The Bartlett School of Planning


Alumni Spotlight: Pooja Boddupalli

Former Interdisciplinary Urban Design MRes student, Pooja Boddupalli, shares how her experience at The Bartlett School Of Planning helped her advance into PhD research in The Netherlands.

Pooja Boddupalli: Woman in a green jumper smiling at the camera

About Pooja

Pooja Boddupalli is a graduate of the Interdisciplinary Urban Design MRes at The Bartlett School of Planning and now a PhD researcher working in Netherlands with her project work based on Europe and Asia, focusing on understanding Spatial Strategies in Sustainable Urban Food Transitions.

Q&A with Pooja

Why did you decide to join the course?

Before joining the course, my academic and professional interests centered around sustainability and urban design, stemming from my background in architecture. I had experience in teaching architecture and urban design but I'd also volunteered with organisations in India, which focused on urbanisation issues. I joined the course to transition into academia and research, aiming to enhance my academic reasoning and contribute to sustainable futures research.

What aspects of your studies did you enjoy the most?

I really found great value in engaging with researchers from diverse backgrounds within urban studies. Often, our perception of urban studies and sustainability can be narrow. However, through my interactions with researchers, lecturers, and other students, I feel that I gained a lot of insight into different persepctives and research pursuits. This experience demonstrated to me the extensive scope of research that happens within the field.

What did you do after graduating?

After completing my course, I began applying for PhD programs in Europe. It took approximately eight months to connect with universities in The Netherlands, develop a suitable PhD proposal and get accepted at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). Currently, I am a second-year PhD researcher within the Landscape Section of the Faculty of Architecture and Built Environment at TU Delft, so I am working in Netherlands but my project is based on Europe and Asia. My research focuses on understanding Spatial Strategies in Sustainable Urban Food Transitions.

Which parts of your student experience prepared you for your current role?

Through my studies I gained a deeper understanding and empathy for different perspectives which prepared me for a lot of my future experiences. As a result, I started to volunteer with a local organisation dedicated to ensuring food security. I've also really enjoyed collaborating with schools to advocate for sustainability and raise awareness about climate change. 

What are your future ambitions and what advice would you give to future students?

My aspiration is to deepen my involvement in research and lead a project focused on urban food system transformation. I would advise future students to recognise the importance of networking by actively reaching out to individuals, and listening and learning from the experiences of others.

Are you interested in studying the Interdisciplinary Urban Design MRes at The Bartlett School?

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