Our Faculty

Chaewon Ahn

Research Areas
Visiting Assistant Professor Chaewon Ahn is an urban researcher who studies the relationship between social systems and the built environment using urban data and analytical frameworks. Her research interests are formed through academic and professional experiences in architecture, urban design, data visualisation, and urban studies. Her research focuses on social networks and communities in cities; their relationship to the structure of the built environment; and the influences of urban planning programmes that engage them. She uses analytical skills to conduct data driven analysis that primarily focuses on big data, participatory data collection, spatial analysis and social network analysis to expose persistent issues of power in urban development processes.
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Urban Studies Modules
  • Geographic and Demographic Methods
  • Smart Cities: Urban Data

Sneha Annavarapu

Research Areas
Assistant Professor Sneha Annavarapu is an urban sociologist. Her wide-ranging research interests centre around governance, class relations, and gender in contemporary Indian cities. She has published articles in academic journals such as Social Problems, Journal of Historical Sociology, and Journal of Consumer Culture and has also written for media outlets like Public Books and Economic and Political Weekly. Asst Prof Annavarapu is a regular host on the New Books Network podcast and co-founder of ‘Ethnographic Marginalia’. For more information, please visit https://www.snehanna.com/
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Urban Studies Modules
  • Modern Social Thought

Ricardo Cardoso

Research Areas
Assistant Professor Ricardo Cardoso teaches and researches in the fields of urban studies and development planning. His research focuses on transnational urbanism, the urban effects of oil economies, and the politics of development and change in African cities. He has conducted an extensive study on the critical intersections between petroleum extraction and urbanisation in Luanda, Angola and he also sustains an interest in issues of development and planning in Portugal.
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Urban Studies Modules
  • Urban Theory
  • Global and Transnational Urbanism
  • Boulevards, Arcades and Sewers: Paris 1830-1870

Chua Beng Huat

Research Areas
Professor Chua Beng Huat received his PhD from York University, Canada. He has previously served as Provost Chair Professor, Faculty of Arts and Social Science (2009-2017), Research Leader, Cultural Studies in Asia Research Cluster, Asia Research Institute (2000-2015); Convenor Cultural Studies Programmes (2008-2013) and Head, the Department of Sociology (2009-2015), National University of Singapore.

His research interests focus on Urban and Housing Studies, Cultural Studies in Asia and Comparative Political Economy of Southeast Asia. He published his latest book, "Liberalism Disavowed: Communitarianism and State Capitalism in Singapore" in September, 2017.
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Urban Studies Modules
  • Housing and Social Inequality
  • Urban Singapore

Joshua Comaroff

Research Areas
Asst Prof Comaroff researches landscape, cities and urbanisation, urban geography, religious and spiritual geographies, contested spaces, public space, architecture.

He studied literature and creative writing at Amherst College before joining the Master of Architecture and Master of Landscape Architecture programmes at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. In 2009, Asst Prof Comaroff completed a PhD in cultural geography at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), writing on the subject of haunted landscapes and urban memory in Singapore. He has published writing about architecture, urbanism, and politics, with an Asian focus. He is also a regular contributor to the Harvard Design Magazine.
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Urban Studies Modules
  • Architecture and Society
  • “Green” Cities and Anthropogenic Natures
  • Urban Spatial Representation

Ho Kong Chong

Research Areas
Trained as an urban sociologist at the University of Chicago, Associate Professor Ho Kong Chong’s research interests are in neighbourhood and community development, heritage and place-making, the political economy of cities as well as a more recent interest in higher education.

Much of his published work is on East Asian (Hong Kong, Seoul and Taipei) and Southeast Asian (Bangkok and Singapore) cities. Recent publications include “The Neighbourhood Roots of Social Cohesion: Notes on an exceptional case of Singapore” Environment and Planning C (2018, with Chua) and Neighbourhoods for the City in Pacific Asia (University of Amsterdam Press, 2019).
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Urban Studies Modules
  • Urban Heritage: Place, Memory and Identity
  • Social Life of Cities

Jane M. Jacobs

Research Areas
Professor Jacobs researches the social and cultural aspects of cities and urban life. She has published widely on urban identity & difference, heritage & memory, tourism & the culture industries, housing & home, and architecture in society.  She is a specialist in visual and qualitative methodologies. Her most recent book is Buildings Must Die: A Perverse View of Architecture (MIT Press, 2014) and she currently co-curates a blog on architecture in Singapore.
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Urban Studies Modules
  • Adelaide to Zhuhai: Cities in Comparative Perspective
  • Heritage, Memory, Identity
  • Architecture and Society
  • Cityscapes and Urban Form

Justin D Stern

Research Areas
Assistant Professor Justin D Stern has practised as an urban planner in the United States and Southeast Asia. His writing and teaching focus on the interplay of economic development, technological disruption, and urban design in the rapidly urbanising regions of the Global South, with a particular geographic focus on the Philippines.
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Urban Studies Modules
  • Urbanisation in Southeast Asia
  • Cities and Economic Development

Valentina Zuin

Research Areas
Dr Valentina Zuin is interested in making cities more liveable and sustainable, especially for the poor. Her specific interests include water and sanitation planning and policies, informality, slum upgrading and sustainable urban service provision in developing country settings.

Her research and teaching are influenced by her 10 years of experience living and working in developing countries cities in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and South Asia. Dr Zuin has worked in various capacities for international non-governmental organisations (NGOs), multilateral donors, and developing country governments.
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Urban Studies Modules
  • Cities of the Global South
  • Healthy and Resilient Cities
  • Water & Waste in Urban Environments
  • Methods in the Social Sciences