Karwan Taha

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After graduating with a BSc in Architecture, Karwan started his career as an architect in the public sector. He worked in the fields of design, supervision, and implementation of building construction projects. Through his professional career, he has gained a wide practical knowledge and experience in urban planning, urban design, landscape, and project management. In addition, his work has also provided him with broad insight into the governmental bodies dealing with urban development sector regarding policies, processes, structures, and institutions.

Karwan is concerned with how, and by whom, urban development strategies are designed, their interpretation through adopted mechanisms, and the decision-making processes that influence  outcomes on the ground. These concerns, in the context of land use change from agriculture to built-up, led him to investigate why a particular piece of policy did not come about. His main research focus environmental sustainable development in the fields of spatial planning in the local context of Erbil (the capital of the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq). Thus, his PhD research project is entitled “The Significance of Sustainability in Erbil City’s Urban Planning”. The project is sponsored by an awarded scholarship granted by Human Capacity Development Programme HCDP/KRG. His work is supervised by Dr Stephen Connelly as the primary supervisor and Dr Matthew Cotton as the secondary supervisor.

Research interests

As Karwan came from a practical background before joining academia, his main research interests are influenced by his previous professional experience. This includes:

–    The impact of architecture theories on the local architecture.

–    Evaluation for planning criterion on landscape designs.


Karwan’s PhD research has shifted his sight towards ideas relevant to policy and practice including:

–    Collaborative planning and capacity building

–    Environmental sustainability between concept and practice.


For further information about Karwan’s research, please do not hesitate to contact him.