Farnaz Arefian (MSc, PhD) is specialized in post disaster reconstruction, disaster risk reduction and resilience combining academic research with professional practice. She is associated with the UCL Bartlett Development Planning Unit and directs Silk Cities initiative for research and academic knowledge in the Middle East and Central Asia. She has served on the board of the Society of Iranian Urban Planners, and is a fellow of Institute of Civil Protection and Emergency Management, Chartered Management Institute, and member of the International Development Network at Royal Town Planning Institute. Her publications include: Getting Ready for Urban Reconstruction: Organising Housing Reconstruction in Bam (2016), Urban Change in Iran (2016), and forthcoming, Organising Post Disaster Reconstruction Processes (2018).
Dariush Borbor (BArch, MCD, PhD) is a multi-faceted architect, urban planner, designer, sculptor, painter, researcher and writer. In 1963, Borbor established his own architectural and urban planning firm; in 1976, he set up Sphere Iran, a consortium of four specialist consulting firms, and proposed a comprehensive national environmental master plan for Iran. In 1992, he created the Research Institute and Library of Iranian Studies (RILIS). He has carried out more urban planning projects than any of his contemporaries, including seven master plans, several regional plans, five new townships, regional university of the state of Azerbaijan, and a number of important civic design projects. He has been elected to several professional institutions including, the Member of the Swiss Society of Engineers and Architects (1961), Fellow of the Royal Town Planning Institute of Great Britain (1972), Board Member of the Iranian Society of Architects (1974), Board Member of the Syndicate of Iranian Consulting Architects (1975), and Member of the French Society of Urbanists (1982). Borbor is widely regarded as one of the avant-garde architects of the modern movement in Iran; a pioneer of contemporary urban planning, named by some as ‘father of modern urban planning’, and a key figure in the promotion and creation of the High Urban Planning Council in 1966. He has won many competitions and has been the recipient of several international awards, including the Gold Mercury International, and 50 Outstanding Architects of the World. As a prolific writer, he has contributed to several encyclopaedias, including the Encyclopedia of Urban Planning, Encyclopædia Iranica, and the Great Islamic Encyclopedia.
John Curtis (PhD) has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Iran Heritage Foundation since 2014. He was formerly Keeper of the Middle East Department at the British Museum 1989-2013. He specialises in the archaeology and history of Iran and Iraq from 1000-330 BC and has travelled and excavated extensively in both countries. In Iran, he worked at Haftavan Tepe and Tepe Nush-i Jan. He has curated a number of special exhibitions including Forgotten Empire: The World of Ancient Persia (British Museum 2005-6) and The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia: a New Beginning for the Middle East, that was shown in Tehran and subsequently toured the USA. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2003 and was awarded an OBE in 2006. He is a corresponding member of the German Archaeological Institute and the Archaeological Institute of America. He was given special awards by the Iran Heritage Foundation in 2005 and 2013 for his contributions to Iranian studies. He has written or edited over twenty books and more than one hundred scholarly articles, and seven of his books have been translated into Persian.
Simin Davoudi (BArch, MPhil, PhD) is Professor of Environment Policy and Planning, also Director of Global Urban Research Unit (GURU) at the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, and Associate Director of the Institute for Sustainability at Newcastle University. She is past President of the Association of the European Schools of Planning (AESOP), Fellow of the Royal Town Planning Institute, the Academy of Social Sciences and the Royal Society of Arts. She has led the UK Office of Deputy Prime Minister’s Planning Research Network. Davoudi has held visiting professorships at universities of Amsterdam, Nijmegen, BTH (Sweden), Tampere, Virginia Tech and RMIT, and served on several international advisory boards. Her research on urban planning, environmental governance, climate change and resilience is published widely, some of which includes, Planning for Climate Change (2009), Conceptions of Space and Place (2009), Climate Change and Sustainable Cities (2014), Justice and Fairness in the City (2016), Reconsidering Localism (2015), and Routledge Companion to Environmental Planning & Sustainability (forthcoming).
Bernard Hourcade (agrégé in history and geography, PhD) is an Emeritus Senior Research Fellow at Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Paris. In 1972-1978, he served as lecturer of geography at the University of Pau. He made extensive visits to Iran between the years 1970-2008. He was the director of the French Research Institute in Iran (IFRI) between the years 1978-1993. He is the founding member of the “Monde Iranien” that he directed from 1993 to 2003. Hourcade has conducted extensive field work on the socio-cultural aspects of Iran, Tehran in particular. In 2011, he created the “Irancarto”, a web site devoted to geographical studies on Iran. He is also a member of several academic associations and on the editorial boards of several academic journals. His publications include: Atlas d'Iran, Atlas de Téhéran métropole, and Géopolitique de l'Iran.
Ali Madanipour (MArch, PhD) is Professor of Urban Design at the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape at Newcastle University. His research focuses on the social dimensions of European urbanism, while keeping an active interest in Iranian studies, as reflected in Tehran: The making of a metropolis (1998, Persian translation in 2002) and a range of publications including “Tehran” in Encyclopædia Britannica (2008). His latest books include Handbook of Planning Theory (2017) and Cities in Time (2017).
Ahmad Saeidnia (BGeog, MUP) Associate Professor of Urban Planning, University of Tehran. Apart from his academic activity and research work, he has collaborated in the preparation of a number of master plans with the private and the public sector. He was the director of Borbor Consultants planning department (1953-1958), and an associate to the technical departments of the Ministries of Development and Housing and the Ministry of Interior. Saeidnia has been a founding member of the Society of Urban Planners of Iran (2001), and Urban Development Research Group (2005), a committee member of the Association of Urban Planners of Iran (1995-2003), and the president of the Union of Urban Planners of Iran (2003-2007). Amongst several volumes on urban planning, he has also been the editor in chief of the Journal of Urban Planning (2003-2007), and the author of the ongoing eighteen volume series namedکتاب سبز (Green Book) for the Municipality of Tehran (1378-).
Samar Saremi (MArch), is a PhD candidate in urban anthropology, University of Montreal, Canada. Her research focuses on the anthropological dimensions of the modern sacred urban development. The subject of her thesis being: Building Sacred: Reconstruction of Imam Reza Shrine in Mashhad, Iran. An anthropological analysis of the process of reconstruction and expansion of the shrine precinct in relationship to its neighbourhood and the rest of the city. The methodology involves examining the strategies and technologies of power applied by various actors. The aim is to grasp the actual practice of urbanization in a specific contemporary sacred space. Some of her related presentations, include: “Open land in the valley of Darband” (2003), “Urbanism and Sacrality” (2011), “Negotiating the politics of Sacrality” (2011), “Sacrality Configured: Reconstruction of Imam Reza Shrine in Mashhad” (2012).