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Dr Patricia Lopes Simoes Aelbrecht

Dr Patricia Lopes Simoes Aelbrecht

Lecturer in Urban Design

School of Geography and Planning

+44 (0)29 2087 5735
2.100, Glamorgan Building, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3WA

I am a lecturer in Urban Design. My research lies at the intersection of Urban Design and Social and Cultural Geography. My core area of investigation is the social dimension of urban design, more in particular the design and sociology of the public realm. I have explored among other issues how social practices and activism in public space shape and redefine the meanings and uses of public spaces in a wide range of European contexts. My recent work has also dealt with mega-events as catalysts of urban regeneration and the contested regeneration of post-war modernist cityscapes.

Before turning to academia, I worked for a decade as an architect and urban designer in several international well-known practices in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Portugal. I gained experience in public space design, masterplanning, and in designing and building of small-scale housing projects and exhibitions, and large-scale and complex architectural projects such as museums and concert halls. This experience certainly contributed to enrich my professional and academic background, and to make many international contacts and gain proficiency in a good number of European languages. More importantly, it made me more sensitive to cultural specificities of planning and design policies and practices when undertaking research.

Education and qualifications

  • Certificate of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, The University of Sheffield (2016)
  • PhD Urban Studies, The Bartlett School of Planning and Geography (Urban Lab), University College London (2013).
  • MSc. International/ Comparative Planning, The Bartlett School of Planning, University College London (2007).
  • March in Architecture, Faculty of Architecture, Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal (2001).
  • BArch in Architecture, Faculty of Architecture, Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal (1998).

Professional memberships

  • Fellow, Higher Education Academy (2016-)
  • Member, Urban Design Group (2015-)
  • Member, Architectural Humanities Research Association (2009-)
  • Member, Order of Architects OASRS Portugal, RIBA Accredited (2001-)

Academic positions

  • Visiting Scholar, RMIT, Australia (2018).
  • Lecturer in Urban Design, School of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University (2016 – present)
  • Teaching Fellow in Urban Design, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, The University of Sheffield (2014 – 2016)
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Bartlett School of Planning, University College London (2013).
  • Research Fellow, Geographical Institute Humboldt University, Berlin (2012).
  • Course Tutor in Urban design, The Bartlett School, University College London (2009 – 2012).











Current teaching

I lead the following modules:

  • CP0250 Site Planning Development and Valuation
  • CP0370 Design Guidance in Planning Practice

I contribute to the following modules:

  • CPT867 Designing Cities
  • CPT805 Site Planning, Design and Development
  • CP0121 Places and Plans
  • MAUD Autumn/Spring Studio 

Research interests

My research interests encompass a wide range of areas:

  • The Design and Sociology of the Public Realm
  • Post-War Modernist Architecture and Planning
  • The Urban Design of Mega-events
  • Privatization and Control of Public space
  • Minorities and Disadvantaged user groups in Public Space
  • Environmental-behavior Relations
  • Experiential and Sensorial Urbanism
  • Urban Design Theory and Practice Nexus

Research groups

  • Social and Cultural Geography Group
  • Inclusive Cities Impact Group

Current research projects

I am currently working on a project entitled 'Intercultural Public Space Design in Europe' in collaboration with Dr. Richard Gale (Cardiff University) and Dr. Quentin Stevens (RMIT, Melbourne). This project was initiated with internal funding from the Cities Research Centre and we are know working towards expanding it with a large research grant with a number of international well-reputed research partners, practitioners and institutions in the UK and Continental Europe namely Denmark, Netherlands and Spain.

    Past research projects

    • Research project Achieve More ‘Re-imagining Sheffield’s Post-war Modernist Social Housing’, University of Sheffield (2015-16).
    • Research project: ’Rehabilitation of Post-war modernist masterplans’, UCL (2013-2014).
    • Research project ‘Knowledge Exchange between Theory and Practice in Urban Design: the Masterplan of Southbank Centre in London’, UCL (2013).
    • Research project ‘City Beaches in Germany’ led by Dr. Quentin Stevens, Humboldt University (2012).
    • Research project: ‘The after life of a Mega-event: Lisbon’s Word Expo 98’, UCL (2011).

    I am currenty supervising the following students:

    • Secondary Supervisor of PhD candidate Mahsa Mohajer, Department of Landscape Architecture, The University of Sheffield with PhD Thesis entitled: ‘Equity of Access to Public Open Space on the Waterfront of Caspian Sea in Iran, The Case of Anzali City’ (2014-present). The first supervisor is Dr. Nicola Dempsey.
    • Primary Supervisor of PhD candidate Mehrnoosh Mansoorgarakani, Department of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University with PhD Thesis entitled: 'Assessing and Designing Soundscapes: Lessons from the Bazaar and the Shopping Mall in the City of Tehran' (2017- present). The second supervisor is Dr. Jonathan Prior.
    • Primary Supervisor of PhD candidate Ying Liao, Department of Geography and Planning, Cardiff University with PhD Thesis entitled: Design for Ageing in the context of China (2018- present). The second supervisor is Dr. Justin Spinney.

    I welcome the opportunity to supervise PhD students whose topics fit with my research interests.

    I have been PhD examiner in a number of universities including: University of Sheffield in the UK and Ghent University in Belgium.