Husam Al-Waer

Reader in Urban Design

Dr. Husam AlWaer is an 'URBANIST' with a background in "architecture, urban planning and sustainability", who writes and speaks extensively on making better places. He is an award-winning author and curator of events, focussing on issues of place making, urban design practice and their social impacts. He is an educator and facilitator, moderates events nationally and internationally. He is a Reader in Sustainable Urban Design and Evaluation in the School of Social Sciences (Architecture + Urban Planning), University of Dundee, having previously researched and taught at Reading and Liverpool universities. He has a passionate interest in the future of sustainable places, and towns, in particular the development of new thinking on processes and methods to unlock sustainable urbanism and the way these processes are facilitated and managed. Husam’s work has had a demonstrable impact in academia as well as on practice. He has published over 40 peer-reviewed international journal papers, professional reports and books relevant to the broad topics of urban design, spatial planning and sustainability, including his recent published book “Site and Composition: Design Strategies in Architecture and Urbanism” with Bandyopadhyay and Aldallal (Routledge, 2016), and a new international edited book with Barbara Illsley on “Rethinking Masterplanning: Creating Better Places” (ICE Publisher, 2017), and the international edited book with Mark Deakin on “From Intelligent to Smart Cities” (Routledge, 2012).

Husam has gained international recognition for providing intellectual leadership as a facilitator, educator and researcher in sustainable place making and master planning, contributing to emerging theory, practice and technical developments. He has a considerable national and international reputation, evidenced, for example by: his contribution to the current funded RTPI’s ‘Measuring Planning Outcomes’; funded Scottish Government’s Planning Review; a recent project funded by the Scottish Government investigating the potentially significant role of facilitation in community participatory design processes; a recent invitation to facilitate the Springburn Regeneration Charrette process; Cairo International Future City Co-Design Workshops; and the the Cairo Holy Family Trail Collaborative Design (April 2020). The Scottish Government twice has drawn me in as a special adviser on charrette events and their New Ideas funded Programme. The Academy of Urbanism in Scotland recently invited me to join their committee. This reflects positively on the University, as well as validating my integrity and professional judgment. His approach to sustainable urbanism been recognised within commendations and various national and international Awards. For example, he was awarded both the 2014 and 2016 the prestigious Reed and Mallik Ltd Journal Prize for the best papers published in the Journal of Urban Design and Planning. 

Drawing on his experience as an urbanist  he has worked with Kevin Murray Associates to progress multi-disciplinary, place-based planning using a holistic, ‘Place Momentum’ approach. He has worked with public and private partners and clients (including RTPI Scotland, community groups, institutions, local authorities and various national and international universities). This has involved his delivery of innovative participatory place making projects in the UK, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. He is a ‘BREEAM Accredited Professional (AP)’, demonstrating specialist skills in sustainability and environmental design, Chartered Town Planner (MRTPI), and an Urban Design Group Recognised Practitioner (RPUD), Fellow RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) and an ‘Academician’ (AoU) in The Academy of Urbanism.

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