) project, implemented by DAI International ( Provided support to the team in writing up technical documents, including: a Property Registration Handbook, a Citizen Satisfaction Survey Report, Activity Reports, three Municipal Economic Profiles, and a series Project Success Stories for USAID.

Afghanistan: Manager of Component 1, ‘Informal Settlements Upgrading & Formalization’, for USAID’s 36-month Land Reform in Afghanistan (LARA) Project ($41M) implemented by TetraTech International Development/ARD ( Provided support the Ministry of Urban Development Affairs (MUDA), the General Directorate of Municipal Affairs (IDLG/GDMA) and Jalalabad Municipality, by undertaking the upgrading and formalization of two informal settlements in Jalalabad. Oversight responsibilities entailed the management of quantitative and qualitative surveys, the drafting of GIS-supported land use maps, the identification and mapping of informal settlements and joint participatory planning exercises with local stakeholders in Jalalabad, and providing technical assistance for the write up of a ‘National Policy for the Upgrading of Informal Settlements’ (2013). Further tangible outputs included the drafting of two Community Action Plans for informal areas; an ‘Urban Upgrading Manual for Informal Settlements’ and the paper ‘Informal settlements development guidelines: A framework for the scaling-up of physical upgrading and regularization efforts’.

Afghanistan: Contributed as a lecturer to the delivery of a month-long Winter Course in Planning & Conservation (20 sessions, attended by over 20 students) at the Faculty of Engineering of the Kabul University and the setup of further extra-curriculum activities involving external lecturers. This 12-month initiative, implemented by AKTC, was supported by the US Embassy in Afghanistan.

2009-10 Iraq: : Provided technical advisory services for enhanced slum upgrading and capacity building support within the framework of the Erbil Housing Strategy; review of current planning and building practices in formal and informal areas in order to draft recommendations for improved and more affordable housing design and construction processes (UN-Habitat/UNDP).

Ethiopia: Contributed to the development of viable strategies for the revitalization of the walled city of Harar Jugol; this included an assessment of critical issues, followed by the drafting of recommendations for targeted urban upgrading actions and the rehabilitation of the historical gates (Jugol Revitalization Program Coordination Office).

Afghanistan: Provided technical assistance for the preservation and management of urban heritage in Afghanistan, through the development of a plan of action for the Historic Cities Department of the Afghan Ministry of Urban Development; a plan of action for the drafting of a comprehensive national urban heritage preservation and regeneration policy; and finally the identification of optimal operating procedures to be applied to conservation and upgrading works in the context of historic urban fabric (World Bank / Aga Khan Trust for Culture).

Indonesia: Contribution to the setup of a ‘Neighbourhood Upgrading Planning’ (NUP) community workshop in Jakarta, for the local ADB Neighbourhood Upgrading and Shelter Sector Project (ADB / Culpin Planning / DPU).

UK: Responsible for the production of the CD-ROM Understanding Slums: 33 City Case Studies that illustrates UN-HABITAT, Slums and Informal Settlements in Urban Development, UN-Habitat Global Report on Human Settlements 2003, London (UN-Habitat / DPU).

France: Contribution to the evaluation of the UNESCO-MOST programme, aimed at the definition futures strategies (UNESCO / DPU).

UK: Co-responsible for the research, compilation, editing and graphic design of the CD-ROM DFID, Drivers for Urban Change, DPU/DFID, London (DFID / DPU).

UK: Co-responsible for the research, editing and graphic layout of Allen, A. and You, N. Sustainable Urbanisation: Bridging the Green and Brown Agendas, including 74 international case studies, prepared for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg. (DFID / UN-Habitat / DPU).

UK: Co-responsible for the compilation, editing & graphic design of the CD-ROM Michael Mutter (et al), The 21st Century Urban Scenario, commissioned in occasion of the UN-World Habitat Day 2002 (DFID / UN-HABITAT / DPU).

Sri Lanka – Galle (2003) / Malta – Valletta (2002) / Tanzania – Dar es Salaam (2001): Organized 3 consecutive postgraduate field projects, focused on the development of regeneration and upgrading proposals to respond to local needs, working in partnership with CBOs, partner organisations and city authorities (DPU).

UK: Member of the editorial team responsible for the research and write-up of the international case studies and graphic design of Wakely P. and N. You (et als), Implementing the Habitat Agenda: In Search for Urban Sustainability, London, DPU, prepared for the UN General Assembly Special Session on Human Settlements in NY (Istanbul+5) (DFID / UN-Habitat / DPU).

UK: Management and organisation of a series of training workshops on sustainable urban development, part of the ‘EU-China Liaoning Integrated Environment Programme’. Training offered to city planners concerned with urban management and improving the urban environment of the city of Shenyang (EU / DPU).

Cuba: Development of “Urban Regeneration Project as an Investment for the Future. A Proposal for Barrio Puentes Grandes, Havana”, research conducted in partnership with local Taller de Transformación Integral de Barrio (MSc dissertation).

France: Responsible for the drafting of “Etude du Quartier Montonlieu”, an investigative research on the conditions of the built fabric of the old port area of Marseille, as part of the urban renewal project known as ‘Euro-Mediterannée’ (holding a EU Scholarship for Young European Architects, hosted by the Atelier du Patrimoine).

Europe & Mexico: Project architect. Development of numerous projects of rehabilitation and reuse of historical landmarks and residential buildings; design contribution to large-scale urban projects; housing and office developments for design offices in Italy, Paris and Mexico City.

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