Nadeem Ahmed

Why choose this MA programme?

I decided to pursue the MA Intentional Development & Planning degree (now named Cities & Global Development) because it seeks to answer the questions that I believe are some of the most pressing in the world today and for the future, particularly in development, such as

  • ­What are the effects of rapid urbanisation?
  • Who are the people most affected by rapid urbanisation?
  • What effect will this have on the environment?
  • Which local and global actors are attempting to tackle this problem and through what means?

However, what was most surprising about the course is that it constantly pushes you to reassess your assumptions about the answers to such questions and often provides multiple differing and competing perspectives on any single issue. This made the course extremely challenging but very rewarding at the same time.

Do you have a standout memory of your time at the University?

My fondest university memory was of the course field trip to Kadiköy in Istanbul. The field trip provided an excellent opportunity to put into practice some of the theory that we had been learning about in the class room, such as participatory processes, and allowed us to experience first hand some of the problematic effects of uncontrolled urbanisation, such as gentrification. The field trip essentially filled the gulf between theory and practice and allowed us to interact with various stakeholders in Kadiköy providing first hand experience of unbridled urbanisation and the very real effect it has on communities, people and places. Luckily we also had time to take in some of the sights and sounds of the beautiful city whilst we were there which was an added bonus!

What's next for you?

I will soon be undertaking an internship with the UN Habitat based in their Kathmandu office in Nepal. My role will revolve around the needs of the office at the time but will largely include supporting the Programme Management Department focusing on thematic areas such as Habitat III, the Post 2015 Development agenda, and the Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference for Housing and Urban Development. After the recent earthquakes in Nepal I can imagine that there is also going to be a large focus within the department towards the post disaster reconstruction and risk reduction, which I also hope to gain experience from having covered these subject areas within my dissertation research project. In terms of my day to day duties within the department I believe I will be undertaking tasks such as assisting in the preparation of draft concept papers & background documents, assisting in the development of project concept notes; project briefs & project documents for resource mobilisation, and assisting in communication & information management between country level & regional partners.