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 ideology, planning and health are entangled; infrastructure or housing are basic conditions not just for ensuring healthier environments but also for the provision of proper care. These are limited by the context of settler colonialism, where territorial and demographic control are prioritised over basic rights. 


I am an architect who specialises in critical urban studies and urban health. My familiarity with the DPU goes back to 1997, when has 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 leaded a research project that dealt with contested cities. 

Selected key publications

Authored books

Yacobi H (2009). The Jewish-Arab City: Spatio-Politics in a Mixed Community. Routledge, London

Yacobi H (2015). Israel and Africa: A genealogy of moral geography.  Routledge, London


Yiftachel O and Yacobi H (2004), "Urban Ethnocracy: Ethnicization and the Production of Space in an Israeli Mixed City". Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 21(6) 673 – 693  

Yacobi H (2007) "The NGOization of Space: Dilemmas of Social Change, Planning Policy and the Israeli Public Sphere". Environment and Planning D, 745- 758  

Yacobi H (2010). "The Moral Geopolitics of Exported Spatial Development: Revisiting Israeli Involvement in Africa". Geopolitics 15, 441-461  

Yacobi H (2011). "Let me go to the City: African asylum seekers, racialization and the politics of space in Israel". Journal of Refugee Studies, 47-68   

Yacobi H (2012). "God, Globalization and Geopolitics on West Jerusalem's Gated Communities". Environment and Planning A, 2705-2720   

Yacobi H and Pullan W (2014). “The geopolitics of neighbourhood: Jerusalem's colonial space revisited”. Geopolitics. 1-26

Braier M and Yacobi H (2017). “The Planned, the Unplanned and the Hyper-planned: dwelling in contemporary Jerusalem”. Planning Theory and Practice. 1-17

Milner E and Yacobi H (2017). “Planning and Sovereignty”. Planning Theory 1-17