Maria Luisa Vela
Hometown: Bogota, Colombia.
Thesis: The housing / landscape interface: Turning backs to fronts in the Castilla Neighborhood, Kennedy District, Bogota.
“Berkeley has influenced my career strongly, giving me a very holistic perspective of our global urban futures. Specifically, the Urban Design Program, being a hybrid in between Planning, Landscape and Architecture makes it very unique, covering a very wide range of topics across disciplines. Additionally, studying in the Bay Area is interesting because of its variety of cities, geographical and economic conditions.”
Hussein El Sherbini
Hometown: Cairo, Egypt
Thesis: Returning Civility to Egyptian Streets, Urban Design for Human Respect
Currently: Development Supervisor in Cairo
“Studying at UC Berkeley was one of the major milestones in my life. The Masters of Urban Design Program has contributed in a great way to my current professional career and that was due to the presences of outstanding faculty members, in addition to the variety of classes offered. Which made me gain different and comprehensive perspective while working on any project.”
Hometown: Beirut, Lebanon
Thesis: Deconstructing a Freeway, Restoring a Waterway.
Currently: New York City, working with the department of City Planning.
“The experience at Berkeley was really rewarding because I was able to learn a lot about Urban design in the US but also learn about different urban conditions around the world. My classmate were all international and many did their thesis about their cities, so this was really enriching. Also, I was part of many group projects, which gave me the opportunity to learn how to work collaboratively and with people from different majors and backgrounds. Berkeley has finally given me confidence as a designer, trying to explore new horizons and challenging myself, thanks to the very supportive professors and their positive energy.”
Thesis: Can we design fear away? Urban Design Strategies to combat Petty Crime in Dwarka
Currently: Urban Designer and Researcher, Future Cities Laboratory, Singapore
“CED sensitized me to aspects of urban life I had previously not considered, and equipped me with an array of tools to better understand and tackle emergent urban issues.”
Hyun Young Jin
Hometown: South Korea
Thesis: Responding to Urban Microclimate in Reclaimed Public Spaces
Currently: Ph.D student, Seoul, South Korea
Hometown: Gaya, Bihar, India
Currently: Urban Designer at Moore Iacofano and Goltsman, Berkeley, CA
Thesis: Re-envisioning sustainable growth model for a vulnerable neighborhood in Haiti
Currently: Urban Development Consultant at GFDRR - World Bank, Washington DC
“During the course of my study at UC Berkeley, I furthered my knowledge on theories of disaster risk management, global poverty, hazard risk mapping and analysis and climate change adaptation, through combination of various classes and workshops. My graduate thesis, to develop an integrated growth model for a high-risk prone area in Port-au-Prince, tackled interconnected themes such as unemployment, lack of access to clean water and sanitation, waste management practices, food insecurity, environmental degradation, and so forth. The study brought forward urban issues that resonate in many international cities at risk, which eventually led me to work on policy recommendations and strategies for multiple post-disaster recovering cities in past few years. For my current role at World Bank, i am providing research and analytical support to invest in urban resilience,in order to make cities and the urban poor more resilient. Therefore, the experience at UC Berkeley, has been an invaluable asset in attaining my career goals.”
Hometown: Milan, Italy
Thesis: Retrofitting and reconnecting the Acorn District. A flexible strategy to reclaim and transform interstitial spaces.
Currntly: Program Associate, Urban Designer at NACTO—Global Designing Cities initiative (New York City, USA)
“My experience at Cal has been amazing: a truly international group of students and professors, an exciting, collaborative and open minded environment in one of the best places in America.”