Melissa Reese Lim is currently based out of Ithaca, NY where she writes about urban planning issues and contributes to planning research projects when she is not working as a barista.  Previously she was based out of Singapore where she worked as a research associate at the National University of Singapore’s Centre for Sustainable Asian Cities. Her work their examined art and culture’s contribution to sustainability in cities, how to benchmark sustainable urban development, and documenting cases of urban regeneration in Asian cities. A core focus of much of her research was public participation in planning and design solution. She graduated from NYU with a Masters of Urban Planning, specializing in international development after obtaining a Bachelors of Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia. When not making coffee or thinking about cities she enjoying cooking, hosting others with her husband, and traveling to new cities.

You can find out more about Melissa’s current work at the Centre for Sustainable Asian Cities, read all her Encountering Urbanization posts and explore her personal website.

Melissa in one of the world’s oldest cities: Jerusalem.

Other Writers:

Amy Faust has graduate degrees from New York University’s urban planning program, specializing in environmental and infrastructure planning, and the Bard Center for Environmental Policy. Originally from ten acres outside the tiny town of Bunker Hill, Illinois, she is currently working as a consultant in the sprawling city of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, concentrating on climate change planning. Her past work has focused on solid waste management, environmental and social impacts of infrastructure projects in Latin America, as well as extractive industries’ impacts on poverty and the environment. An avid cyclist and amateur metalsmith, in her free time Amy can generally be found exploring Dar by bike but has yet to find a new Tanzanian welding torch. Amy’s Posts

Ariana K. MacPherson graduated from NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service in January 2011 with a Master of Urban Planning, specializing in international urbanization and development. Her research has focused on informal settlement upgrading processes and access to affordable housing in cities of the Global South, with a special interest in South Africa. She is also interested in the use of art, design and media towards social change, particularly in the urban context. Originally from the New York City metro area, Ariana lives in Cape Town, South Africa, where she works in research and documentation for the Secretariat of Shack/Slum Dwellers International (SDI). Read Ariana’s Encountering Urbanization posts here. For other work, visit her personal website here.

For more information you can contact us via e-mail: encounteringurbanization@gmail.com.

8 thoughts on “Writers

  1. Amy, Sam, Melissa, Sharon, and Iria,

    I’m an analyst up here Cambridge-way at the Volpe Center and have a fledgling blog on similar subjects as you all. I’m new to the game but would love to start a correspondence with you all. My address is at:


    Just shoot me an email through my contact form; I look forward to hearing from you all!


  2. Pingback: The Wagner Planner: The Impact Issue | Encountering Urbanization

  3. Pingback: Connected Cities | Encountering Urbanization

  4. Hi all,

    I just ran across this blog the other day, and I must say I have quite enjoyed reading a number of the posts, particularly the ones on urban informality. I am also a planner, graduated with my Bachelors at Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa and am hoping to take up a Masters course in Urban Design / City Planning in the US next year September.

    I’m particularly interested in the work that Ariana is doing, especially due to the nature of her work, and I guess the focus on South Africa didn’t escape my attention either! I wonder if you could enlighten me a bit more as to what ends you are pursuing in South Africa?

    Otherwise, I wish you all the best – and continue with your excellent work.


  5. Hi Amy,

    Alex here from Artefacting Mumbai. Appreciate your interest/coverage of our project, and just want to tell you that Artefacting will be continuing our work in marginalized & interested contexts…first off in Detroit, working with the Heidelberg project from Aug 11- Sept 22 and then in Willets Point Queens in the month of Oct. and then we are back to Dharavi to launch an art/community centre & continue our workshops in Jan-March.

    I think its great that your team is giving such insightful analysis and coverage to urban arts projects and hope to meet you someday. im actually in New York and see that you are too.

    Best regards :)


  6. Hi,
    I was wondering if I could contribute to this blog. I am currently a masters student at the University of Essex in the UK, studying curating contemporary art. Perhaps I can offer a different perspective on this issue. My current theme for curatorial study is the relationship and dialogue between artists and the city, particular within the realms of contemporary Chinese art. How these artists have reacted to the rapid change in urban landscape etc etc In Hong Kong as well as in China.
    Please get in touch with me.
    Kind regards Petra Power

  7. Good to find your website and get some interesting insights into planning and development in other countries.

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