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The UM Program has over 260 alumni all over the world – in approimately 45 countries, on all continents. They work in local administrations, ministries, in private or semi-private planning offices, NGOs, international institutions, universities etc.
On the following pages you can find a collection of portraits of our alumni from all over the world recounting their motivations for participating in the Urban Management Program and their experiences during and after finishing.
Our alumni are further connected through the UM Alumni Network , that was founded by UM alumni in spring 2012. Please check the site for more information on our former students.
Galuh Ainur Rohmah, Indonesia
- © Galuh Ainur Rohmah
"The UM program helped me to develop a broad perspective on urban issues, through the discussion of so many case studies from various countries that were presented by my colleagues. I personally have particular interest in the field of transportation. The UM program offered me knowledge and skills to deal with present and future challenges in the complex area of modern transportation. I also learned to analyze and evaluate relevant economic, social and environmental aspects of other urban planning topics. After I graduated at UM, my work focus was on new mobility projects. The Berlin startup scene interested me, so I became a network planning manager at ‘Flixbus’ until 2018. Afterwards, I continued my career as ‘International Expansion Manager’ at ‘TIER Mobility (e-scooters)’."
Tarek Alkhateeb, Syria
- © Tarek Alkhateeb
"The Urban Management program gave me the opportunity to deepen my knowledge about cities and their fundamental elements, for example it helped me to get a better understanding of the problems and challenges cities of today are facing, and to learn more about methods and approaches used to improve living conditions and ensure decent life for each dweller. After my graduation, I started to work for a project called ‘Berlin Develops New Neighborhoods/ Berlin entwickelt neue Nachbarschaften (BENN)’. BENN is one of the projects founded recently by the Senate of Berlin, with focus on participation and social integration in order to sustain and strengthen the cohabitation and social coherence in neighborhoods of Berlin."
Qi Yahya, Indonesia
- © Qi Yahya
"Prior to joining the UM program, I worked for the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ - Sustainable Urban Transport Improvement Program) for both my city and my country. We assisted governments to reform private oriented transport in urban areas in terms of sustainability, by promoting public transport and non-motorized transport. The UM course then helped me to broaden my holistic knowledge on how the urban structure works, with its different sectors and stakeholders, and added new viewpoints and perspectives for managing and developing urban transport. Moreover, during this course, it was valuable to learn from other colleagues' and countries' experiences which are useful and might be difficult to find in my home context. After I graduated from UM, I started to work as an urban transport consultant for Worldbank Jakarta. We are helping the National Government to establish a national support program for developing urban mass transit in cities. Indonesian cities are struggling to build mass transit such as BRT, LRT, and MRT by their own resources. The main counterpart on developing this program is our local Ministry of Development Planning, but we engage also with the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Finance."
Serin Geambazu, Romania
- © Serin Geambazu
"In the framework of my studies in the Urban Management Master Program at Technical University of Berlin, I had the opportunity to work as an intern at the Istanbul Metropolitan Planning Office in Istanbul, where I did my Masters thesis. The Urban Management Master Program opened my path as an academic, my thesis being presented in many conferences (International Society of City and Regional Planners, European Urban Research Association, Association of European schools of planning, European sociological association, Berlin-Istanbul Lecture Series), It both helped me to become a professional at international level, and also to develop new tools for action at local level in Romania. I am currently a PhD student and an assistant professor at Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urban Planning in Bucharest (Urban and Landscape Design Department), with a teaching experience of 4 years at master level in urban planning and architecture. I am an urban and regional planner with experience in projects of infrastructure, housing and retail, execution of detail plans, zonal development plans and also strategic municipality general development plans in South-Eastern Europe in the private, but also in the public sector."
Alokananda Nath, India
- © Alokananda Nath
Presently I am working as a Technical Advisor with the ‚Sustainable and Environment-friendly Industrial Production Project’ in GIZ India, based out of Delhi. I am looking into sustainability aspects of industrial planning in India and support formulating policy documents and capacity development of people and institutions involved. Spending 2 years in Germany has been an extremely enriching experience for me and has helped me evolve both personally as well as professionally.“
Aruho Apollo Tinka, Uganda
- © Aruho Tinka
"Prior to joining the Urban Management Masters course in 2014, I worked in Uganda for about 5 years both with public and private organisations, in the civil engineering field. Later, in 2010, I joined the UN volunteering program in South Sudan, mainly in the urban planning and development field for the nascent government. There, I found my profound interest in urban accessibility and mobility as the cornerstones of urban development.
I did research at the UM program in informal transport, with the case study of Kampala city. Informal transport – also commonly named ‘para-transit’ – is a major component of the urban transport sector in developing countries, one that has not been given due attention by governments and planners.
I am currently undertaking doctoral studies in urban transport planning, with a focus on informal transport, with a case study of Cape Town in South Africa. This study further focuses on modal integration of informal transport as a reform mechanism for public transport in developing countries."
Mohammad Ishtiuq Hossain, Bangladesh
- © Ishtiuq Hossain
"Joining the Urban Management course at the TU Berlin was one of the most esteemed experiences of my life. I consider this to be one of the best choices that I have ever made in my educational and professional career. The course enabled me to acquire comprehensive knowledge in urban planning and management. The utmost noteworthy achievement during my studies was the opportunity this course gave me to exchange knowledge with other students from different countries around the world. This course not only made me learn about the theoretical aspects of urban management but also gave me a chance to gather empirical knowledge by carrying out field work.
I have been working for the ‘German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) Bangladesh’ in different urban development projects since returning from Berlin. Presently I am engaged as a “Senior Advisor (Climate Policy)” for the inclusion of the topic of climate change adaptation into national and local development planning projects n Bangladesh. The knowledge I gathered from the Urban Management course made me confident to handle this task appropriately and competently."
Ignacio Castillo Ulloa, Costa Rica
- © Castillo Ulloa
"While still completing
the Urban Management Master Program, I was engaged in a quite edifying
working experience at INPOLIS UCE GmbH, a firm based in Berlin that
offers urban professional services. Mainly dealing with international
projects, this work experience allowed me to apply my acquired
knowledge, at both a theoretical and practical level, in new fields
such as City marketing and Place branding. I was also involved in
smaller local projects in the area of city management and cultural
tourism, where I was able to make use of urban management principles
and ideas obtained during my studies. After graduation, I decided to
take on a new challenge and began my PhD research at the
Institute of Urban and Regional Planning of TU Berlin. In my dissertation, I problematized how protest action of urban social movements may aid to underpin wider and more inclusive local community self-development processes. To that end, the discussion was placed within the frame of radical planning theory and practice that react to – and somewhat counteract – the consequences of an urban development largely spelled out by a global market rationality and safeguarded by top-down state-led planning mechanisms. In this context, I conducted case study research in an urban community in San José, Costa Rica (my hometown) in order to test and further develop some of the main findings derived from theoretical examination. All in all, it is believed that direct community action, in the long run, helps to create a more equal environment – in both social and spatial terms – for it also enhances local participatory democracy within and even beyond official (urban) planning processes.
Currently, I work as a research assistant and assistant professor at the chair of Urban Design and Urban Development, TU Berlin. As of the beginning of 2018, I am partaking in the Collaborative Research Centre “Re-Figuration of Spaces”.
Raquel Dantas Do Amaral, Brazil
- © Dantas do Amaral
"I am from Brazil and received a Bachelor degree in Architecture and Urbanism in my hometown Fortaleza in 2004. After I completed my Master degree in Urban Management from the Technical University of Berlin in 2008, I returned to Brazil, worked for three years at the State Government of Ceara and enrolled in a development project financed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The experience I gained working with the State Government and the knowledge I acquired from the Urban Management Master degree inspired me to better comprehend the role of Multilateral Development Banks. In 2014 I began my PhD program at the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism at the University of São Paulo in Brazil and titled my thesis “The Multilateral Development Finance: The Brazilian State and the Multilateral Development Banks in the Spatial Planning – Case of Ceara". During my PhD research I had the opportunity to spend six months at the University of Minnesota in the United States to exchange ideas about global institutions of power and their relation with the state, focusing on urban and regional planning issues. I successfully defended my thesis in April, 2018. I returned to Brazil to my current job at the Federal University of Ceará."
Maria Rosa Munoz Barriga, Ecuador
- © Munoz Barriga
"Through my work as a junior researcher in an urban think tank in Quito I acquired a deep understanding of the complexity of urban issues, in particular in the Latin American context, and the need of a comprehensive approach to deal with the social, economic and environmental problems that arise in the urban context. As a consequence, I decided to pursue a career in the field and develop my skills further, which led me to study ‘Urban Management’ at TU Berlin. Ever since I arrived in Berlin, the different courses, projects, conferences and workshops, in which I actively participated, deepened my awareness about the important role that cities play in the fight against climate change and the urgent need of transformative action in and from cities to achieve the sustainability and climate goals agreed in the international treaties of the past 3 years.
Already during my studies, I started working for the ‘Habitat Unit’ in a project commissioned by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) to identify the urban essence of the Sustainable Development Goals and its relationship to the New Urban Agenda. After graduation, I worked in a GIZ Project Preparation Facility named FELICITY, where I was able to learn more about the processes needed to implement transformative climate action in cities and the challenges that have to be addressed in terms of financing, governance and capacity development. At present, I work as a research fellow at the ‘Mobility and International Cooperation Research Unit’ from the ‘Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy’, where I am in charge of identifying and supporting low-carbon infrastructure projects in cities in Latin America."
Rafael L. Valladares Rodas, Honduras
- © Valladares Rodas
"Since my graduation at the UM program in Berlin, I am working as an urban practitioner in several ways: I am active as a consultant for 'Ciudad Emergente Foundation' in the transfer of knowledge and implementation of urban tactics: One of our goals is – with citizen’s participation - to transform some streets of our city, stating that the streets - instead of being spaces only for cars - are also spaces for pedestrians and cyclists. Moreover, I am working as a development coordinator for a real estate company in Tegucigalpa and I am conducting my own TV program in my hometown every week. This program intends to educate the population, addressing the problems of cities and possible solutions, emphasizing the sustainable development goals of the United Nations. Finally, I worked as a researcher for the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH): The investigation project was a Special Research Project named 'Mobility and Sustainable Urban Development'."
Lea Ksayer, Lebanon
- © Ksayer
"I have completed degrees in Architecture and Engineering Management at the American University of Beirut; I then proceeded to work in design architecture, construction, and sustainability consultancy in the MENA region. In 2013, I moved to Brazil where I completed various bio-construction courses. In 2015, I joined the Urban Management program at TU Berlin with the aim to expand my knowledge and understanding of the various components of the urban fabric. The Urban Management program has provided me with the right tools to expand my professional opportunities. During the course of the program, my colleagues and I had the opportunity to collaborate with the ‘Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit’ (GIZ) on the Sustainable Municipal Service (SMS) program in Kosovo. Consequently, I had the opportunity to return to Kosovo after graduation and continue working with the GIZ team on the SMS program.
Today, I take part of the Water and Habitat Unit at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The unit is responsible for the planning, design and implementation of engineering projects for victims of armed conflict."
Renata Goretti, Brazil
- © Renata Goretti
"Having worked for nine years with the private sector as an architect and urbanist and for five years as an assistant professor at ‘Centro de Ensino Superior’ de Juiz de Fora, my hometown, I decided to search for new education in order to cope with the constant changes in my city and country. Aiming at enhancing my academic skills, I opted for the UM Master program at TU Berlin, where I not only could acquire the knowledge I searched for, but also develop abilities in moderation, facilitation and field work, which helped me achieve some goals I set for my return to my home country.
After returning from Berlin, I went back to my Architecture and Urbanism School as a Senior Professor, coordinating the Architecture and Urbanism program. I have also been working as a private consultant in the field of urban projects and have even been involved with municipal politics, helping to write the campaign program - Cities for People - for the mayor, elected December 2012. Recently, I was invited to become Undersecretary of Land Use Planning in the Municipality of Juiz de Fora. I aim to put into practice the skills I brought from the Master here in the Municipality. It is a great opportunity to challenge minds on an everyday-basis in order to change procedures, look forward, and believe change is possible. Tools are, however, poor yet and there is still plenty of work ahead - considering all the layers cities are built upon and regarding all the stakeholders involved."
Kurt Steffens, Chile
- © Kurt Steffens
"By joining the Urban
Management course at TU Berlin, I had the chance to co-operate with
colleagues from other professional backgrounds, and also to experience
and appreciate how this professional diversity allows to find better
answers in order to deal with the complexities of urban
development. But especially, I had the chance to understand how urgent
it is to put people in the focus of urban development
Currently, I work in Chile as the coordinator of the ‘Urban Tactics Laboratory’ at the ‘Ciudad Emergente Foundation’, and also as an associate professional at ‘Emergente Co-op’, where I lead urban innovation projects on issues related with sustainable mobility and citizen’s participation, and develop different indicators to evaluate planning measures in the concept of ‘human-centered cities’."
Evandro Holz, Brazil
- © Holz
“Prior to joining the UM programme, I already had quite a mixed background – although having graduated in civil engineering and having some experience with construction, I had worked for around seven years performing environmental assessments of different types. Within the UM course, I had the chance to frame my experience into an urban context, hence attaining a different perspective on the work I was doing previously.
Since then, I have been acting as a freelance consultant in a variety of topics, including urban resilience, climate change adaptation, housing, municipal finances and sanitation, both for international organisations (e.g. GIZ, UN-Habitat) as well as other institutions (e.g. Rapid Urbanism, TSPA). Currently, I am working for UN-Habitat in Mozambique as an housing and urban policy expert.”
Vicente Sandoval Henríquez, Chile
- © Sandoval Henríquez
"After joining the UM course, and then finishing my PhD in development planning at the University College of London, I was first working as a visiting researcher at the ‘Disaster Research Unit’ of the Free University in Berlin for almost 4 years. After that, I started to work as a postdoctoral associate at the ‘Extreme Event Institute’ of the Florida International University. I am researching the impact of development initiatives within Latin American and Caribbean countries, as part of USAID and OFDA (Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance) efforts, which touch the linkages between disaster risk reduction and informal settlements."
Jia Xiaodong, China
- © Xiaodong
"After working in the field of environmental engineering in China, I decided to take part in the 'Urban Management' Masters course in 2007, with the aim of helping to solve environmental problems. After my graduation I started working for a greenhouse gas emission trading and renewable energy investment firm in Berlin, which provides CDM financing and consultation services in Germany. Right now I work as the European representative of the initiative ‘Global Protected Area Friendly System’.
As we all know our earth is facing unprecedented global warming, climate change and degradation of biodiversity. In the future international society will have to pay more attention on good urban management and on a harmonious relationship between people and nature – e.g. on energy efficiency, green local government, public transportation, public-private partnerships with local business. All these topics were covered in the UM course, which gave me a good overview for thinking about the future."
Eliana Silva, Venezuela
- © Silva
"One of the greatest opportunities I got after this Master program was to start working as a consultant for ‘Rapid Urbanism’, a think tank for building inclusive, resilient and sustainable cities in the Global South. At Rapid Urbanism I was involved in various projects related to social housing, municipal finance and climate change. Parallel to this experience, I joined GIZ office in Berlin, as an intern to collaborate with the initiative “C40 Cities Finance Facility (CFF)” that supports cities in developing countries to prepare sustainable projects to get access to finance. After completing this internship, I now continue working with the CFF, as an independent consultant.
I would also like to add that thanks to the experiences and people I have met through this Master program I managed to twist my career path as an economist to become an urban development expert with a broader view of urban challenges including those related to urban economy and climate change. Additionally, my current work experience is helping me to put together key pieces into practice from the large puzzle I learned during the Master. Now I feel I have more tools to contribute to the international development focus on cities, which is my professional passion.
Previously, I had worked for six years at CAF, Development Bank for Latin America. My last position was at the social development unit, monitoring water, sanitation and urban regeneration projects, as well as collaborating with the initial phase of the Program “Cities with a Future” to identify potential projects that promote inclusive, competitive and smart cities."
Poonam Amatya, Nepal
- © Poonam
"The Urban Management (UM) course has taught me various aspects of life: working in teams, embracing ‘multi-culture’, managing and being on time, being optimistic in co-operations. I acquired ample knowledge on urban issues from different perspectives and learned to think ‘out of the box’.
After my return to Nepal, I first worked as an architect: Primarily, I got associated with the Ministry of Education and the Asian Development Bank and worked for reconstruction projects/seismically resistant prototype designs of schools after the Earthquake of 2015. In the meanwhile, I got the incredible opportunity to prepare an Integrated Urban Development Plan for two cities of Nepal. I am delighted to execute the knowledge I attained from the UM program. I understood how complex the practical implementation of urban planning is and the challenges an urban planner/manager has to face.
I will always be indebted to the UM team for providing me the opportunity to groom my academic career in the urban field. This aided me professionally as well as personally. Apart from professional skills, the UM course enhanced my social skills and made me more confident and enthusiastic. The networking of the UM program and the helpful nature of the staff is impressive. I would strongly recommend the UM program for those wishing to pursue a degree in urban management."
Carolina Hernández Galeano, Colombia
- © Galeano
"Trained as an architect and as Urban Manager, I have built my career and professional practice around sustainable urban development and climate change issues. My participation in the UM program provided me with a unique set of skills which trained me as a technical advisor on topics in which today the world needs more professionals and where few of us have the skills.
The time at UM program helped me to find the right professional path, and to structure my professional future. Thanks to the chosen approaches, the coaching received by the professors and tutors of the program, as well as the oportunities to actively participate in other research projects conducted by TU Berlin, the doors of international cooperation and advisory, on climate change and urban development issues, opened up to a future in which the role of urban managers is becoming more important, as it is in cities where actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change take place and where the impacts become measurable.
After my time at UM, I returned to my home country and worked as ‘Climate Change, Housing & Urban Development Advisor’ at the ‘Low Carbon Resilient Development Program’ funded by USAID, mainstreaming and supporting the design of actions or processes that can provide, both mitigation and adaptation to climate change benefits in the Colombian urban and land planning processes, in the view of the Paris Agreement. Currently, I’m working as a Senior Project Advisor for the city of Bogota at the C40 Cities Finance Facility Program. Implemented by the GIZ and the C40 group, facilitating access to finance for climate change mitigation and resilience projects in cities."
Daniel Wagner, Brazil
- © Wagner
“Graduated as an architect at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, I have focused my interest in urban development from the very beginning. After university, I have founded the NGO Chiq da Sila. Our aim was to work with social housing in a whole different way. In a developing country, where an architect becomes an asset for few, we wanted to take architecture to parts of the city where an architect didn’t usually work. Trying to combine architecture and urban development, I have focused on social housing and began to work with urban squats. Tackling important urban issues, such as housing, in a detailed and individual approach though architecture, I was able to reach to civic and social movements. A year after the formation of the Chiq da Silva, we were granted as ‘Government sponsored project’ to rehabilitate former abandoned buildings into social housing.
The experience with social housing in Rio de Janeiro led me to wish deepening my studies in urban development. The understanding that the city is an organism and its elements dialog with each other in a dialectical manner got me searching for a master course that could provide me with modern tools to face the challenges of our cities. The Urban Management course at TU Berlin fitted right to what I was looking for. Alongside with my academic purpose, the experience in Berlin has expanded internationally my reach. With the Urban Management mediation, I was able to perform a consulting job at a housing NGO in the Philippines. For my final thesis, I was sponsored by the GIZ – German International Cooperation Agency – I was invited to conduct a research on social housing policies in India.
Alejandro Martin Rodriguez, Argentinia
- © Rodriguez
"After three years
of professional experience as an architect and
academic instructor in the architectural field in Buenos
Aires, I decided to take part in the Urban Management Master’s
course at TU Berlin with the aim to enrich my knowledge about urban
phenomena on a global scale. Being awarded with a DAAD-
scholarship was of great importance in order to focus all my working
time to the program and to develop succesfully a global
empirical research between two distant world capitals (Master’s
thesis on Istanbul and Buenos Aires). My ‘Berlin years’
(2012-2014) were essential to consolidate my academic base in
terms of understanding the conformation of social landscapes
worldwide. They have clarifyied in my mind the complexity concerning
the role of the public and the private sector and of their mediators.
Besides that, these years have created a fantastic network of
professionals and intellectuals, most of them friends with whom I keep
contact until the present.
After completing the Master’s program, I have participated as invited jury member and then as lecturer at the Chair for Landscape Architecture at ‘Universidad Torcuato Di Tella’ in Buenos Aires. Moreover, I continued my professional practice as a consultant for private entrepreneurs focusing on large scale urban projects and developing place-making interventions. Recently, I started working in Munich in the architecture and planning field as project manager developing large scale urban projects, dealing with complex networks of stakeholders, and putting into practice the skills gained along the UM Program."
Ndimphiwe N. Jamile, South Africa
- © Jamile
"Since 2015 I have been working as a Project
manager (Technical advisor) for the National Treasury under the
‘Neighbourhood Development Programme’ (NDP). My role is to provide
support in spatial planning, precinct management, financial
administering and monitoring of long term catalytic infrastructure
projects to leverage third party investments (public and private).
Part of my work involves coordination of the ‘South African Precinct
Management Initiative’ (SAPMI), a public-private initiative
reviewing existing policy framework and establishing new policy
framework for urban management in spatial targeted precincts around
Before joining the National treasury, I completed a Master’s degree in Urban Management (UM) at Technische Universität Berlin. This has extended my ten year experience as an architect, and diversified my knowledge within the urban development field. Prior to joining National Treasury, I worked for the ‘German Agency for International Cooperation’ (GIZ), ‘Violence and Crime Prevention Project’ in Pretoria, South Africa. This was a great opportunity to interact with international development cooperation experts applying strategies to urban safety challenges in developing and developed countries."
Lukmoeng Swangpol, Thailand
- © Swangpol
"Based on my background as landscape
architect and on my interest in aspects of urban environment, I took
part in the Urban Management (UM) course, with an aim to broaden my
intellectual knowledge and international practice. I came to
understand more and to look at urban issues in a ‘big picture’.
Seeing urban entities as ‘scattered dots’, what I was taught was
simply the ‘ability to connect those dots’. The UM course has not
only changed my mind-set but also has helped me to advance my career
towards more sophisticated arenas.
Currently, I find myself engaged in an international development project in Dawei, Myanmar, together with engineers, architects, consultants, economists, investors, communities, governmental officers as well as NGOs. I realise the interrelationship between stakeholders and learn how to exercise the roles in various urban contexts. The responsibilities come with struggles but I see them as a challenge.
I would not have come this far without the experience gained from the UM course, therefore I consider it as a key milestone in my life."
Claus Rabe, South Africa
- © Rabe
"After working for four years as a young planning consultant on economic development and poverty alleviation projects across South Africa, I recognized the urgent need for fresh ideas in confronting the serious challenges facing cities and regions in the Developing South. The Urban Management Masters Course enabled me to see these challenges in a new light, and from a truly global perspective. Supported by a global network of fellow urban practitioners cultivated during the course of the program, I have subsequently applied my new-found perspectives and methods in my various positions, including principal planner for the City of Cape Town, municipal finance consultant to National Treasury and as urban simulation expert for the World Bank."
Adriana Dantas, Brazil
- © Dantas
"Since 2009, I've been working as Architect
for the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) where I am responsible for
analyzing and monitoring urban development projects in the field of
sanitation, transportation, education, security and health. I'm also
finishing my PhD on Urban Design at the Federal University of Rio de
Janeiro (UFRJ) researching on mixed income housing in regeneration
The knowledge acquired during the Urban Management Masters Course certainly helps me to deal with the different roles of stakeholders involved in urban development. Moreover, it lets me think about possibilities for international cooperation that could contribute to more efficient solutions for the problems that I encounter in my field of work."
Thiago Barbizan, Brazil
- © Thiago Barbizan
"Through the Urban
Management Program I was able to engage with initiatives and research
related to the contribution of urban and peri-urban agriculture for
sustainable urban development. This included the analysis and
development of public policies focusing on building synergies and
cooperation between rural and urban areas. In this regard, I can
highlight the community gardens implemented in São Paulo by the NGO
‘Cities Without Hunger’ which I supported as volunteer.
After completion of the program I first worked for São Paulo Municipality Housing Secretariat managing projects related to social and affordable housing, informal settlements upgrading and infrastructure provision while supporting participatory processes and relations with vulnerable communities living in risk areas.
Recently I returned to Germany, where I joined ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability). Our team supports the World Secretariat activities in the field of urban resilience and climate change adaptation such as the ‘Resilient City Agenda’ and the ‘Transformative Actions Program’.
The Urban Management Program has paved the way for expanding my interest on green climate change adaptation solutions at the local level. Furthermore, it is an excellent platform for exchange and co-produce knowledge with fellow alumni."
Aline Delatte, France
- © Aline Delatte
"As a French civil engineer in transportation design, I decided to take part in the Urban Management Master at the TU Berlin in 2010 with the aim to enlarge my competences and conceptual understanding on global urban challenges. The large range of theoretical lectures and practical seminars provided by outstanding experts during the master allowed me to strengthen my analytical and academic knowledge in urban issues.
Since September 2015, I'm conducting transport social research at the International Association for Public Transport - UITP MENA Center for Transport Excellence, based in Dubai - with the overall aim at generating new knowledge on urban mobility and public transport development in cities of the Middle East and North Africa region. My research interest is the analysis of urban travel behaviour in the context of changing urban and societal dynamics.
Prior to joining UITP MENA CTE, I worked as a Research Associate and Project Coordinator at the Institute for Transport Research at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and at the Technische Universität Berlin, Department of Integrated Transport Planning (TUB IVP)."
Achmad Faris Sunarya, Indonesia
- © Faris Sunarya
"The UM program has enhanced my skills and profile in order to help me getting involved in international projects in Indonesia: Since my graduation, I have been involved in projects such as the ‚National Highway Masterplan’ from DFAT (Australian- Indonesian cooperation) and a Chinese investment project focusing on the social impact analysis of ‘High Speed Rail’. The courses I have taken during the Masters program, including urban economy, infrastructure management or urban social governance, are essential to the increase of my previous experience in the transport management sector with GIZ (Germany Agency for International Cooperation)."
Jesús Salcedo Villanueva, Mexico
- © Jesús Salcedo Villanueva
"During and after completing the Urban Management program at the TU Berlin, I had the opportunity to acquire experience with local and regional governments in Oman and Italy, and with international development agencies such as the German International Cooperation Agency GIZ. This was on topics that range from analytical research and policy recommendations in the fields of urban growth management, local governance, disaster risk reduction, and the implementation of international development agreements such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda.
Currently, I’m working in the United Nations Human Settlements Program UN-Habitat as an associate expert in the Housing and Slum Upgrading Branch. Here, I get the chance to engage in strategic analysis of partnerships and programmatic management of housing and slum upgrading projects. During the last year I have co-edited 3 national housing policies in Lesotho, Mozambique and Guyana; besides working on urban policy related to housing finance, housing affordability, slum-upgrading strategies, urban growth management and human rights mainstreaming in projects in least developed countries."
Carolina Lunetta, Brazil
- © Carolina Lunetta
"Currently, I am working at the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies in Rotterdam as a member of the Urban Strategies and Planning specialization team. I participate in advisory and research projects and also support the educational activities in the Master Programme on Urban Management and Development in the areas of planning, urban governance and land management. Recently I worked as project coordinator for a research project on urban expansion in Mozambique.
After completing the master program at TU Berlin, I worked for GIZ (German Agency for International Cooperation) as an international consultant in Cambodia. I supported the development of spatial plans for provinces and municipalities and conducted gender workshops in the field of spatial planning. Previously, I worked in Brazil as a consultant for the government developing Housing Plans for municipalities and metropolitan regions, and also as an architect in projects for the private sector."
Zakaria Mohyeldin, Egypt
- © Zakaria Mohyeldin
"Renewable Energy (RE), transportation & community assistance are fields I've joined following the masters of urban management. I've worked as an advisor with the GIZ program the JCEE or the Egyptian German Joint Committee on RE, Energy Efficiency & Environmental protection. We work with the Egyptian Government to achieve its RE goals.
I am also a volunteer team member on a crowd & organisation funded community assistance project. We aim to provide shelter, RE, water & food security for vulnerable communities that live on the south eastern Red Sea coast & desert valleys."
Lukas Terrence Hoye, Germany - USA
- © Lukas Terrence Hoye
"Besides my current teaching and research activities about space, design, and planning in an international context at the TU Darmstadt my position as Senior Consultant at GOPA Worldwide Consultants contributes to my professional skills in the areas of urban design, international cooperation and planning in a global context.
My studies at the Urban Management (UM) programme at the TU Berlin allowed me to shift from classical Architecture/ Urban Design to working in the field of international development cooperation. The teachings I received at UM with regards to public utilities, waste management, environmental infrastructure, transport policy/planning/economics etc. constitute the basis for the promising reorientation of my professional career.
My motivation is to make meaningful contributions to the current unprecedented process of urban growth towards more habitable as well as socially and ecologically resilient settlements, providing all citizens condign housing conditions and adequate planning systems for an inclusive, healthy, safe, and thriving living environment."
Aline Simões Ollertz Silva, Brazil
- © Aline Ollertz
"With a background in Architecture and Urban Planning, the Urban Management Master Program gave me the opportunity to expand my work field.
Currently I am a researcher at the University of São Paulo, in a joint program with the Municipality of São Paulo. This program aspires to promote integration between research and community and it aims to investigate issues regarding the formulation, implementation and evaluation of policies for migrants in São Paulo. The research also aims the promotion of migrants' rights within local policies.
The current main activity of the research is to collect, process and organize data to be used in the proposition of local policies to promote citizenship and better reception for migrants in the city. We are also working for a IPPDH (Institute for Public Policies in Human Rights - Mercosur) research on the current situation of immigrants' access to rights in São Paulo. The group also promotes debates on the topic and raises awareness for migration issues."
Vasilis Latinos, Greece
- © Vasileios Latinos
“Following my graduation from the Urban Management Program, I have devoted my career to projects that deal with aspects of environmental and sustainable urban development, mainly at the local level.
After working for years in consulting and also in research, I joined ICLEI: Local Governments for Sustainability, working first for the project "100 Resilient Cities", pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, and then as Officer for Sustainable Resources, Climate Adaptation and Resilience at the European Secretariat in Freiburg.
I have always been very engaged in the research about climate change policies and urban resilience and how global, pro- environmental ideas, concepts and strategies can be transferred and applied locally. I have also always been fascinated working with cities and municipalities, and the Urban Management program has been a very insightful and important career driver for me."
Diego Duarte, Colombia
- © Diego Duarte
"I am working as an urban planning consultant in an international firm with a branch in Bogotá. Everyday I have the opportunity to apply the knowledge of the Msc Urban Management to my work with different stakeholders such as: Municipalities, Private Sector, IDB, World Bank, and Local Communities – in the context of projects related to urban development in terms of transportation planning (strategic analysis for metro projects), urban growth (analysis of the current urban footprint and future scenarios), land tenure, masterplans and the regeneration program for municipalities in Colombia and South America.
I am responsible for creating strategies and solutions with the aim to consolidate urban and rural areas in physical design, community participation and financial planning with the support of multi-disciplinary experts in the fields of engineering, architecture, finance, sociology and law. Being in contact with communities is also an aspect that I found relevant in order to know the main issues and constraints that local people are facing. In that way the lessons learnt in the UM course have been useful for my role as an advisor."
Sam Soloman, USA
- © Soloman
"With a background in leadership and higher education, I was a unique admit to the Urban Management program at TU Berlin. My coursework and practical experience throughout the UM program provided an exceptional foundation in the areas of governance, participatory planning, and urban development. Following my thesis work on land management in Oman with Professor Dr. Nebel, I assumed work on a UN-Habitat project on emerging cities and more recently returned to the academic sector through the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) in the US.
I am privileged to be immersed in meaningful work developing strategies and initiatives to facilitate executive level leadership training and capacity building for youth, such as a GIZ partnership in Addis Ababa to develop capacity of local community change-makers.
The UM program was the right blend of theoretical foundations and hands-on practicum. I was fortunate to meet, study, and work alongside bright students from around the world who contributed daily with insights from their diverse and rich professional backgrounds and unique experiences. These students, along with the excellent faculty, have enriched my professional development and deepened my understanding of urban issues, strategies, and prospects in a truly significant way."
Monicah Karangi, Kenia
- © Monicah Karangi
"Being offered a DAAD scholarship to further my studies was a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’, to experience different cultures and ways of life. The Urban Management course offered relevant, well-orchestrated courses, with the composition of students and lectures carefully selected in order to provide a global perspective on urban issues. The social and professional experiences gained are invaluable and timeless.
After serving as a land use planner under the Ministry of Lands in Kenya and being equipped with practical skills through the UM course, I started a social enterprise with the vision to address food insecurity issues that we experience in our rapidly emerging cities. We provide skill training and advocacy programs to women groups in resilient urban agriculture practices, sustainable land use and entrepreneurship.
The applicability of the knowledge impacted to me during the course is not only relevant in public service but is also relevant to individuals looking to establish private enterprises or consultancies. Practical units as project management, food security and land management gave me the confidence to establish my consultancy and business enterprise, and the tools to manage it. It is now one year since I went into the field of private consultancies, and the lessons learnt and the relationships developed during my studies are still vibrant, relevant and applicable."
Andres Perez, Colombia
- © Andres Perez
"As an architect and urban manager I am currently working at the ‘Secretariat of Social Housing of the Local Government’ in the formulation of a ‚Strategic Plan for Housing and Habitat’ for my city (Cali, Colombia) for the next 12 years. This plan aims at changing the urban policy from a ‘housing policy’ to a ‘habitat policy’ - meaning a turn from planning housing units towards sustainable urban development. After my work experience at UN-Habitat (New York) and BMW Guggenheim LAB (New York and Mumbai), I am facing the challenge of being involved in the change of the housing policy of my home city. Working for the public sector I will be able to develop a multi-sector integrated approach – which I learned from my TU Berlin supervisor Prof. Uwe-Jens Walther – and to create innovative ways in improving urban governance."
Altami C. Arasty, Indonesia
- © Altami Arasty
"The Urban Management program at TU Berlin has enabled me to grow intellectually, personally and professionally. The multicultural setting helps the students to push themselves to go beyond the comfort zone of their expertise, while finding hybrid approaches for crosscutting urban issues. The UM program applies a very structured and pragmatic approach (all that you expect from German education). The field trip module, which I think was the most important part of the program, has improved my competence quite significantly, and made it applicable for my career in international trade and development sectors. After my graduation in 2011, I have worked with various development agencies and international research centers such as JICA, GIZ, and ECN. I currently work as independent consultant for UNDP Indonesia in the sustainable energy sector and have established a professional platform with my fellow Indonesian UM graduates (www.climigato.org ). Having a degree from UM TU Berlin was simply a good deal of career investment and a lifetime experience."
Zhu Wentong, China
- © Zhu Wentong
"From the Urban Management course I have gained urban knowledge on a higher level, much higher than from a designer's point of view which I used to have. The range of urban issues this course includes is very broad, and there definitely are adequate teaching resources for the students to go on with the topics they are interested in. These topics range from urban theories to urban design. Students with various backgrounds sit together to share their different ideas—the atmosphere here is cooperative, rather than competitive.
Presently, I am working in Shanghai, in a design institute as an urban designer. It looks like I am not doing things very different as before - I studied architecture and I was a designer before I joined the UM course - but the way I view things is indeed different now, as I have a bigger picture, the whole city, in my mind."
Kai Hofmann, Germany
- © Kai Hofmann
“Since 2014 I’m the programme manager of the Sustainable Municipal Service (SMS) programme in Kosovo for the ‚Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit‘ (German Agency for International Cooperation, GIZ). We support the young city administration of the new country to provide better service to their citizens, especially in waste collection, tariff setting, quality management, outsourcing services and the like. It’s a fun and exciting job working with informal waste pickers, the civil society, businesses, city governments, mayors and ministers. What I learned during the Urban Management MSc helps me today to understand the complex interrelations in local administrations."
Soo Hyun Kim, South Korea
- © Kim Soo Hyun
"Having a background as an architect, the Urban Management master program has greatly benefited me, by enlarging the perspectives when dealing with complex urban problems. I was able to make a foundation to understand up-to-date issues, such as urban sustainability, governance, community participation and various management fields, both theoretically and practically. It was also an irreplaceable experience to meet friends from all over the world, with different working backgrounds, cultures, languages. Sharing ideas and case studies from different countries under the same theoretical theme was something valuable to learn, not just as a good way of achieving managing skills and practicing teamwork, but also as the unique opportunity to have nice colleagues from all over the world as life-long friends. Studying while living in Berlin, a very vibrant and thought-provoking city, is definitely an advantage of this program. I would highly recommend you to join this experience.
Currently I'm giving lectures for an architectural design studio at the University of Ulsan, School of Architecture, South Korea. Recently I've also been engaged in an urban expert consulting group, 'Ulsan Architecture and Urban Forum (UAUF)', managing a community participation project for urban regeneration in the historic site of Eonyang Fortress, Ulsan, South Korea."
Hwoon Yoon and Jieun Lee, South Korea
- © Jieun Lee
- © Hwoon Yoon
"Currently, we are working as architects in Seoul. We recently founded an architecture firm, D-Werker Architects. We focus on finding creative design solutions for sustainable future based on ideas and skills which we discussed in the Urban Management program. By providing our services in architecture and urban management, we expect to contribute to make better environments to live and work with our neighborhoods. We believe that it can be a powerful step for achieving healthy and happy communities as well as for expanding our knowledge in design and programs."
Laura Bright-Davies, Australia
- © Laura Bright-Davies
"As an architect, I studied the Urban Management Masters because I was interested in the architecture of a city as a whole, and the urban responsibilities at a global scale. Prior to the course, I never imagined I would end up rejecting the world of conventional architecture - to instead work within the field of excreta or wastewater management in developing countries. And so far, I haven’t looked back.
During the course, I was introduced not only to the challenges surrounding urbanisation, but also to the global sanitation crisis pervading cities throughout the Global South. While we are often reminded that more than 50% of the global population now live in urban areas, we rarely discuss the fact that over 40% of the global population live without access to basic sanitation facilities. Improving sanitation conditions in rapidly growing urban settlements presents a monumental challenge for Urban Managers. I find this topic fascinating, and the more I learn about the world of urban sanitation management, the more I am driven to work within this sector; which is not only a much-deserving topic, but a basic human right.
For these reasons I chose to undertake research for my UM Master Thesis in Kathmandu, Nepal - on the topic of Urban Environmental Sanitation - while simultaneously completing a 5-month internship with GFA Consulting group (on behalf of GIZ). Upon graduation, I moved to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where I worked as Sanitation Technical Advisor for Engineers without Borders. Now I am currently based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, working for the Bremen Overseas Research & Development Association (BORDA) to integrate sustainable and inclusive service options into City-wide Sanitation Planning. In Kathmandu, Phnom Penh, Dar es Salaam, and many other cities in the Global South, one cannot walk the streets without being reminded of the severity of poor urban sanitation. For me, it is a constant reminder that as architects and urban managers, we have the urgent responsibility to consider the whole urban framework - including the most unsavoury aspects - as we find ourselves in the context of a rapidly urbanising world and a multitude of associated urban problems."
Shaikh Muhammad Mehedi Ahsan, Bangladesh
- © Mehedi
"Being a Bangladeshi Urban Planner, educated
and having worked in Bangladesh, I always had a dream of higher
studies in Europe. Finally, my dream came to reality in 2011 when I
was awarded with a DAAD scholarship to study “Urban Management” at
the TU Berlin. Throughout this program I got the opportunity to
broaden my horizon of theoretical understanding and research skills on
global urbanization & international urban development. I also got
a unique exposure during my internship at the GIZ Head Office and
during field research in Nepal as part of my studies at TU which added
values to my 10 years professional experience and raised my
confidence to work internationally. After my graduation, I have worked
in Bangkok with the globally reputed consultancy house ARUP as Senior
Consultant and for the ‘Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience
Network’, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. There, I was
responsible for the scoping studies to develop networks of
practitioners in the areas of ‘Urban Climate Change Resilience’ in
the Asia Pacific region.
Now I am back to my country with advanced theoretical knowledge on Urban Management and with international professional exposure. Currently I am working with KfW Development Bank as a ‘Sector Specialist for Resilient Cities’. I am also representing Germany as a Co-Chair of the ‘Climate Change and Environment Working Group’ of LCG Bangladesh: LCG Bangladesh is a platform for the Coordination between the Government of Bangladesh and development partners. LCG Working groups are designed to contribute towards effective and coordinated implementation of national policies, strategies, plans and programmes.
After my graduation I am working in the field of resilience of cities – a topic which I was working on during my MSc thesis as well. So, I can clearly feel that studying Urban Management at TU Berlin has enriched my career a lot.
Alan Bright, Australia
- © Bright
"I am currently working as the Manager of Strategic Planning at Randwick City Council, a local government area in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. The work is very challenging with a new 2 line light rail project planned for the city in the final stages of planning and a dynamic area close to the CBD experiencing growth and change. I can highly recommend the Urban Management course and I found it to be well run, stimulating and rewarding. Berlin is also a wonderful city to study in and explore it's many different neighbourhoods and historical layers."
Julita Skodra, Serbia
- © Julita Skodra
"The Urban Management program offers a great array of both theoretical and practical courses - solution-oriented - which provided me with a holistic view on urban issues locally as well as globally. Participating in a hands-on student project in Ukraine was a great opportunity to enhance my understanding of the issues presented during the semester and to implement acquired knowledge on ‘real-world’ problems. Beside the lectures, excursions and field work, having the unique opportunity to share knowledge with my colleagues from various countries and with different professional backgrounds has proven to be an invaluable experience that has given me a new dimension to the learning process itself.
The interdisciplinary background of this program, as an important base for better understanding of complex urban issues, not only enabled me to participate in the initiative “Authors Meet Critics” organized by the ‘International Journal of Urban and Regional Research’, but also facilitated the selection of my research topic as a PhD student in ARUS program (Advanced Research in Urban Systems) at the University of Duisburg-Essen. Having the broader picture in the background, I have focused my research on urban health and environmental justice. After more than a year of researching in the ‘Institute of City Planning and Urban Design’ at the University of Duisburg-Essen and taking part in preparing the “Healthy City” seminar, I will join the Center of Urban Epidemiology, Essen University Hospital in January 2014."
Ova Candra Dewi, Indonesia
- © Candra Dewi
"The 2 years I spent in Berlin (2007-2009), where I studied urban management in developing countries, were one of the best milestones in my life. This was the time when I found my passion to improve the waste management system in my home country, Indonesia. The course also gave me the chance to experience living independently and having wonderful friends from diverse backgrounds from all over the world. Working in these different atmospheres was a great experience for me. It is an amazing opportunity, especially to work with women from other developing countries.
I continued to do a PhD in Hamburg (2009-2013) to follow my passion and I worked in the field of modelling integrated waste management systems for densely populated urban areas or ‘kampung’ towards slow carbon and eco-region development. Now I am back in my country and work closely with BORDA NGO Network as a returning expert. My position is a KIPRAH (Kita-Pro-Sampah or We-Pro-Waste) Program Manager. Together with my team, I have a broader chance to make changes on waste management. I thank DAAD, Schlumberger Foundation for all support and also kinships I found during my stay in Germany."
Johary Anuar, Malaysia
- © Anuar
“The UM course has given me good exposure and
knowledge in understanding the intricacies of urban issues in
developing countries as well as in ‘advanced’ nations. Its
syllabus and learning methods include various technical and management
subjects. Throughout my time as an UM student I have learned from
academicians and experts in various fields related to urban
management. This helped me in developing sound expertise in the area
of local government management. Classroom interactions with my fellow
student colleagues (professionals and also NGO activists) helped me a
lot in gaining valuable knowledge.
After my graduation in 2007, I worked as a ‘Senior Program Coordinator’ in the ‘Spatial and Urban Management Program’ at the National Institute of Public Administration, Malaysia. Apart from coordinating training programs for local authorities in Malaysia, I was also involved in developing the course syllabus, I conducted training sessions and gave lectures. I also established networks with other local government training institutes in the region.
Currently, I hold a position as ‘Head of Local Government Department cum Deputy Director of State Economic Planning Unit’ in the State of Selangor, Malaysia. My current job involves policy making at state level in the field of local government and urban management. My department is also responsible to oversee and help to improve the performance of 12 local authorities in the state, including two cities by allocating annual budgets to all local authorities. Yes, I'm happy doing what I do now and certainly I look forward to establish relevant cooperation with the UM course and other UM alumni in near future."
Febyana Suryaningrum, Indonesia
- © Suryaningrum
"Urban Management was one of the most valuable opportunities in my career history. Not only with its up-to-date curriculum and international standard which enable participants to learn from each other; but mostly by its strong and broad network all over the world. We were connected to urban management’s professionals by the alumni network with regular information on relevant news in Urban and Sustainable Development-related issues. After graduation, I still get benefits as DAAD Alumna to participate in various workshops and trainings to enhance my skills and improve my professional network.
Currently I am working as Climate Change Policy Advisor for LEAF Asia in Bangkok after my previous position as Land-Based Liaison in Indonesia’s Secretariat on Green House Gas Mitigation Action (“RAN GRK” Secretariat). Shifting from Regional Development to Climate Change, my previous study at TU Berlin has enriched me with broader perspectives to apply integrated approaches on various levels of intervention. And the best asset that I can always count on is the UM network that makes all of the UM alumni being able to stay connected and support each other, wherever they are."
Ana Maria Buriticá Alzate, Colombia
- © Ana Maria Buriticá Alzate
"My experience at the Master of Urban Management was one of the most grateful experiences that had an impact in my personal and professional development. It was the opportunity to learn more about the different perspectives of urban policies and different case studies. For my personal experience this year and a half supported me in the process of underpinning my practical with theoretical knowledge. At the same time it was amazing to share hours of experience, stories, and laughter – we had a hilarious time while learning from each other – with all of the UM trew.
Now I am back to my country with the ability to research and analyze information related to politics, economy, international relations, public policy, urban aspects and development. I even became a professor at Externado de Colombia University - my subject: Planning for Development (8th semester of Government and International Relations). This has been a new experience for me. For me teaching is to facilitate learning processes and to recognize that out there are a lot of people who can contribute to our knowledge. In this context, I want to point out that part of my strengths has been the use of the case studies that we’ve developed throughout the Masters course and the very helpful urban management network: sharing experiences and documents to keep us updated! I am looking forward to open spaces to keep sharing with UM Alumni around the world! "
Seyedeh Hoda Nabavi, Iran
- © Hoda Nabavi
"After working for six years in the private sector as an urban planner, in fall 2010, I continued my education in the Urban Management Master program at TU Berlin. I believe that the UM program has helped me to develop a solid foundation for my further professional work. Our research concerning the challenges of urban development in various countries planted the seed from which my passion in sustainable urban development has grown. Writing my Masters thesis gave me the chance to become better acquainted with the essentials of sustainable urban planning and encouraged me to pursue my PhD in a related field.
Since graduation, I have been working as a private consultant with Tehran Municipality in the field of urban projects and at the same time teaching students at the university in my home country, Iran. As a chief urban planner and project manager, I am currently working on the design of a 3-km pedestrian way in the heart of the cultural center of Tehran which follows the aims of sustainable design."
Chitsanzo Lamba, Malawi
- © Chitsanzo Lamba
"After earning my MSc. in Urban Management, meeting such an array of amazing people, and spending a substantial time away from my native home, I came back to Malawi on vacation in 2009… and I’m still here. I secured a lecturing position in Architecture at the Polytechnic- University of Malawi, Blantyre, where I have been teaching since 2010. In addition to teaching, thanks to my studies in the course, I have been in a position to gain more experience working in the Malawian urban context as well as transferring it all to the classes I teach at the Polytechnic (Art, Urban studies, and Final Year Architectural Design). I love my job as it allows me to encourage my students to think beyond the constraints of the physical environment they live in, and to imagine new possibilities using innovative thinking. On May 25th 2013 I was a speaker at TEDx Lilongwe where I gave a talk called “The Architecture Student and the Developing City”. The talk focused on discovering what obligation architecture (as a profession), the Faculty of Built Environment, and student body have to cities in developing countries - and how can they make a difference? [video can be found here ]. I currently reside in Blantyre with my husband Patrick, trying to make whatever difference we can through design. "
Jun Liu, China
- © Jun Liu
"As one of the partners at 'BES Consulting Group' and Vice Director of the 'Center for Recreation & Tourism Research', Peking University, I am mainly working related to tourism planning and consulting, education & training, tourism investment management and event planning in the field of tourism development.
The tourism industry in China is booming. But how to keep a balance between protection and development and how can we create new destinations and attractions? Every destination is unique and has its own special qualities. The key is to find those unique qualities and use them in the best possible way. For example, rural tourism is a rapidly growing field in many countries. Giving people time away from modern life, so that they can get back to their roots – within nature, using existing assets to create a way to re-connect to our past. Small towns are learning to define themselves in a new way. Locals are trained to identify their town's assets in several areas: architecture, art, food, customs, geography, history and people. The citizens begin to see their old buildings, their local art and customs with new eyes. Even small towns can generate significant tourism by taking advantage of what’s already there and creating new ways to market it.
We try to develop unique strengths: What are the natural strengths of a destination? Are there strengths and qualities that aren‘t obvious? We are learning more along the way."
Emilio Berrios, Chile
- © Berrios
"Currently, I am working as a chief architect
at the "Program of Neighborhood Improvement" in Bajos de
Mena, Chile. One of the biggest ‘ghetto’ of Chilean social housing
with around 120.000 inhabitants, located at the commune of Puente Alto
in the Santiago Metropolitan Area. This program is carried out by the
Municipality of Puente Alto in association with the Regional
Secretariat of Ministry of Housing and Urbanism."
Rony Chowdhury, Bangladesh
- © Chowdhury
"When I was thinking about my higher studies abroad back in 2005, it was not only that I wanted to have another university degree. I already had an established career and it was not an easy decision to go for higher study at that point of my career. Despite the risks, I wanted to enhance my knowledge base with latest development in the global urban development in one hand. On the other hand, I wanted to get in touch with practitioners from other countries to know first about their practices back in their county. After 8 years, I can firmly say that I was immensely benefited while studying the International M.Sc. in Urban Management at TU Berlin from 2005 to 2007 as both of my objectives were fully achieved. I can undoubtedly admit that my decision to study at TU Berlin was a leap to my professional career.
Currently I am working as the Component Leader for the Urban Governance Improvement and Policy Advocacy Component of a German-Bangladeshi joint project. I got involved with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) through our staff at the Urban Management Program when I was doing my master’s thesis. After I completed my studies in Berlin, I joined GIZ as Strategic Planning Adviser in 2007 and then until 2012 I was working as Senior Adviser and National Component Manager in Urban Governance sector with GIZ.
Apart from the teaching aspect of the Urban Management Course, the
staff was very supportive during our entire stay in Berlin. The Urban
Management Program still maintains a very close contact with its
Alumni group and keeps us updated on latest developments in the urban
development sector globally. My best wishes to all my present and
future colleagues of the Urban Management Program!"
Selamawit Alem G/Giorgis, Ethiopia
- © Alem G/Giorgis
"I moved to the
'Urban Development Capacity Building Office' Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in
April 2001. There I worked, first as a Senior Expert and later I was
promoted to the Team Leader position of the Human Resource Training
From October 2005 to March 2007 I took an extended leave to further my studies and attained an MSc Degree in Urban Management from the Technical University of Berlin in March 2007. Reporting back to my office in June 2007 I was appointed to the position of 'Human Resource Development Expert'."
Currently, I am Head of the ‚Implementation Capacity Building and
Reform Bureau’. I am one of the higher officials of the Ethiopian
Ministry of Urban Development and Construction. The knowledge and
skills I gained from TU Berlin helped me to reach my current
position. I am really grateful to DAAD support which enabled me
to get an excellent education from TU Berlin and other short term
trainings as well."
Erastus Mutuku, Kenya
- © Mutuku
"After graduating from Maseno University, Kenya, with a bachelors degree in Urban and Regional Planning, I started a job with the government of Kenya as a physical planner. Approximately three years later, I was lucky to receive a DAAD scholarship to study Urban Management at Berlin University of Technology. This is the best thing that has ever happened in my career life. I got an opportunity to share ideas and knowledge with professionals from different backgrounds. This proofed to be a very resourceful venture.
The Urban Management course offered at TU Berlin is the best not only for developing countries but also for developed countries. It is an eye-opener on the management of the challenges facing our cities and other urban centres in the world. Since my graduation from TU Berlin, I have been working as a Senior Physical Planner with the Kenyan Government. Currently, I am the District Physical Planning Officer for Transmara District, Kenya. My responsibilities range from preparation of land use plans for towns and centres within the district to interpretation of Local Physical Development Plans for the Local Authority within my area of operation.
The knowledge and expertise I learnt at TU Berlin is invaluable in
my execution of my duties."
Anissa S. Febrina, Indonesia
- © Febrina
"Driven by my passion in understanding urban development in my hometown Jakarta, I decided that I need to expand my horizon and found just the right place to do so at TU Berlin’s Urban Management Program. Using my limited urban planning knowledge gained as an architectural student and a couple of years of research experience as a city journalist, I joined the program in 2007 with high expectations. It was less about obtaining a degree for the sake of career advancement and more about answering personal curiosities. And indeed my expectations have been met through exchange of knowledge and experience with teachers and colleagues alike. The strength of the program that UM offers lies in the fact that it tries to have a balanced mix of students from developed and developing countries. Thus, stimulating a fruitful exchange that students could always bring back to their home country. It also tries to provide the bigger picture of global urban development trends.
Looking back, I realized it was experience from joining the program
that led me feeling discontent being just a city journalist/ observer
and wanted to have more hands-on experience in the urban development
sector. I currently support the GIZ Clean Air for Smaller Cities
project in Indonesia as a Project Advisor, working with urban
stakeholders to develop Clean Air Plans, forging exchange between
project cities and putting the knowledge gained from UM into
Sang Hyun Jeon, Korea
- © Sang Hyun
"After working as an architect in the private
sector for nine years, I was thinking about how to expand my view and
knowledge related to architecture and urbanism. After comparing many
urban-related master courses, I chose this one, and my expectations
were not wrong. In this course, I got to have an interest in a variety
of urban topics, which helped me to understand how urban management or
urban development work. It was a really precious experience to
me. Since graduation, I have been working as an architect
and at the same time teaching students at university. The subject of
my class is 'Master Planning' and I emphasize a strategy of multiple
approaches to handle urban problems - just like I learned it in the UM
Lin Xiaoli, China
- © Lin
"After two years of working as an architect in the private sector in China, I decided to come to Germany in 2010 for the Urban Management course, with the goal of gaining input regarding sustainable urban development issues from an international perspective. The different participants and lectures of the UM course then gave me the great chance to understand the complexity and challenges of sustainable urban development in different contexts.
Currently I am working as a research associate in the geographical
department of Freie Universität Berlin; my main task is research and
coordination within the traffic management project of “MYTRASYS”,
which is one of nine funded research projects from the German Federal
Ministry of Education and Research “BMBF” regarding sustainability
of the future mega cities. The UM course has enhanced my analytical
capability in scientific research, and especially encouraged me to
tackle cross sector issues in urban development."
Diego Cala Rodriguez, Colombia
- © Diego
"I am currently working as Director of the
Public Space Planning Direction of Bogotá's District Planning
Secretariat. My work includes responsibilities related to formulating
and coordinating policies and regulations as well as to designing
strategic actions and projects regarding public spaces, public parks
and green areas in Bogotá."
Rui Miguel Ferreira Dos Santos, Portugal
- © Rui
"It was a real priviledge to attend the 2009 class of the Urban Management Master’s program. I was given the opportunity to acquire proper knowledge on the problems of global urbanization, exercise potential solutions for externalities of development at the micro/local level and get acquainted with the overall cooperation for development institutional framework. Moreover, it was a unique chance, personally and professionally, to be part of a course that gathered people from all around the world: Throughout the course, all of us, students and lecturers, had the chance to share (and bridge) different perspectives and, as importantly, to understand and respect diverging approaches to contemporary issues concerning the ‘urban’.
Currently as a ‘Spatial Planning’ teacher and a PhD student of
Urban Studies, I’ve been recently awarded a ‘Special Prize’ at
this year’s Young Planners Professional Award edition - jointly
granted by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, IFHP,
ISOCARP and AESOP. All these professional accomplishments are due to
knowledge, competences and experiences associated to the Urban
Management Master’s program, solid bases from which to construct
better understanding of urban-related topics."
Ingrid Sofía Cornejo Reindl, Mexico
- © Ingrid
“The Urban Management Master Program provided me
with theoretical knowledge to launch my career in the field. Today,
six months after graduating, I am working in Italy at Carlo Ratti
Associati in partnership with MIT’s Senseable City Lab
in the development of a Master Plan to turn my home city Guadalajara,
Mexico, into a SMART City. Digital Creative City Guadalajara
is a DUIS (Integrated Sustainable Urban Developments, by its Spanish
Acronym) certified urban regeneration project for the city center,
which aims to foster the creative industry. At the same time it
envisions a strategy to adapt the historical built environment to the
needs and demands of a 21st century society. As an
architect I take part in the design of measurements for optimal land
use and guidelines for integration of historic and contemporary
buildings, while as an urban manager I am responsible of developing a
digital strategy for social inclusion and community empowerment.
Taking part in the project has provided me with a comprehensive view
of what urban management is, and allowed me to put into practice the
skills acquired during my studies.”
Elnur Abbasov, Azerbaijan
- © Elnur
"The Urban Management course was a perfect
opportunity for me to receive proper knowledge, to increase my
academic experience and to meet friendly people from all over the
world. Especially, I was interested in the subjects related to green
management, sustainable urban development, local governance aspects
and energy efficiency in big cities. Our student contribution to the
GIZ programme in Lviv, Ukraine, was a big chance to get practical
experience. Currently, I am working in the renewable energy sector in
my country and doing Phd studies in Lithuania. I am interested in
research in the sustainable energy development sector and
environmental engineering. I was awarded with the President
Scholarship in Azerbaijan for the second time in my life. Being part
of a country with a fast growing economy in Europe, I will use my
experience and knowledge gained during my UM Studies for future
Khalat Othman, Iraq
- © Khalat
"Urban problems and challenges in my
country and my region encouraged me to take part in the Urban
management Masters program which gave me great opportunities to
expand and strengthen my knowledge in the urban field. My Masters
Thesis was focused on the topic of Urban Water Management. After my
graduation at the UM Masters program I decided to continue my studies:
Currently I am working on my PhD at the Technical University Berlin,
at the Department for Water Management. My PhD is focusing on
the applicability of greywater reuse in Kurdistan
Ana Isabel Ruiz Remolina, Mexico
- © Ana
"I had the great opportunity of being part of the Class 2009 -2011 of the UM Master course. After coming back to Mexico, I started working for the public sector at ‘The Public Open Space of Mexico City’ (Autoridad del Espacio Público), part of the Housing and Urban Development Secretary, an office in charge of upgrading, generation and improvement of the public space of the city. We are related to a broad variety of projects, from park design to the implementation of alternative transportation systems and the improvement of accessibility on the urban structure or re-densification projects. Here I am part of the design team, but also as an Urban Manager I am related to different projects on the decision making process, implementing the knowledge acquired in the UM Master Course, on the reality of my own city. With no doubt, the Urban Management Master Course enabled me to work with a comprehensive knowledge, and the skills to do so.
One of the greatest things of the Master Course was to get to know
and share experience between professionals of different countries. It
was a very enriching process and in my return home, it had also been
an important tool. Today we keep in touch and are aware of our
professional work, sharing experience and knowledge continuously to
overcome the urban challenges of the developing countries."
Karima Momen, Egypt
- © Karima
"Coming from an architectural background, the
study course allowed me to experience best practices from around the
world with a team of colleagues coming from Africa, Asia, Europe,
Latin America, and the middle east.
The program gave me the opportunity to understand my own city, Cairo, from a different perspective, as well as relate its problems to others and find new approaches and ideas in both.
Colleagues from different countries, professors with international experiences, Bettina Hamann and the assisting team, the location of the program in Berlin with short excursions to other cities/countries made it a well earned degree at the end.
I am currently working as an architect between Cairo and Abu Dhabi while planning to pursue a PhD in an urban related topic.
The urban management program is a great experience and the good path for those willing to expand their knowledge with urban issues."
Wang Shujian, China
- © Wang
"Three years passed by after my UM studies in Europe and sometimes my memory goes back to my time in Germany. I always remember Berlin's sunshine. Although my time in Berlin lasted only 2 years, it left definitely a deep footprint in my life. The experiences in Berlin have given me so much. The UM post-graduate education taught me how to solve problems and how to cooperate with people. Currently I am working as an assistant project manager for ‘China Resources Land Limited’, which is the real estate flagship of ‘China Resources (Holdings) Limited’ and one of the leading property investment and development companies in the PR China."
Izabel Torres, Brazil
- © Izabel
“As advisor to the Director of Urban Planning,
in the Secretary of Urban Development and Environment of the Federal
District Government in Brasilia, Brazil, I work with the formulation
of urban policies. As such, I deal with a range of demands from social
organizations, politicians and productive sectors. The Urban
Management Master Degree at TU provided me with knowledge about
methods, theories and tools to manage stakeholders’ several, often
conflicting, interests. It greatly increased my ability to foster
effectiveness in the provision of public policies and investments.
Through the UM Master Course, I added new perspectives on
participatory developments to my previous three-year-long work
experience at the Local Government, broadening significantly my
understanding on urban governance.”
Seba Asaaied, Syria
- © Asaaied
"Urban Management Master Studies
gave me the opportunity to acquire knowledge about various urban
problems and case studies from around the world. I especially liked
exchanging ideas in a multinational atmosphere as well as getting to
know researchers and practitioners from different disciplines. The
multifaceted experiences are an essential source for my current work
as a research fellow at the University of Kaiserslautern, where I have
the opportunity to do further research in the field of Planning in
Kurdo Ihsan Abdullsamad, Iraq
- © Abdullsamad
"Kurdistan region, north of Iraq, has been
witnessing great changes the past 5 years. As part of the Dohuk
governorate we faced some great developing challenges. Taking part of
the Urban Management program at TU Berlin helped me take these
challenges to another perspective and most importantly have various
sources of feedbacks from the international students and colleagues.
Now, that I'm back and director of the Urban Planning Directorate in
Dohuk governorate, I know that I am up to the challenges and still
benefiting from our networking during the study. The course definitely
increased my critical thinking and broadened my understanding of
different issues facing urbanism today. I now have more
responsibilities but thanks to the program I am eligible enough to
help and take part of the developing process in the city."
Carolina Van der Huck Arias, Colombia
- © Van der Huck Arias
"Before participating in
the Urban Management Master Course I used to work in urban planning
projects for the municipalities of different Colombian cities. The
Urban Management Master Course caught my attention because of its
emphasis on developing countries. From my point of view, this was the
opportunity not only to deepen my knowledge in urban planning
theories, but also to participate in debates about 'development
challenges' in an international context.
The Master Course gave me invaluable academic and personal skills, which I am applying now in my new job in Colombia. I am working as a consultant in the municipality of Cali, where I feel that I am contributing as a professional with a broader perspective. I am working in the same field on which I wrote my Masters thesis. With this experience I can confirm that, on our way towards development, our cities definitely need people who take the risk of joining academic knowledge with the daily challenges of managing a city."
Paula Vianna Queiroz e Souza, Brazil
- © Queiroz e Souza
"After my Urban
Management MSc graduation in Berlin I was offered a job opportunity
that I had long been looking for in the public sector of my city, Sao
Paulo. The most valuable knowledge I need for my work in the sector of
'Social Communication in Urban Interventions' is certainly that of
participation methodologies. The UM course offered me the capacity to
develop my skills in the field of participatory planning and now I am
part of a technical team aiming to improve what is often lacking on
the public level: To listen and embrace community ideas on urban
Raja Nizam, Malaysia
- © Nizam
"After my graduation at the Urban Management
Program in Berlin, I served the Government of Malaysia at the 'Rural
and Regional Development Ministry'. Fortunately, my experience from
the UM Masters program allowed me to be selected and transferred to
serve the 'Ministry of Foreign Affairs' of Malaysia. The UM program
has helped me deal with a wide range of multilateral issues in the
Ramana Gudipudi, India
- © Gudipudi
"After completion of my bachelor studies in
Urban Planning in India, I did my master's in Urban Management at TU
Berlin. I consider this to be one of the best choices I took in my
career. The master course not only strengthened my theoretical
knowledge in various fields in Urban Management but also helped me by
providing very good contacts which elevated my career to a different
For the last 2 years I have been working at the Department of Sustainable Urban Habitat of the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) in New Delhi, India. As a part of the team I currently support 6 Urban Local Bodies in the planning, implementation, capacity building, operation and maintenance of various urban infrastructure projects such as solid waste management, water supply, sewerage and storm water management under the National Urban Renewal Mission of the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India."
Ni Luh Made Ashanapuri, Indonesia
- © Ashanapuri
"The Urban Management Master course at TU
Berlin was one of the most valuable experiences I have ever had in my
life. The University has a very high standing and the course allowed
me to exchange the lessons learned within the scope of Urban
Management (Environmental Management, Policy, Urban Planning, etc)
with people from many countries all over the world.
At the moment I am working as a consultant for GIZ (German Agency for International Cooperation) in a program called Paklim (Policy Advice for Environment and Climate Change). The main focus of my task is to work and coordinate closely with the Central Government of Indonesia and Industry in several cities in Indonesia within the framework of Climate Change Mitigation Action.
In the near future, I hope to continue my PhD back in Europe. The expected focus of my research would be the setting up of a Voluntary Partnership Agreement scheme between the Private Sector and Public Sector (applicable both to central government and municipalities) in order to enable the Indonesian government to fulfill its commitment to emission reduction."
Elena Botezatu, Romania
- © Botezatu
"I took part in the Urban Management Master
Program at the TU Berlin with a clear mission: to pursue a strong
academic development and, upon completion, to return to Romania and
take office as a public manager, on a national program for promoting
the modernization of the Romanian public sector.
Since August 2009 I have worked as a Research Fellow for Urban Security and Critical Infrastructure Protection at Eurisc Foundation (European Institute for Risk, Security and Communication Management), which is an independent think-tank promoting dialogue, education, training and research on major issues of national and international security. The main focus is on non-military risks, primarily natural hazards, technological and emerging systemic risks, organized crime, corruption, terrorism, illegal migration and trafficking, as well as on the security culture in relation to Romania's European and Euro-Atlantic post-integration processes and civil-military relations."
Sami Mura, West Bank & Gaza
- © Mura
"Prior to my studies at TU Berlin, I was
working for UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) as a field
research officer in the field of planning techniques that fit refugee
camp constitution. Since graduation I have worked as a consultant for
GIZ (German Agency for International Cooperation) in West Bank,
Palestine, aiming to develop practical mechanisms for a sustainable
stakeholder communication and interaction between refugee camp
structure and neighboring localities (2008-09). Currently I am working
for UNRWA headquarters Amman, as an advisor for participatory planning
in refugee camps. Moreover, I am in charge of the development of
refugee camp profiles that include physical, infrastructural,
socio-economic and institutional analyses of camp structures."
Enkeleda Kadriu, Albania
- © Kadriu
The Urban Management Studies master program at TU-Berlin was a breakthrough for my career. It gave me the opportunity to move from the private sector experience to the public domain and academics. The international and multidisciplinary approach of the program, the professional networks I’ve since acquired and the profound friendships established during and after the graduation, are all valuable assets for every young scholar in the field of urban studies. At the moment I am a PhD candidate at the Institute for Urban and Regional Planning at TU-Berlin and my research areas are sustainable housing development, social and alternative housing initiatives and energy efficiency in housing with special focus on countries in transition. 2009
Ghazaleh Sadat Hossein Jasbi, Iran
- © Sadat Hossein Jasbi
"I am currently a part
time researcher for the Young Cities project ''Developing
Energy-Efficient Urban Fabric in the Tehran-Karaj region'' at the TU
Berlin, which is a German-Iranian research and development project
within the program “Research for the sustainable development of
megacities of tomorrow''. I am working on the role and contribution of
local authorities for improving energy efficiency and climate change
adaptation, which is a continuation of research for my master thesis.
At the same time, I am planning to start my PhD within the Young
Cities project, with a focus on ''Analyzing Potentials and Challenges
for the Iranian Municipalities to Act as a Key Facilitator for Energy
Efficient Urban Fabric''. I found the Urban Management course very
interesting and practical. It has helped me to enhance my knowledge
and understanding regarding urban issues and gave me opportunities for
further education and my career."
Florah Guya Ikawa, Kenya
- © Guya Ikawa
"I am currently the Assistant Resources
Coordinator in the 'External Resources Department' of the Transparency
International Secretariat, Berlin. We mainly deal with fundraising for
the programs that are being handled by the Global Programs and
Regional Departments (Africa and the Middle East, the Americas, Asia
Pacific, Europe and Central Asia) of the Secretariat and also help the
National Chapters with their fundraising. Moreover, I am a member of
the 'African Good Governance Network'."
Goitom Legesse, Ethiopia
- © Legesse
"After the completion of my Masters degree at
TU Berlin in the department of Urban management I was able to land an
appointment at Mekelle University as a lecturer in the department of
Architecture and Urban Planning. I definitely use the exposure and
knowledge I got during my studies to help my students in their career
André Alexander, Germany
- © Alexander
"I have studied traditional Tibetan
architecture under old masters in Lhasa. I am co-founder and currently
first chairman of the NGO Tibet Heritage Fund (THF). THF implements
development cooperation projects involving traditional architecture in
Tibetan-inhabited areas, Beijing, the Ladakh region of India, Mongolia
and South-East Asia, and a number of THF's projects won international
awards. For more information see www.tibetheritagefund.org. I also
lecture on Himalayan and Asian architecture and have given academic
presentations at universities in Europe, Asia and the USA."
Jianfeng Chen, China
- © Chen
"After my graduation in Berlin I started
working as a cost control manager in the 'Shanghai Municipal
Engineering Design Institute'. My main job is to control construction
costs from the beginning to the end of a project. The projects I work
on can relate to water supply engineering, sewerage engineering, the
building of roads and bridges, as well as architecture and landscape
and environmental engineering all over China."
Andres Prera, Guatemala
- © Prera
“The UM program expanded my focus, and I started
looking at the city as a whole, and as such to creating opportunities
to improve its status. Thanks to my architectural background and my
newly-acquired knowledge, I am currently working as a sustainable
development consultant and designer for the Municipal Government of
Guatemala City. The main objective is to revitalize the city core and
downtown, generating new public space design proposals, new transport
and mobility hubs and alternatives, new building codes and creating
livable, sustainable neighborhoods and communities."