My CV

Download a PDF of my CV. See a list of my published articles.

You can also have a complete overview of my academic life HERE.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF SPATIAL PLANNING AND STRATEGY, URBANISM, TU DELFT, recently appointed.

Assistant Professor of Spatial Planning and Strategy, Dep. of Urbanism, TU Delft (2008-2018).

Doctoral candidate, Spatial Planning and Strategy, Dep. of Urbanism, TU Delft (2004-2007)

I am responsible for course development, coordination and communication in areas of sustainability, governance, strategic regional and metropolitan planning and design, and research methodology. I am also responsible for the communication strategy of the chair Spatial Planning and Strategy, events, courses and conferences organization. Major undertakings are the Summer School Planning and Design with Water (80 students, 100 hours of study), AMS Institute MADE course “Metropolitan Innovators” (6 ECTS), the European Master of Urbanism (EMU) Studio “Urban Region Networks” (15 ECTS) and the “Research and Design Methodology for Urbanism” (5 ECTS). I co-lead the Faculty-wide “Africa Initiative” and have spearheaded an MoU with UN-Habitat that will help establish TU Delft as a centre of learning for the New Urban Agenda (Quito, 2016).

POST-DOC RESEARCHER, RESEARCH INTO PRACTICE CLUSTER, SCHOOL OF CREATIVE ARTS, ART AND DESIGN, UNIVERSITY OF HERTFORDSHIRE, UK, 2008-2010

Research into the integration of academic research into design-based and practice-based disciplines, in the Research into Practice cluster led by Professor Michael Biggs, funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Visiting Fellow at the University of Copenhagen, DK, October/November 2013, Department of Earth Sciences and Nature Management, Landscape Architecture and Planning.

Bursary Researcher for FAPESP (the S. Paulo State Research Foundation), University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2001-2003

Bursary Researcher Alfa-Ibis programme, Delft University of Technology (EU funded programme), NL, 2000

Research assistant (‘Scientific Initiation’), University of São Paulo, 1991-1993, Funded by CNPq (Brazilian National Council for Scientific Research) 

SUMMARY OF SKILLS

*Over 15 years of experience researching and teaching spatial planning theory and methods, urban geography and scientific research methodology.I have a University Teaching Qualification (BKO) delivered by TU Delft, which is evidence of didactic proficiency of lecturers in academic education.

* 10 years of experience in spatial plan development in an academic environment.

*Superior ability to develop and manage courses, workshops and training programsrelated to spatial planning and urban and regional design and academic research methodology for an international audience. Among other activities, I manage the Summer School “Planning and Design with Water”, which gathers 80 foreign students every July at the Department of Urbanism at TU Delft.

Experience in conceptualising, developing, implementing and evaluating content in spatial planning and design education, academic research methodology (philosophy of science and qualitative methods) and sustainability studies.

*Superior ability to create and share innovative teaching materials. Excellent use of web-based platforms and social media as educational tools. Experience in developing and teaching MOOCS. Among other courses, I have developed the “Methodology for Urbanism” course, in partnership with the ‘Research into Practice Group’ at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK. I have designed and published several serious games for spatial planning education.

*Excellent aptitude to communicate and teach in multicultural environments where a cross-cultural perspective is necessary. Superior ability to deal with cultural differences in a multicultural learning environment. An example of exercise developed to deal with cultural differences and educational background are Mind Maps, which are used in the introduction week for all Master students entering BK Master courses. I am also co-leading the diversity initiative at the Department of Urbanism.

*Excellent ability to work in a team and capacity for flexibility to reach consensus.Excellent capacity for mediation and conduction of workshops and debates. Among other activities, I chaired NALACS, the Netherlands Association for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and SCUPAD, the Salzburg Congress for Urban Planning and Development, part of the Salzburg Seminars.

*Excellent ability to establish and maintain good professional rapport, and to communicate orally and in writing in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.I am able to write academically and communicate orally to an excellent level in these four languages. I have a CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English) by the University of Cambridge, UK. Good knowledge of Dutch.

*Extensive experience in editorial work, proofreading and assessing academic and non-academic texts.I am a frequent reviewer for Cities, IPHS Journal, and other publications. I am a member of the editorial board of two highly ranked academic journals in Brazil (Revista da Pos and Revista Brasileira de Estudos Urbanos e Regionais). I have edited a major reference book on informal urbanization in the Global South.

*Solid experience in writing reports and academic articles and in publishing.Currently focusing on issues of regional and metropolitan governance; spatial justice and the right to the city connected to socio-technical transitions to sustainability.  An example of project I have participated as a researchers is PLEEC, Planning for Energy Efficiency Cities, where I helped develop the structure of Work Package 4 (structure Driven Energy Efficiency) and was responsible for a case-study in the UK (Stoke-on-Trent).

*Excellent ability to build communication strategies and manage online content, especially BLOGS and social media. Among the BLOGS I manage are the Spatial Planning and Strategy BLOG, the Summer School BLOG and the BLOG Planning Latin America., among others. I am also responsible for the SPS section’s Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIN accounts.

ACADEMIC DEVELOPMENT

PHD

Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, with a dissertation on “An Urban Geography of Globalization: New Urban Structures in the Age of Hyper-Connectivity”, promotor: Professor Jurgen Rosemann. (2008)

MASTER OF SCIENCE (POST-GRADUATE SCIENTIFIC MASTER)

University of São Paulo, Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, with a thesis on “The Faria Lima Urban Operation: a study of a partnership between public and private sectors in the city of São Paulo in the 1990s”. Funded by FAPESP (State of São Paulo Research Council), promotor: Professor Sueli Schiffer. (2003)

GRADUATE DIPLOMA IN ARCHITECTURE AND URBANISM

University of São Paulo, Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, with a thesis on “Urban Transformation of the West of Sao Paulo under Conditions of Liberalization of the Economy”, promotor: Professor Vera Pallamin. (1995)

FUNDED PROJECTS

2016-2018: Researcher for COHESIFY: Funded under the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, COHESIFY aims to understand what citizens think of the European Structural and Investment Funds, which invests more than €50 billion a year in projects creating jobs, promoting innovation, improving the environment and upgrading infrastructure in regions across the EU. A key question for this multi-disciplinary study is whether these investment funds affect people’s support for and identification with the European project.

2013-2016: Researcher at Planning for Energy Efficient Cities (FP7 project Energy-Smart Cities 2012) funded by the European Commission as partners with a number of municipalities and universities led by the city of Eskilstuna in Sweden. I am one of the people in charge of organising the work package of our university.

MEMBER OF DOCTORAL COMMITTEES

DEC 2017.Dr. Irene Luque Martin,  “Descodificando la Planificación Urbana Contemporánea: Hacia una alternativa metodológica para una planificación colaborativa”. University of Sevilla, Department of Urbanism and Territorial Management. Promotors: D. Victoriano Sainz Gutierrez and D. Antonio Piñero Valverde.

JUNE 2016.Dr. Nabil Menhem, “The Role of the Resilience Concept in Informing Regional: Policy Approaches at Multiple Territorial Scales, Politecnico di Milano, Department of Planning. Promotor: Professor Bruno Dente, Chair of the Doctoral Program: Professor Costanzo Ranci.

As daily supervisor

SEPT 2014. Dr. Suwanna Rongwiriyaphanich, “Understanding culture in territorial management and its implications for spatial planning: The case of floodplain management in urbanised delta regions in the Netherlands and Thailand“, Delft University of Technology, Department of  Urbanism, Chair of Spatial Planning and Strategy. Promotor: Professor Vincent Nadin. Daily supervisor: Roberto Rocco.

Further supervision of PhD candidates

Ana Rosa Chagas, “Urban Informality shaped by Labour: Critiques and Alternatives to the production of Human Habitat”, Promotor: Professor Dirk van Gameren, Department of Architecture. Daily supervisor: Roberto Rocco. Expected defence: May 2019.

Tijen Rothko, “Informal Urbanization in Ankara [working title]”. Promotor: Professor Vincent Nadin, Department of Urbanism. Daily supervisor: Roberto Rocco. Expected defence: end 2019.

LEADERSHIP

Former chairman of NALACS (the Netherlands Association for Latin American and Caribbean Studies). Association based at CEDLA (the Dutch inter-university Centre for Latin American Studies and Documentation. Tasks: coordination and communication. http://www.nalacs.nl

Former president of SCUPAD (the Salzburg Congress on Urban Planning and Development), the Salzburg Seminar, Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg (2016-2017), and former board member on SCUPAD (2014-2016)

Member of NUL board (New Urban Languages Conference) organized jointly by the Politecnico di Milano and the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid. Task: member of scientific committee in charge of selecting abstracts, organization. http://www.newurbanlanguages.eu

SUMMER SCHOOL PLANNING AND DESIGN WITH WATER

Two-week summer school for 80 students on issues of water management and sustainable design, Department of Urbanism. TU Delft. (100 hours of study) 5 editions. Partners: Delft Global, the Responsible Innovation Project (TBM), the City of The Hague, DIMI, the city of Delft, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, The Delta Programme, ARCADIS and Deltares. https://summerschooltudelft.org

UTC Urban Thinkers Campus EDUCATION FOR THE CITY WE NEED

UN-Habitat sponsored workshops and seminars on Education that fosters the implementation of the New Urban Agenda (Habitat III, Quito, Ecuador, 2016). This initiative is connected to a MoU between BK and UN-Habitat and efforts to integrate the New Urban Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals into Urbanism education. https://utctudelft.org

GRADUATION STUDIO COMPLEX CITIES

Complex Cities explores the complex relationships between space and society, having strategic planning and design as tools for intervention and governance as one of the central issues. I lead the sub-group INCLUSIVE CITIES IN THE GLOBAL SOUTH, which specialises in metropolitan regions of the Global South, having governance and sustainability (social, economic and environmental) as focus.  Formerly, I coordinated the studio from 2008-2012. https://complexcitiesstudio.org

BK AFRICA INITIATIVE

Ghanaian-Scottish architect, academic, and novelist Lesley Lokko, speaking at the African Perspectives Conference, 27-29 MAR 2019, BK.

Part of the former dean’s strategic vision for the faculty, the Africa Initiative is led by Professors Dirk van Gameren and Andy van den Dobbelsteen, with myself as daily manager. This initiative has already produced a PrepCon organised with African partners in Addis-Ababa, and two other smaller ‘AFRICA DAYS’ at BK. A major conference took place between 27-29 March 2019. https://africanperspectivesbk.org

DIVERSITY IN THE DEPARTMENT OF URBANISM

An initiative from Professors Vincent Nadi, Jantien Stoter, and Annemieke Klein, I have led the workshop and report on diversity in the department, which resulted in a report available HERE.

ORGANISATION OF CONFERENCES

Organisation of the African Perspectives +12 Conference. 27-29 March 2019, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft. Cross departmental initiative. https://africanperspectivesbk.org In a team with Rachel Keeton, Anteneh Tola, Meryam Ajari, and Yemi Kacoutie.

Leading organiser of the UTC Urban Thinkers Campus “Education for the City We Needat TU Delft, June 2017: a 3-day symposium following the format proposed by the World Urban Campaign “The Urban Thinkers Campus model is an initiative of UN-Habitat conceived as an open space for critical exchange between urban researchers, professionals, and decision-makers who believe that urbanization is an opportunity and can lead to positive urban transformations. It is also intended as a platform to build consensus between partners engaged in addressing urbanization challenges and proposing solutions to urban futures”. https://utctudelft.org

Organisation of the conference Jane Jacobs 100: A celebration of the life and legacy of Jane Jacobs and a look forward”, in 24-25 May 2016, in partnership with Erasmus University College. https://janejacobs100.co, which resulted in the book “Jane Jacobs is Still Here”.

Organisation of the conference Cities and Citizenship in Latin America and the Caribbean, NALACS (Netherlands Association of Latin American and Caribbean Studies) and TU Delft, 16-17 June 2016, Delft University of Technology, https://citiescitizenship.wordpress.com, which resulted in the book “Cities and Citizenship in Latin America and the Caribbean”, available at BK BOOKS.

Third International Conference New Urban Languages, “Tales and Images of Spatial Justice, June 24-26, 2015, Faculty of Architecure and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology. In partnership with the Department of Archicteture and Urban Studies, Politecnico di Milano. https://nulconference.wordpress.com

CONFERENCE TRACK LEADER

African Perspectives + 12 (27-29 MARCH 2019), BK, TU Delft. Track 3: Informal Urbanisation: How is Africa addressing its slums?

RC21:Rethinking Urban Global Justice: An international academic conference for critical urban studies. (September 11-13 2017), Leeds, University of Leeds, TRACK 74: The Political Meaning of Informal Urbanisation: building democracy while building the city, co-track leader with Jan van Ballegooijen (TU Delft).

AESOP:Association of European Schools of Planning: Spaces of Dialogue for Places of Dignity: Fostering the European Dimension of Planning (11-14 July 2017), Lisbon, IST (Instituto Superior Técnico), IGOT (Geography and Spatial Planning Institute) and FA (Faculty of Architecture), TRACK 3: Spaces of dialogue for active, networked and responsible citizenship, co-track leader with Camilla Perrone (University of Florence) and Lia Vasconcellos (Universidade Nova de Lisboa).

Jane Jacobs 100: Her legacy and relevance in the 21st century (24-25 May 2016), TU Delft, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment. TRACK: Jane Jacobs, ethics, and the just city, co-track leader with Claudia Basta (Wageningen University) and Thomas Hartmann (Utrecht University).

AESOP:Association of European Schools of Planning: Definite space: fuzzy responsibility (13-16 July 2015), Czech University of Technology in Prague, TRACK 19: SMART APPROACHES TO RESPONSIBLE-MINDED PLANNING PRACTICE, co-chair with Petra Hirschler (TU Vienna).

MEMBER OF EDITORIAL BOARDS

The Revista Brasileira de Estudos Urbanos e Regionais (Brazilian Review of Urban and Regional Studies)  is connected to ANPUR, the National Association of Post Graduate Studies and Research on Urban and Regional Planning. ANPUR is a nation-wide organisation that has been active for more than 30 years.

The  Revista da Pos, the review of Post-Graduate Studies of the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of the University of São Paulo .

The Italian Journal of Planning Practice (IJPP )is an open access brand new journal which aims at establishing a source for information on Italian planning practice. IJPP adheres to the BOAI definition of open access and all users have the right to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles.

I am also a frequent reviewer for Cities, IPHS Journal and other publications.

KEYNOTE SPEECHES

(This list includes only invitations as keynote speaker. It does not include participation in conferences and seminars as presenter)

LANDaC International Land Conference Land Governance for Equitable and Sustainable Development, 30 June – 1 July 2016, Muntgebouw, Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Salzburg Congress for Urban Planning and Development (SCUPAD), May 12 – 15, 2016, Cities Beyond Tools: Confronting Poverty & Climate Change, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia  and SCUPAD Student Workshop, May 16-20, 2016.

New Urban Languages: Re-imaging the city after the knowledge-based turn (Milan June 2013). Lecture: What is Governance and why it is important for urban planning and designing”.

International Conference on River Basin Planning and Management (Taipei, May 2013), New Taipei City Hall, Discussant to information and management project devised by NCKU for the government of Taiwan.

iCities International Forum on Innovative Planning (Tainan, May 2013), National Cheng-Kung University at Tainan (Taiwan): “Operating Sustainability: Teaching Sustainability on Planning Education”: Title of speech: Integrating Sustainability into Planning Education from an International Perspective. Presentation available at: http://issuu.com/robertorocco/docs/regional_networked_governance

International Conference on Urban Development (Prague, May 2013), organised by cabinet of the mayor of Prague and the Stavebni Forum. Lecture: “The emergence of regional governance”. Lecture available at http://www.stavebni-forum.cz/summit2013/en/index.php?url=program

44th SCUPAD Salzburg Congress on Urban Planning and Development (Salzburg, May, 2012), “Front page Planning: Before and After Major Events, Disasters, and Social Unrest” Lecture: “Rio Olympic Legacy: Missed Opportunities”. Presentation available at: http://issuu.com/robertorocco/docs/rio_olympics/1

iCities International Forum on Innovative Planning (Tainan, October 2012) National Cheng-Kung University at Tainan (Taiwan): “Globalisation and Planning Education”. Lecture ”Teaching for Urbanism: A didactical experience in a newly academicized area”. Presentation available at: http://www.slideshare.net/robrocco/teaching-for-urbanism-a-didactical-experience-at-tu-delft

International Seminar “From Creative Cities to Urban Creativity: Economy, Culture and Governance in the Contemporary City” (Lisbon, December 2009), Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon.Lecture: “Cultural Policies for the Dual City: Culture, Territory and Citizenship in Sao Paulo”. Presentation available at: http://www.slideshare.net/robrocco/cultural-policies-for-the-dual-city-culture-territory-and-citizenship-in-sao-paulo

IV Projetar 2009: Design as Research: Teaching, Research and Practice (Sao Paulo, October 2009), Mackenzie Presbyterian University of Sao Paulo, Lecture: “A pedagogical proposal in an area of epistemological uncertainty”

37th SCUPAD Salzburg Congress for Urban Planning and Development (Salzburg, May 2006). “Rapidly Expanding Cities in an Urbanising World”. Lecture: “Building a South American Metropolis: Issues of Development in Sao Paulo, Brazil”. Presentation available at http://www.slideshare.net/robrocco/buiding-a-south-american-metropolis

2005: Course “Academic Writing”, TBM Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, TU Delft.

Valorisation

2015: BKO Certificate: University Teaching Qualification (‘Basis Kwalificatie Onderwijs‘ or BKO) delivered by TU Delft. The BKO is evidence of the didactic proficiency of lecturers in academic education.

2010: Course “Supervising the Supervisor”, Netherlands Graduate School of Urban and Regional Research. Course on doctoral supervision.

2009: Course “Research Project Management”, TBM Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, TU Delft. Course on research project management.

Participation in Faculty-Department-wide Committees

Leader of the research cluster “International urbanisation & development planning” in the Department of Urbanism, a topic that has the potential to become Faculty-wide.

Daily manager Africa Inititiative/ African Perspectives Conference

Recently: BK Studies Committee (OC).

COURSES DEVELOPED

Research and Design Methodology for Urbanism, MSc2 Q3 (6 ECTS)

This course tackles the integration of academic research and education in planning and design, and seeks to establish a meaningful connection between traditional academic research and practice or design-oriented disciplines, such as urban design, landscape architecture and spatial planning. The aim of this course is to raise the academic value of the education offered.

Complex Cities Graduation Studio (45 ECTS)

I have developed content and managed a research and design studio called “Complex Cities” for 4 years (2008- 2011), where students of the Department of Urbanism (spatial planning, urban design and environmental technology) develop their graduation work. The graduation studio Complex Cities and Regions in Transformation tackles strategic regional planning and globalisation, with emphasis on regional development, governance and strategic planning. In this research and design programme, students are asked to develop a strategic plan for a region of their choice. Within the graduation studio I lead the “Inclusive Cities of the Global South”, component.

European Master of Urbanism (30 ECTS) Post-graduate programme

One of the studios is a postgraduate research and design studio belonging to the European Masters in Urbanism (EMU), an accredited European consortium between the Urbanism departments of TU Delft, the Catholic University of Leuven, Università IUAV di Venezia and UPC Barcelona. This is a two-year, full-time postgraduate Master’s program (120 credits). I have helped develop the content of the studio centred on regional planning and design.  I have taught at EMU since its inception, first in partnership with Remon Rooij, then with Daan Zandbelt, Alexander Wandl and currently with Victor Sanz. More information can be obtained at http://www.emurbanism.eu/

Summer School Planning and Design with Water (100 hours of study)

Since 2014, I organise and manage the Summer School Planning and Designing with Water, which focuses on the challenges and solutions to comply with contemporary water management and urban design and planning. It invites students to understand the theories and practices that bring together water management and urban development and to apply the knowledge acquired in the elaboration of a vision and a spatial plan for a specific area in the Dutch city of The Hague. The aim of the Summer School is to explore the Dutch tradition of planning and designing with water and the integration of water management with urban development in the Netherlands.

Sustainable infrastructures (elective)

In 2014, I helped develop and teach an elective course entitled Smart Infrastructure and Mobility (SIM), with Taneha Bacchin and Denise Piccinini. This course focuses on the interconnections between spatial planning, landscape design and regional design in a cross disciplinary way. There are three chairs of the Department of Urbanism involved: Environmental Technology and Design, Spatial Planning, Landscape Architecture), each catering for specific aspects of the project. [this elective ran for three years].

Advanced Metropolitan Solutions Institute: Course Metropolitan Innovators (6 ECTS) AMS MADE programme

This course enables Metropolitan Innovators to identify and evaluate these claims from three main perspectives: socio-technical, ecosystems and spatial justice, seeking an integration of the three perspectives. The course thereby offers the theoretical and conceptual tools to analyse and discuss metropolitan challenges and the possible implications of proposed solutions.

MOOC RETHINK THE CITY: MODULE SPATIAL JUSTICE

In this online course students learn about today’s urban challenges focusing on developing countries, referred to as the Global South. We will debate the benefits associated with three different themes, going beyond traditional urban strategies and policies: Spatial justice: Spatial justice is undoubtedly one of the greatest challenges of urban contexts in emerging economies.

Housing Provision and Management: Increasing demand in the Global South calls for alternative approaches in housing provision and management.

Urban Resilience: Understanding resilience not as a mere struggle for survival, but as an opportunity to build better urban environments.

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