Husam is an URBANIST with a background in architecture, urban planning and sustainability, who writes intensively and speaks regularly on making better places. He is a Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Urban Design and Evaluation in the School of Social Sciences (Architecture + Urban Planning), University of Dundee, having previously researched and taught at Reading and Liverpool universities. Husam’s work has had a demonstrable impact in academia as well as on practice. He has a passionate interest in the future of sustainable places and towns, in particular the development of new thinking on processes and methods to unlock sustainable urbanism. His research on sustainable urban design and assessment links well with the challenge of securing sustainable growth strategies for large and medium urban developments. Currently, he is investigating how masterplanning and urban design practice (nationally and internationally) can contribute to promoting sustainable development and, in particular, the use of assessment methodologies in urban development decision-making.
Husam has gained recognition for providing intellectual leadership in sustainable place making and masterplanning, contributing to emerging theory, practice and technical developments. This is evidenced by his contribution to the Scottish Government’s Planning Review (with Kevin Murray Associates); a recent invitation by the Scottish Government, Architecture and Planning Unit to sit on their expert panel to assess a range of ‘charrette’ and ‘activating ideas’ funding; and a recent invitation by the RTPI East Scotland Chapter to join their committee. Also, his ‘thought leadership’ contributions have included presentations/workshops to national and international organisations, firms and governments including the United Nations Programme for Human Settlements III, PlaceMaking Leadership Forum, Scottish Government, Saudi Government, RTPI Scotland, Urban Design London, and Urban Design Group. He has published over 30 peer-reviewed international journal papers, professional reports and books relating to the broad topic of Urban Design, Spatial Planning and Sustainability, including his recent published book “Site and Composition: Design Strategies in Architecture and Urbanism” with Bandyopadhyay and Aldallal (Routledge, 2016), and a new international edited book (in press) with Barbara Illsley on “Rethinking Masterplanning: Creating Better Places” (ICE Publisher, expected spring 2017). He was awarded the 2014 Reed and Mallik Ltd Journal Prize for the best paper published in the Journal of Urban Design and Planning.
Although primarily an academic, he believes it is important to make his work relevant and useful to practice. For the past five years, he has collaborated with architecture, planning and urban design professionals, decision makers, communities and others with an interest in the built environment on a series of participatory events around the theme of ‘Place-making, Professionals and the Public’. These events have provided a 'neutral platform' for mutual support and exchange and have led to the co-production of new knowledge and understanding. Drawing on his experience as a masterplanner, he has worked with Kevin Murray Associates, to progress multi-disciplinary, place-based planning using a holistic, ‘Place Momentum’ approach. This has involved delivery of innovative charrette/place making projects in Scotland, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. He is a ‘BREEAM Accredited Professional (AP)’, demonstrating specialist skills in sustainability and environmental design, Charted Town Planner (MRTPI), and an Urban Design Group Recognised Practitioner (RPUD), and an ‘Academician’ (AoU) in The Academy of Urbanism.