The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


The DPU/ACHR/CAN Fellowship Programme welcomes three Research Fellows

6 May 2020

The sixth wave of DPU/ACHR/CAN fellows has started working remotely with Arkomjogja and riverbank communities in Yogjakarta


As part of a long-standing partnership between the Asian Coalition of Housing Rights (ACHR), the Community Architects Network (CAN) and The Bartlett Development Planning Unit (DPU), the sixth wave of ACHR/CAN/DPU fellowship programme has recently been launched. Given the extraordinary COVID-19 context, the fellowship programme is currently being run remotely and an important component of the collaborative action-research and action-learning exchange will focus on the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. 

Based on a collective learning process, the research fellows will work closely with Arkomjogja, Kalijawi and other community organisations to explore the actual and potential impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on kampung residents, as well as the associated local responses and community-driven initiatives to cope with challenges they face.  

This component of the fellow’s research work will take place in parallel with the (remote) MSc Urban Development Planning’s (UDP) annual field trip. The latter’s focus has also shifted to a COVID-19 enquiry, to fit with Arkom and Kalijawi’s urgent work. The Fellows will work with partners and MSc UDP students by documenting the particular and unequal impacts of COVID-19 (and responses to COVID-19) on Kampung dwellers in Yogyakarta, focusing on the three themes of livelihoods and local economies, housing and shelter, and infrastructures. With the partners and the MSC UDP group, fellows will explore possibilities to  amplify the voices and experiences of Kampung dwellers in developing situated community-centred responses to the immediate challenges affecting them today and in future crises. 

Although working remotely may be challenging, fellows will be using a set of digital platforms, such as Zoom, Maptionnaire and Mural to navigate this new context. The process of learning exchange between fellows, students and partners will also be accompanied by the Knowledge in Action for Urban Equality (KNOW) programme (https://www.urban-know.com). 

Congratulations to our three research fellows! 

Bethânia Boaventura

Bethânia Boaventura is an Architect and Urban Planner and she holds an MSc in Urban Development Planning from the Bartlett Development Planning Unit, University College London. Bethânia has developed projects and research in Brazil, the United States, England and Indonesia. These experiences expanded her understanding of innovative methodologies to develop community-driven planning processes in different social-cultural contexts. Furthermore, she has a solid experience with participatory design and practice-oriented research, especially on urban policies, governance and housing. Having previously done practice-oriented research in South East Asia through the master’s Indonesia Overseas Fieldwork, Bethania will work closely with Arkomjogja and Kampung community organisations for the second time, in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

Jessica Lau 

Jessica Lau is an architect and urban designer in development. She holds an MSc in Building and Urban Design in Development from de Development Planning Unit, University College London. Her previous work experience is in coordinating and leading design and participatory processes focused on urban mobility, infrastructure and smart cities technology. She has focused her research on housing policy models and their impacts on conflict scenarios. Having previously worked in research, participatory risk assessment and the development of short and long term relief bottom-up design strategies in the Township Hlaing Thar Yar in Myanmar in partnership with Women for the World, ACHR and CAN. Now, she will join Arkomjogja and Kampung community organisations in a similar research strategy around the impact of COVID-19 crisis. 

Muhammad Nelza Mulki Iqbal

Nelza is an Architect, Researcher, and Lecturer in the field of architecture and urbanism. He holds an MSc in Building and Urban Design in Development from the Bartlett Development Planning Unit, University College London. His previous research and working experience is related to informal settlement, community development, social capital, and creative local based solutions. He was affiliated to Arkom Indonesia and Architecture Sans Frontiere (ASF) Jakarta, where he worked on critical participatory approaches in the context of informality. Having previously done research with Arkomjogja and its allies for his master dissertation, he will work again with Arkomjogja and Kampung community organization for the community resilience issue during COVID-19 crisis.  


Image credit: Rim Abdallah