NYU Urban Seminar Series

Solly Angel

Maya Salwen Maya Salwen

Thanks to Solly Angel, Patrick Lamson-Hall and Nicolás Galarza for leading this week’s brown bag discussion and providing a progress report on the Urbanization Project’s Urban Expansion initiatives in Ethiopia and Colombia.

The Urban Expansion initiative is currently working with several rapidly-growing cities in Ethiopia and Colombia to plan for their inevitable growth. The collaboration is based on Angel’s “making room” approach to dealing with urban expansion.

Angel’s “making room” paradigm has four propositions:

  • The inevitable expansion proposition: urban population growth cannot be contained and we must make room to accommodate it
  • Sustainable density proposition: cities should stay within a sustainable density range, it cannot be too high or too low
  • Decent housing proposition: decent housing for all can be ensured if urban land is in ample supply
  • Public works proposition: the land for public street and infrastructure needs to be secured before development; infrastructure can then be built as development occurs

Patrick Lamson-Hall, a Research Scholar at the Urbanization Project, highlighted the Urban Expansion Initiative’s progress in Ethiopia.  The Initiative held a workshop in Addis Ababa in July with the participating cities - Adama, Bahir Dar, Hawassa, and Mek’ele. Each city created an expansion plan along with a 3-to-5 year compensation plan to purchase the rights-of-way for an arterial grid. The first phase of the project will continue through June 2014. Find an interim progress report on the work in Ethiopia here.

Nicolás Galarza, also a Research Scholar at the Urbanization Project, presented an update about the Urban Expansion Initiative in Colombia. This initiative recently held a workshop in Cartagena with participating cities, similar to the Ethiopia Initiative. The participating cities are Montería, Santa Marta, Tunja, Yopal and  Valledupar. In the second phase of the project, cities will determine the best way to secure land for an arterial grid, prepare cost and compensation plans, and collaborate with financing partners to implement the project.

Shlomo (Solly) Angel

Shlomo (Solly) Angel

Professor of City Planning, NYU Stern Urbanization Project


Shlomo (Solly) Angel is a Professor of City Planning at the Marron Institute of Urban Management. He leads the Urban Expansion initiative at the NYU Stern Urbanization Project, a joint research center of the Stern School of Business and the Marron Institute.. Angel is an expert on urban development policy, having advised the United Nations, the World Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). He currently focuses on documenting and planning for urban expansion in the developing world.

In 1973, he started a program in Human Settlements Planning and Development at the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok. He taught at the Institute from 1973 to 1983, while researching housing and urban development in the cities of East, South, and Southeast Asia. From the mid-80s to mid-90s, he worked as a housing and urban development consultant to UN-Habitat, the Asian Development Bank, and the Government of Thailand. In 2000, he published Housing Policy Matters, a comparative study of housing conditions and policies around the world. From 2000 onward, he prepared housing sector assessments of 11 Latin America and Caribbean countries for the IDB and the World Bank.

Angel earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture and a doctorate in city and regional planning at the University of California, Berkeley.

Nicolás Galarza

Research Scholar, UP

Nicolás Galarza is Research Scholar at the Urbanization Project, focusing on the Urban Expansion initiative in Latin America. Nicolás holds a Masters of Urban Planning from NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Prior to pursuing his Masters in New York City, Nicolás served as advisor to the Program Director of the National Poverty Alleviation Strategy and to the High Presidential Commissioner for Social Action on Civic Technology and Innovation in his native Colombia.

Patrick Lamson-Hall

Patrick Lamson-Hall

Research Scholar, NYU Stern Urbanization Project

Patrick Lamson-Hall is a Research Scholar at the NYU Stern Urbanization Project. He recently completed his Masters in Urban Planning at the NYU Wagner School of Public Service. His research interests include urbanization in the developing world, development economics, and historical urbanization.

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