Dr Fatemah Farnaz Arefian

With a multidisciplinary academic background in development planning, urban design and architecture, and an extensive real-life practice experience, as well as research and academic consultancy in the UK and the Middle East, Farnaz decided to return to academia. She enjoys a combined 25 years of experience in both academia and consultancy practice. She is motivated to bridge the gap between practice and academia through impact-oriented activities.

Farnaz has done various international academic and applied researches on disaster risk reduction and urban resilience, urban design and development. She has published peer-reviewed books, papers and book chapters, as well as professional articles. As a practitioner Farnaz established and led her growing consultancy company, and successfully delivered largescale urban design and architectural projects including urban reconstruction, as well as applied researches and training courses for public and private sectors.  Her experience in post-disaster participatory reconstruction of the historic city of Bam has been featured as a good practice in the Guidance for Humanitarian Organisations: the Built Environment Professions in Disaster Risk Reduction and Response published by Westminster University, UK, available from www.rics.org/dmguide. This first-hand encounter with ‘disasters’ motivated her to return to academia and pursue her multidisciplinary doctoral research on bring organisational studies and disaster studies together towards organising post-disaster urban reconstruction activities. She serves as advisory editor for Urban Series, Springer International Publication.

Farnaz is the founder of ‘Silk Cities’, a contextual collaborative association of researchers and practitioners for knowledge exchange on contemporary challenges of cities along the historic trade routes.


  • PhD Development Planning, the Bartlett Development Planning, UCL, UK
  • Prince2 Project Management, UK (Practitioner level)
  • MSc Urban Design, SBU (National) University, Tehran
  • M.Architecture, SBU (National) University, Tehran


An expert in disaster management and resilience, urban design and the application of strategic management for delivering and evaluating the built environment projects/programmes.

Research Areas:

Current research interests concern disaster risk reduction; urban reconstruction; urban resilience; participatory reconstruction, strategic management and organisational configuration for urban development programmes; and sustainable urban heritage in the context of smart cities and contextual urban challenges.