The Bartlett Development Planning Unit

Dr Rita Lambert

Dr Rita Lambert

Teaching Fellow

Development Planning Unit

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
1st Feb 2011


Rita Lambert is a Senior Teaching Fellow and Researcher at the Development Planning Unit, UCL. She co-directs the practice module of the MSc in Environment and Sustainable Development and is also a co-investigator is several research projects which include: 

  • cLIMA sin Riesgo - Disrupting urban ‘risk traps’: bridging finance and knowledge for climate resilient infrastructural planning in Lima; 
  • ReMap Lima; 
  • Urban Africa Risk Knowledge 
  • The Heuristics of Mapping Urban Environmental Change.

Originally from Ethiopia, she undertook her studies in Architecture at the University of Edinburgh, graduating also from the Architectural Association in London, where she later taught  in the final years of the Diploma in Architecture. Her main expertise are in conducting research and academic teaching on peripheral urbanisation,  urban risk, urban environmental trends, participatory methodologies, training and capacity building at various levels to achieve  sustainable and just outcomes. She works closely with marginalised communities to devise participatory mapping strategies to expand their room for manoeuvre in their struggle for the right to the city. Her PhD looked at the relationship between planning, 'informal' urbanisation processes and the production of risk, developing novel epistemological, empirical and methodological insights for understand these processes and locating action to disrupt urbanisation in risk. 

She has 10 years of professional experience as an architect and urban planner, 12 years of academic teaching between the Architectural Association (4 years) and the Development Planning Unit- UCL (8 years) in urban design, urban regeneration, building technologies, participatory research methodologies, environmental justice, sustainable urban agriculture, urban risk, action-research and capacity building. Her experience includes consultations with community-based organisation, NGO’s, and government organisations. She has fieldwork experience in the following countries:  Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Panama, Peru, Colombia, UK and United States. 

She speaks 6 languages fluently: English, Spanish, French, Italian, Amharic and Tigrigna