Urban Ecological Planning / Urban Development and Resilience


Rolee Aranya
Rolee Aranya is an Associate Professor at the Department of Architecture and Planning. Her research interests include relational studies of poverty and informality, globalization and urban restructuring and governance as a form for organization in planning and urban development. She has been program leader for the Master program in Urban Ecological Planning till Autumn 2014 and continues as the Program Leader for the Master’s program in Sustainable Urban Transitions.

Marcin Sliwa
Marcin is an urban planner and works as a Research Assistant at the Department of Architecture and Planning. He is helping with teaching and is responsible for the implementation of the UEP program activities. Marcin worked for UN-Habitat in Mexico and participated in several projects in Poland, Canada, Mexico, Norway, Colombia, Uganda and India. His particular research interests are low-income housing, informal urban development and land use planning in Latin America. In his work, he emphasizes participatory planning methods as well as data collection and analysis utilizing GIS platforms.

Hilde Refstie
Hilde Refstie has twelve years of experience working in different organizations at various levels in Norway, US, Uganda, Ghana, and Malawi in the areas of urban governance, forced migration, emergency response and disaster preparedness, slum upgrading, and community driven development. She is currently finishing up her PhD in Geography where she explores action research as practice and methodology working with groups of urban poor and their partners in Malawi. Hilde will be working as Assistant Professor at the Master program in Urban Ecological Planning.

PhD students

David Smith
David researches on post-disaster reconstruction and urban resilience. David previously worked as an accredited architect (OAQ) in Montréal, Canada and took part in evaluations of post-disaster projects in Haiti. He holds a MA in Development and Emergency Practice from Oxford Brookes University, England and a MArch from Université Laval, Canada. His PhD research topic is “Marketplaces in post-disaster cities: using markets for building urban resilience in Port-au-Prince, Haiti”.


Hans Skotte
After years of practice in Norway and abroad as architect and project manager in private and public service, Skotte returned to academia to investigate how international NGOs and GOs contributed towards recovery of poor societies ravaged by war or disaster. Not much. Further to his initial research he led an investigation into how private land claims, justified by the ‘sacrifice of war’, affects the urban development of Sarajevo. Not much different than before the war. Most of his academic efforts have since then focused on teaching urban studies of the Global South. He has published nationally and internationally, most recently in Architectural Review, primarily on architecture and recovery studies, and holds positions on advisory boards for international academic journals and university programs.

Wang Yu
Wang Yu is originally from China with holding B.Sc, M.Sc and PhD in architecture. He was a teacher of an architecture school in Xian, China before he initiated his PhD study. His PhD research topic was post-disaster reconstruction of the rural settlement heritage with a case study Taoping Village a Qiang minority traditional settlement in China.

Vilde Ulset
Vilde is a human geographer and has a M.Sc. degree in Urban Ecological Planning at from NTNU, Trondheim. She has experience with working in UNEP and a Pan-African NGO located in South Africa. Vilde has also done extensive fieldworks in Uganda and India. Her research is focused on how informality plays out in urban poor neighbourhoods and how people survive and lead their everyday lives after great shocks and stresses.

Elena Archipovaite
Elena has been part of UEP full time teaching staff from 2011-2014. She has worked for nine years in architecture and urban development planning practice. Her experience includes international engagement in urban development by studying, working and teaching at various levels in Norway, Uganda, Kenya, Brazil and India with focus on: community development and participatory planning; affordable, incremental housing design strategies and Publicness of space in informal settlements.

Cathrine Brun
Professor Cathrine Brun is Director of Research at the Department of Geography, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and heads the Norwegian Researcher School in Geography. Her research currently concentrates on protracted displacement and humanitarian practices of relief and recovery after disasters with special emphasis on South Asia and the South Caucasus. Some recent publications include: Making Home in Limbo? Domestic Practices and the Meaning of Home. Special for Refuge (with A.H. Fábos 2015, In press), Active waiting and changing hopes. Towards a time perspective on protracted displacement (Social Analysis, 2015), Alternative Development: Unravelling Marginalization, Voicing Change (Ashgate, 2014, editor with P. Blaikie and M. Jones); Towards Transformative Participation: Collaborative Research with ‘Urban IDPs’in Uganda (Journal of Refugee Studies, 2012 with H. Refstie).

Hans Christie Bjønness
Prof. Hans Christie Bjønness is an architect / planner (NTH), with added development geographer (UiO) background, at Department of Urban Design and Planning, NTNU. He is at present on a part time assignment after retirement.

Paul Currion
Paul Currion works as a consultant with humanitarian organisations, specialising in coordination, collaboration and innovation. He has worked in post-disaster countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, Liberia and Bangladesh, and recently wrote the ACAPS Technical Brief on Rapid Humanitarian Assessment in Urban Settings. He has an MSc in Architecture, specialising in Environmental and Energy Studies, and currently lives in Belgrade, Serbia, where he is a member of the Pametnija Zgrada (Smarter Building) architecture group.

Anshu Sharma
Anshu Sharma is a disaster risk reduction and response specialist with over twenty years of experience focussed on community based approaches. Trained as an urban planner at the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, he did his doctoral research on disaster education at Kyoto University.  He co-founded the civil society organisation SEEDS, which has been working across Asia towards building disaster and climate resilience in vulnerable communities, and has been responding to disasters with shelter and school reconstruction programmes.  He has worked with various UN agencies, INGOs and universities as an advisor and consultant, and volunteers with local community based organisations towards their capacity building. His primary interest areas include participatory planning and behaviour change communications.

Leda Stott
Leda is a specialist in multi-stakeholder collaboration and development. She has over 20 years international development experience, mostly dedicated to research and training activities for partnerships involving organisations in the public, private and civil society sectors. Director of the International Masters course in Sustainable Development and Corporate Responsibility at the EOI Business School in Madrid, Leda has taught on a variety of postgraduate programmes relating to development and partnerships. She is a Research Fellow with the Innovation and Technology for Development Centre at the Technical University of Madrid, and Development Director for Research and Learning at the Partnership Brokers Association. Leda has also worked extensively as a partnership expert with the European Commission. Her publications include the European Commission's EQUAL Guide for Development Partnerships (2004), The Partnering with Governments Navigator (2010) and Partnerships for Innovation in Access to Basic Services (2014).

Rohit Jigvasu
Rohit is a conservation architect and risk management professional from India, currently working as UNESCO Chair professor at the Institute for Disaster Mitigation of Urban Cultural Heritage at Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan and Senior Advisor at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS). He is the elected President of ICOMOS-India since 2014 and ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Risk Preparedness (ICORP) since 2010. Rohit is also currently serving as the Elected Member of the Executive Committee of ICOMOS since 2011. After undertaking his post-graduate degree in Architectural Conservation from School of Planning and Architecture in New Delhi, Rohit has obtained his doctoral degree from NTNU. His multidisciplinary research focused on the role of traditional knowledge in disaster mitigation in the context of South Asian region. Rohit has been working with several national and international organizations such as Archaeological Survey of India, Indian National Institute of Disaster Management, UNESCO, ICCROM and Getty Conservation Institute for consultancy, research and training on Disaster Risk Management of Cultural Heritage. Rohit has been teaching as the visiting faculty at several national and international academic institutions in India and abroad. He is on editorial board of some well-reputed journals such as Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, and Disaster Prevention and Management. He has contributed to several international publications.