The Bartlett Development Planning Unit

Prof Haim Yacobi

Prof Haim Yacobi

Professor of Development Planning

Development Planning Unit

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
1st Jun 2017

Research summary

My research focuses on (post)colonial architecture, planning and development in Israel\Palestine, the Middle East and Africa. Spatial justice and urban health, contested urbanism, transnational migration and informality are in the core of my research and consultancy work, teaching and activism. My approach to urban health is based on understanding how history, power and structural inequalities (class, gender, race, age) interact to produce urban health disparities. My view is the study of urban health and the development of interventions in any urban context should look at the effects of urbanization on both physical and mental health and consider the role of urban forms and policies as foundation causes of racial and ethnic inequalities in health. In my current project I focus on the ways in which violence, planning and health are entangled, arguing that infrastructure or housing are basic conditions not just for ensuring healthier environments but also for the provision of proper care. 

Teaching summary

My contribution in teaching includes the development and teaching of the Health, Urban Justice and the City and the Practice Modules. In these modules I introduces key approaches, theories and ideas for the study of urban health with an emphasis on the Global South emerging scholarship. My focus is on the links between planning and health equity as well as on social justice and health disparities, critically discussing How (and why) does the urban (as both political and spatial entity) (re)produce health disparities?; What are the epistemological and ideological foundations that shape intervention strategies in order to create strategic transformation in the field of urban health? And what is the role of planners, architects and development experts in promoting health justice?


I am an architect who specialises in critical urban studies and urban health. My familiarity with the DPU goes back to 1997, when I have graduated the Msc in Housing in Development with an overall distinction and with the support of the British Council Chevening Award. Between 2006-2007 I was a Fulbright Post-doctorate fellow at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, University of California, Berkeley, and then joined the Department of Politics and Government at BGU. For the years 2010-2012 he received a Marie Curie Grant which has enabled him to work at Cambridge University, where I conducted a research project that dealt with contested cities.