Melissa Reese Lim is currently based in the Washington D.C. area.  She spent the last year in Ithaca, NY writing about urban planning issues and contributing to planning research projects.  Previously she lived in 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, benchmarking sustainable urban development, and urban regeneration in Asian cities.  A core focus of much of her research was public participation in planning and design solutions with an emphasis on placemaking.  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 thinking or writing about cities she enjoys cooking, hosting others with her husband, and traveling to new cities.

You can read all of her Encountering Urbanization posts here.


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

Previous 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.

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