Who we are


Roberto Rocco is trained as an architect and spatial planner with a master’s in planning by the University of São Paulo, a specialisation in urban management tools by the Ecole d’Urbanisme de Paris (former Institut Français d’Urbanisme) and a PhD by TU Delft. At TU Delft, he is an Associate Professor of Spatial Planning and Strategy. He leads the discussion on diversity and inclusion and specialises in governance for the built environment. This includes issues of spatial justice and social sustainability as crucial dimensions of sustainability transitions. At AMS, together with Clemens Driessen (WUR) he coordinates the course “Metropolitan Innovators”, which strives to enable students to understand urban and metropolitan challenges with a critical scholarly attitude by focussing on three perspectives: spatial justice, socio-technical transitions, and eco-systems. Roberto oversees the spatial justice component, in which student discuss how concepts of justice in space can be used to plan and design inclusive cities for all. Apart from the topics mentioned, Roberto has also published extensively about informal urbanisation in the Global South. He currently works as a consultant for the Union for the Mediterranean, a partnership between the European Union and 15 non-EU Mediterranean countries. He is the author of the UfM Strategic Action Plan for Sustainable Urbanisation in the Mediterranean, in which he has collaborated closely with the EU Directorate General on Regional and Urban Development (DG-Regio), UNESCO, EIB and other transnational organisations.

He has recently edited the ‘Routledge Handbook on Informal Urbanisation‘. E-mail: r.c.rocco@tudelft.nl


Gabriel Sivestre joined the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape at
Newcastle University in 2021 having previously taught at University of Sheffield, University College London and University of Westminster. His interdisciplinary background reflects his research and teaching interests, which lie at the interface of urban studies and policy analysis. He has a BA in Management Studies (Mackenzie University, Brazil) and a MA in Tourism Management (University of Westminster). he has also worked in the public sector for a number of years, first at Visit Britain and then at the City of London Corporation. He returned to academia to complete a PhD in Planning Studies at the Bartlett School of Planning (UCL) where I examined the role of circulating policy knowledge in the urban transformation of Rio de Janeiro with the hosting of the 2016 Olympic Games. He acts as the Degree Programme Director of the MSc Urban Planning in the 2021/22 academic year. Elsewhere, he is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a committee member of the Latin American Geographies Working Group of the Royal Geographical Society and of the Working Group on Circulation of knowledge and urban policies of the Latin American Council of Social Sciences. 

Caroline Newton is an architect, urban planner and political scientist. Her work and research focus on the socio-spatial dimensions of design and critical spatial practices in Europe and the Global South. Caroline has worked on (informal) dwelling and participatory upgrading, the challenge of design and planning in post-colonial environments and also on the methodological and pedagogical challenges of a ‘designerly way of knowledge production’. Her work and research illustrate that she is very passionate about encouraging social change and providing young people with the necessary tools and knowledge to act on that. She has worked with communities in South-Africa, Thailand, Cambodia and Colombia on the transformations they have been confronted with during times of transitions (e.g. Apartheid-post-apartheid, post-war situations (Cambodia), post-drug war pacification). She believes a strong connection between interdisciplinary academic work and the aim to be politically engaged and thus actually contribute to a more social and environmentally just world is what should be the cornerstone of academic work, hence her engagements outside of academia. Together with a small team of master students, Caroline is currently supporting the World Health Organization (WHO)’s response to COVID-19, by offering assistance to the WHO technical helpdesk in designing solutions for Severe Acute Respiratory Infections (SARI) Treatment Centres.