Currently Browsing Alumni of: Urban Sustainability

Natalia Popova

Name: Natalia Popova

Country: Russian Federation

Organization: St. Petersburg State University

Title: Head, Environmental Office



Natalia Popova earned her Ph.D. in Biology from St. Petersburg State University, where she currently works as head of the environmental office. As head of the environmental office, Natalia is responsible for promoting environmental safety, risk management, the implementation of green initiatives, and environmental education. Natalia is the project lead for the “Separate Waste Collection” program, which promotes the separation of municipal solid waste and advocates for increased recycling on the University’s teaching grounds.Through her work, Natalia aims to introduce separate waste collective to the whole University, making it equal to mandatory and voluntary action. Ultimately, she aspires to influence the city system, showing the possibility of introducing separate waste collection at the city level.

Ruth Muroki

Name: Ruth Muroki

Country: Kenya

Organization: Nairobi City County Government

Title: Director of Urban Planning



Ruth is a spatial planner and holds a B.A. (Hons) in Sociology and M.A. in Urban and Regional Planning. She is a registered planner with the Kenya Physical Planners registration Board and has served as the Hon Secretary of the Kenya Institute of Planners (KIP). She is an alumni of the University of Nairobi and the University of California, Berkeley Beahrs Environmental Leadership Program.

Her professional expertise broadly covers urban planning, social, and general environmental issues. She is the Director of Urban Planning in the Urban Planning Sector at the Nairobi City County Government. Nairobi City County Government is a public organization in Kenya whose mission is to provide a broad range of services to its citizens including land use planning, environmental management, infrastructure and social services to achieve sustainable development. This is driven by the vision of making Nairobi a city to work, live and invest through facilitating coordinated urban development by implementing the Nairobi Integrated Urban Development Master Plan (2014-2030). We hope to create an intensive platform where we can effectively plan with the people and ensure that they fully understand the idea behind sustainable development.

Kamal Devkota

Name: Kamal Devkota

Country: Nepal

Organization: Southasia Institute of Advanced Studies (SIAS)

Title: Director



Kamal completed his MA in Development Studies in 2009. His broad areas of expertise are on environmental governance, local democracy and water security. He is the Director of Southasia Institute of Advanced Studies (SIAS) Nepal. Kamal leads the water governance theme of a research project on water security at SIAS. SIAS is a Kathmandu-based research institute. It is involved in Nepal and in South Asia in a number of environmental and social science fields. It exists as a quality knowledge hub working with diverse stakeholders interested in these themes. His aim is to bring some innovations for environmental good governance in the fragile political context. Specifically, Kamal would like to create impact on sustainable watershed management through action research and rural urban linkages. His initiation would be from a robust and comprehensive micro level watershed management plan in Dhulikhel, Nepal.

Kyaw Thu

Name: Kyaw Thu

Country: Myanmar

Organization: United Nations Human Settlement Program

Title: Program Specialist

Specialty: Disaster Risk Management, Urban Resilience, Sustainable and Resilient Development, Climate Smart and Environmental friendly Development, Project Management, Competition and Public Private Partnerships



Kyaw Thu is a Programme Specialist working for UN-Habitat whose work mainly focuses on urban resilience, disaster risk reduction, and climate risk management programs in Myanmar, Burma. His approach to disasters, climate, and environment issues in Myanmar is to emphasize a holistic and integrated solution and planning within local context.

His projects include risk assessment and management action planning, covering natural hazards such as seismic hazards, flood, etc. in rapidly urbanized cities such as Yangon and Mandalay; National Building Code development; and promoting safer construction practices in public and private sectors.

He is also leading capacity-building and skill-development schemes and mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction/Climate Change Adaptation (DRR/CCA) into state- and regional-level development planning processes by engaging directly with decision and policy makers.

Other projects he is involved with are Land-Use Planning guideline development (LUP) and City Development Strategy (CDS) formulation. The objective is to produce urban land-use plans and development strategies that not only correspond with the changing demands of reformed Myanmar and local urbanization contexts but are also climate smart and environmentally friendly. The resulting urban/city plans will address availability of energy, safe water provision, drainage and waste management issues, zoning of industrial and economic establishments, and sustainable human settlement.

Kyaw Thu has worked in both the private sector and the academic field before joining the United Nations. He started his professional career as a civil engineer in one of the leading construction firms in Myanmar after graduating from Yangon Technological University. In 2004, he attained a Masters degree in Construction, Engineering, and Management from the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, Thailand. In 2012, he graduated from Glasgow Caledonian University with a Ph.D. in Construction Management and Economics. His thesis investigated Structure, Conduct and Performance of UK construction firms in Public Private Partnership/Private Finance Initiative market sector.

Kyaw Thu is a member of the Construction Taskforce of Union of Myanmar Government, and acts as a coordinator for the Mandalay City Development Committee, Mandalay Region Government for 100 Resilient Cities project by the Rockefeller foundation, New York. His other professional affiliations include the Myanmar Engineering Society (MES) and the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building (CIB).

Jiawen Fang

Name: Jiawen Fang

Country: China

Organization: College of Urban and Environmental Science, Peking University

Title: Visiting Researcher

Specialty: Urban Planning



My major is urban planning, which requires all kinds of knowledge including economics, environmental science, sociology, psychology, history, etc. Topics I am interested in are sustainable development and livelihoods in urban and rural planning. I am still in my third year of university, but I have already worked on academic projects with my teachers as a research assistant, publishing papers like How to Establish the System of Urban and Rural Environmental Planning (Environmental Protection, 2012,6), Analyzing the Environment and Resource Bottleneck in Urbanization (China National Conditions and Strength, 2013,4).

As for my professional training, I have been studying a series courses in environmental science, such as Natural Geography, The Principle of Resources, Environmental Economics, Environmental Impact Assessment. Additionally, as a Chinese student, I am taking a course in traditional Chinese culture in relation to environmental science. In this course I have learned in the course Chinese Ancient Gardens. Furthermore, I find that this program focuses more on the relationship between socio-economic development and natural environment than the environment itself, which corresponds to the core of my major –variety and comprehension. I have taken a variety of courses like Urban Geography, Social Psychology, The Theory of Land Utilization, Public Economics and Urban Sociology, and always try my best to take them into consideration while engaging in urban planning.

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