The Bartlett Development Planning Unit

Ms Julia Wesely

Ms Julia Wesely

Research Fellow

Development Planning Unit

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
1st Oct 2018

Research summary

My current research in the Knowledge in Action for Urban Equality programme investigates how pedagogies of practitioners, institutions and networks become generative to urban equality. With a team at the Bartlett Development Planning Unit (DPU), Indian Institute for Human Settlements and City Partners from across Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, we analyse and challenge how the education of urban practitioners – including professional planners, grassroots groups, academics and everyday city-makers – is currently driving the production and reproduction of urban inequality and epistemic injustice. Moreover, we are supporting processes to make visible, consolidate and expand existing emancipatory pedagogies that contribute to pathways to urban equality.


Before joining the DPU, I worked at Austrian and Swiss research institutes with a focus on local governance, disaster risk management and the role of collaborations and participatory processes in achieving sustainable and just development. My PhD studies at the DPU explored these issues in the Colombian city of Manizales, where the integrated disaster risk management has become a strategic element for urban development. 

Teaching summary

Between 2016 and 2018 I was a Postgraduate Teaching Assistant in the Practice Module of the MSc Environment and Sustainable Development at The Bartlett Development Planning Unit.

In addition to my current research, I supervise dissertations and regularly contribute to sessions in the modules of Disaster Risk Reduction in Cities, the Overseas Practice Module of MSc Environment and Sustainable Development, as well as the MPhil/PhD programme. 


Doctorate, PhD |
Stockholms Universitet
Other higher degree, Master of Science | 2010
Universiat fur Bodenkultur Wien
First Degree, Bachelor of Science | 2008


Post-doctoral Research Fellow in the Knowledge in Action for Urban Equality programme.

With an interdisciplinary background in social and environmental sciences, my research and postgraduate teaching have addressed themes of disaster risk management, climate change adaptation, urban resilience, urban planning, and more recently, critical pedagogy, epistemic injustice and overlooked cities. 

Over the past decade I have been collaborating in action-research programmes with partners in cities of Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe, with the aim of learning together to activate and build capacities for more just and equal urban development.