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Mr Joao Bento
Central House
14 Upper Woburn Place
  • Research Fellow
  • The Bartlett School of Planning
  • Faculty of the Built Environment

I am a Research Fellow at Bartlett School of Planning / UCL since 2019. Before that I was appointed Honorary Research Fellow (2018) to developed a small research project for the Estonian Government Office focused on the role of spatial design leadership in fostering spatial quality and a place-making culture across five European states. 

Graduated as an architect and urbanist from the University of Lisbon, I started my research career at the National Laboratory of Civil Engineering, Portugal, where I collaborated in the development of the ‘Assessment Method of Rehabilitation Needs’ and in the ‘Technical Recommendations for Security Forces Buildings’.

I developed a PhD at the Bartlett School of Planning / UCL focused on the role and impact of National Architectural Policies in the European Union. In this context, I conducted a Survey on Architectural policies in Europe published into a book format with the support from the Swedish Museum of Architecture.

After concluding my PhD, I worked for two years as coordinator of Environmental Impact Assessment teams of major public and private projects at the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA).

Research Summary

I am a Research Fellow at the Bartlett School of Planning / UCL working with Prof. Matthew Carmona at the URBAN MAESTO international research project, funded by the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. For more info see: www.urbanmaestro.org 

Whitin URBAN MAESTRO, my research is focused on the ‘soft power’ approaches of urban design governance, where I became aware of the growing importance that this phenomenon is taking in European and global contexts, including in large and medium cities across the EU.

The opportunity to participate as researcher in the URBAN MAESTRO project, which gathers a small consortium comprised of UN-Habitat, UCL and Brussels City Architect (BMA), allowed me to develop a deeper knowledge on architecture and urban design governance across Europe in two ways:

  • the development of a European Survey on informal tools of design governance provided me a transversal view of current practices across Europe and a diverse range of innovative examples of informal tools at national and local level;

  • the co-organization of international workshops with policy experts and officials in different European cities allowed me to consolidate a European-wide network of key stakeholders in the governance of urban design.

Teaching Summary

I have taugh as Post-Graduate Teaching Assistant at the Bartlett School of Planning, UCL in the following module: 

  • ENVS1018 Introducing Urban Design: Design Skills (2010/2011)

I have also contributed to the Portuguese Environment Agency training protocol with National Security Forces with the module: 'Environmental impact assessment of plans and projects: Legal regime in Portugal'

01-MAR-2019 Research Fellow The Bartlett School of Planning Faculty of the Built Environment, United Kingdom
01-AUG-2018 – 02-FEB-2019 Honorary Research Fellow The Bartlett School of Planning Faculty of the Built Environment, United Kingdom
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