Dr Dorina Pojani

Lecturer in Urban Env/Dev planning

School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Science
d.pojani@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 56091

Overview

Dr Dorina Pojani joined UQ’s planning program in 2015. Prior to moving to Australia, she lived, worked and/or studied in Albania, Belgium, Italy, The Netherlands, and the USA. In 2016-17, she was a visiting lecturer at the University of Vienna, Austria. Her research interests encompass urban transport, urban design, and housing. She has published books and numerous articles on urban planning. Her latest book is The Urban Transport Crisis in Emerging Economies (Springer, 2016).

For a full list of publications (most with full text) visit the following pages:

Editorial Boards

TeMA: Journal of Land Use, Mobility, and Environment

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Qualifications*

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft, the Netherlands. 2012-2014.
  • PhD in Urban Planning, Polytechnic University of Tirana, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tirana, Albania. 2007-2010.
  • Visiting PhD student, University of California at Los Angeles, Luskin School of Public Affairs, Los Angeles, Ca, USA. Winter and spring terms 2009.
  • Master in Urban Planning, University of Cincinnati, College of Design, Art, Architecture, and Planning, Cincinnati, Oh, USA. Full scholarship award. 2003-2005.
  • Visiting Master student, Catholic University of Leuven, Faculty of Architecture (St Lucas), Brussels, Belgium. Recipient of US government FIPSE grant. Fall term 2004.
  • Professional Degree in Architecture, Polytechnic University of Tirana, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tirana, Albania. 1998-2003.

*See also Qualifications.

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Funded Projects*

  • 2016. Project: Reclaiming lost ground: Transitions of mobility and parking. Australian Research Council, Linkage grant. Grant co-writer ($358,000).

  • 2016. Project: Planning Tiger Cub City-Regions: Role Models and Policy Transfers in Sustainable Transport in Southeast Asia. Project based in Indonesia,the Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand. UQ Early Career Researcher grant. Principal investigator and main applicant ($26,150).

  • 2015-2017. Project: Urban planning issues in planned capital cities in seven countries: Burma, India, Korea, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Brazil, and Australia. The University of Queensland, new staff grant. ($15,000).

  • 2014-2016. Project: CASUAL: Co-creating Attractive and Sustainable Urban Areas and Lifestyles - Exploring New Forms of Inclusive Urban Governance. Grant from: European Joint Programme Initiative / Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). Researcher. Main applicant: Nordregio - Nordic Centre for Spatial Development, Sweden.

  • 2014-2015. Project: Informal Housing in the Balkans. Grant from: Van Eesteren-Fluck & Van Lohuizen Stichting (EFL) Foundation, The Netherlands. Principal investigator and main applicant (€10,000).

  • 2012-2014. Project: iTOD, Implementing Transit-Oriented Development. Grant from: Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). Researcher. Main applicant: University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

  • 2011. Project: State of European Cities in Transition: Taking Stock after Twenty Years of Reform. Grant from: United Nations Habitat. Researcher. Main applicant: Institute of Urban Development, Poland.

  • 2011. Project: Albania’s Third National Communication with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Consultant for United Nations Development Programme.

*For a list of grants administered at UQ, see Grants.

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Research Students (PhD and MPhil)*

  1. Els Leclercq [external, TU Delft, Netherlands]
  2. Sachin Goel
  3. Deti Kusmalawati
  4. Annie McCabe
  5. Vanessa Neilsen
  6. Tigor Wilfritz Soaduon Panjaitan
  7. Melissa Hensley
  8. Roja Gholamhosseini
  9. Renuka Bhoge
  10. Fahimeh Khalaj

*See also Supervision.

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Teaching Responsibilities

The University of Queensland

  • Planning Theory (PLAN4001 / PLAN7120) - Lecturer & Coordinator
  • History of the Built Environment (PLAN2005) – Lecturer & Coordinator
  • Plan Making (PLAN3000 / PLAN7121) – Lecturer & Coordinator

Internationally

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Languages

English, Albanian, Italian, and Spanish – fluent; French – conversational.

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Professional Associations

Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP)

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Last updated: 16 December 2016

Research Interests

  • International comparative planning / Planning policy transfer processes
  • Transit Oriented Development (TOD) / Alternative transport
  • Place identity / Urban design history
  • Mobility of children and youth / Gender and transport
  • Neighborhood design / City centers
  • Post-socialism / Transition societies / The Balkans
  • The Global South / Developing countries
  • Informal settlements / Low-income housing

Qualifications

  • Master of Community Planning, University of Cincinnati
  • Urban Transport in Developing Countries, Polytechnic University of Tirana

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • Email inquiries are welcome. Please scroll down to the list of available project topics. In addition to the listed topics, I encourage you to propose original topics in my areas of expertise. I am particularly interested in projects which are international and comparative in nature, and can help you refine your ideas. All listed topics are suitable as a PhD, Master, or Honours Project (can be adjusted to suit either). To assist me in assessing your suitability as a PhD or MPhil student under my supervision, please include in your email: (1) Your current CV; (2) A list of publications (if any); (3) A short decription of your proposed project

    Notes for international applicants. The UQ Graduate School Scholarships (UQGSS) are extremely competitive. If relying on being awarded a UQGSS, prospective PhD/MPhil students must meet the following criteria: (1) At least one international, peer-reviewed academic publication (not a conference paper, newspaper article, or article in a national publication). This criterion is crucial, and students who do not meet it are discouraged from progressing to a full application. (2) A high GPA (equivalent to Honours 1 in Australia). (3) Strong references from academic advisors/employers. (4) English language requirements. Alternatively, international PhD/MPhil applicants have the following options: (a) Secure external funding for tuition fees and living expenses. (b) Self-fund HDR studies, including tuition fees (see calculator) and living expenses (see guide). (c) Provide updated information on academic credentials (e.g., on publications). Prospective students from China have the option to apply for a CSC-UQ PhD Scholarship and prospective students from the United States have the option to apply for a US to Australia Fellowship.

  • Parking is a persistent problem in most cities worldwide. Cars are parked 95% of the time but the majority of mobility studies examine cars while in motion. In orthodox transportation planning, parking is deemed an essential part of the transportation system and is assumed to produce enormous benefits for its users. In reality, generous parking allocations adversely affect both transportation and land use (more so than road space requirements) and yet their effects are often overlooked or misunderstood. Most people are aware of urban problems like congestion and sprawl, but they often fail to connect these with parking policies and practices. Australian cities have sprawled on a scale fit for automobiles rather than humans because, in designing urban transport policies, planners have long assumed that most trips would be by car and that cars should be able to park easily in most areas. Limited progress has been made on the understanding and governance of parking space. Projects proposals, which investigate the impact of parking on revenue; mobility; community; and land use are welcome.

  • Gender issues, including gender equality, gender equity, and gender mainstreaming or gender integration, have become important in transport, as well as other policy areas. Among women, there are highly important individual distinctions that depend upon location, income, age, household, elder- and child-care responsibilities, ethnicity, employment status, degree of disability, class, and education. Notwithstanding such variety, there are significant differences between the transport needs, travel behaviors and patterns, and levels of physical access to work, services, and recreation of women compared to men. Gender-based transport differences tend to be more accentuated in developing countries. A gender analysis of transport systems seeks to reveal these differences in particular contexts. It also seeks to uncover potentially detrimental effects proposed transport programs or projects might have on women and men.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book

Book Chapter

  • Pojani, Dorina and Stead, Dominic (2017). The urban transport crisis in emerging economies: a comparative overview. In Pojani, Dorina and Stead, Dominic (Ed.), The urban transport crisis in emerging economies (pp. 283-295) New York: Springer International Publishing. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-43851-1_1

  • Pojani, Dorina (2014). Bus rapid transit, design and engineering of. In Mark Garrett (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Transportation: Social Science and Policy (pp. 321-325) Thousand Oaks, CA, USA: Sage Publications. doi:10.4135/9781483346526.n119

  • Pojani, Dorina (2014). Women's issues/gender issues. In Mark Garrett (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Transportation: Social Science and Policy (pp. 1731-1734) Thousand Oaks, CA, USA: Sage Publications. doi:10.4135/9781483346526.n605

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Pojani, Dorina and Stead, Dominic (2016). Processes of Urban Planning Policy Transfer and Learning. In: Nicola Francesco Dotti, GREATPI – Book of Abstracts. Knowledge, Policymaking and Learning in European Metropolitan Areas: Experiences and Approaches, Brussells, Belgium, (). 25 January 2016.

  • Pojani, Dorina, Bakija, Dukagjin and Shkreli, Entela (2015). Do the north and the south share a cycling mindset?. In: Donyun Kim, Sungah Kim, Thorsten Schuetze, Saehyung Sohn, Lorenzo Chelleri, York Ostermeyer, Hendrik Tieben and Marc Wolfram, True Smart and Green City? Proceedings of the 8th International Conference of the International Forum on Urbanism. International Forum on Urbanism, Incheon, Republic of Korea, (). 22-24 June 2015. doi:10.3390/ifou-D012

  • Pojani, Dorina (2015). Informal settlements in the Balkans Squatters’ magic realism vs. planners’ modernist fantasy vs. governments’ tolerance and opportunism. In: Milan Macoun and Karel Maier, Definite Space - Fuzzy Responsibility: Book of Proceedings, 29th Annual AESOP 2015 Congress. Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP) Congress, Prague, Czech Republic, (). 13-16 July 2015.

  • Pojani, Dorina (2012). Noise pollution management issues in Tirana, the capital of Albania. In: Real Corp: Re-mixing the city: towards sustainability and resilience?. International Conference on Urban Planning and Regional Development in the Information Society, Vienna, Austria, (). 14-16 May 2012.

  • Pojani, Dorina (2011). From slum to suburb: the success story of Bathore, Albania. In: ECA Housing Forum: Europe & Central Asia, Budaest, Hungary, (). 4-6 April 2011.

  • Pojani, Dorina (2011). Tirana, Albania: from car‐free and bicycle‐full to car‐full and bicycle Free. In: Velo-City, Seville, Spain, (). 23-25 March 2011.

  • Pojani, Dorina and Pojani, Elona (2011). Urban sprawl and weak regional transport in “Durana”. In: Stable Local Development: Challenges and Opportunities: Regional Science Conference with International Participation Proceedings. Regional Science Conference with International Participation, Peja, Kosovo, (). 3-4 June 2011.

  • Pojani, Dorina (2010). Albania in transition: international assistance for roads but not public transport. In: Real Corp 2010: Cities for Everyone: Liveable, Healthy, Prosperous Promising Vision or Unrealistic Fantasy?. International Conference on Urban Planning and Regional Development in the Information Society, Vienna, Austria, (). 18-20 May 2010.

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Master Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Master Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • Email inquiries are welcome. Please scroll down to the list of available project topics. In addition to the listed topics, I encourage you to propose original topics in my areas of expertise. I am particularly interested in projects which are international and comparative in nature, and can help you refine your ideas. All listed topics are suitable as a PhD, Master, or Honours Project (can be adjusted to suit either). To assist me in assessing your suitability as a PhD or MPhil student under my supervision, please include in your email: (1) Your current CV; (2) A list of publications (if any); (3) A short decription of your proposed project

    Notes for international applicants. The UQ Graduate School Scholarships (UQGSS) are extremely competitive. If relying on being awarded a UQGSS, prospective PhD/MPhil students must meet the following criteria: (1) At least one international, peer-reviewed academic publication (not a conference paper, newspaper article, or article in a national publication). This criterion is crucial, and students who do not meet it are discouraged from progressing to a full application. (2) A high GPA (equivalent to Honours 1 in Australia). (3) Strong references from academic advisors/employers. (4) English language requirements. Alternatively, international PhD/MPhil applicants have the following options: (a) Secure external funding for tuition fees and living expenses. (b) Self-fund HDR studies, including tuition fees (see calculator) and living expenses (see guide). (c) Provide updated information on academic credentials (e.g., on publications). Prospective students from China have the option to apply for a CSC-UQ PhD Scholarship and prospective students from the United States have the option to apply for a US to Australia Fellowship.

  • Parking is a persistent problem in most cities worldwide. Cars are parked 95% of the time but the majority of mobility studies examine cars while in motion. In orthodox transportation planning, parking is deemed an essential part of the transportation system and is assumed to produce enormous benefits for its users. In reality, generous parking allocations adversely affect both transportation and land use (more so than road space requirements) and yet their effects are often overlooked or misunderstood. Most people are aware of urban problems like congestion and sprawl, but they often fail to connect these with parking policies and practices. Australian cities have sprawled on a scale fit for automobiles rather than humans because, in designing urban transport policies, planners have long assumed that most trips would be by car and that cars should be able to park easily in most areas. Limited progress has been made on the understanding and governance of parking space. Projects proposals, which investigate the impact of parking on revenue; mobility; community; and land use are welcome.

  • Gender issues, including gender equality, gender equity, and gender mainstreaming or gender integration, have become important in transport, as well as other policy areas. Among women, there are highly important individual distinctions that depend upon location, income, age, household, elder- and child-care responsibilities, ethnicity, employment status, degree of disability, class, and education. Notwithstanding such variety, there are significant differences between the transport needs, travel behaviors and patterns, and levels of physical access to work, services, and recreation of women compared to men. Gender-based transport differences tend to be more accentuated in developing countries. A gender analysis of transport systems seeks to reveal these differences in particular contexts. It also seeks to uncover potentially detrimental effects proposed transport programs or projects might have on women and men.

  • How do parks affect human relationships and wellbeing? Are urban environments more stressful than rural environments? How do urban environments influence crime rates? Do people in suburban housing have more friends among their neighbors? What should be the maximum height for apartment buildings? Are people happier when they live near the water? Why are some cities cleaner than others? Why do some people prefer farmers’ markets and others shopping malls? How do people from different cultures use public spaces? These questions fall within the domain of urban psychology which studies the relationship between human behavior and the urban environment, from both directions - how cities affects behavior and attitudes, and how people's behaviors and attitudes affect city building.

  • Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) is generally considered to be mixed-use development near, and/or oriented to, mass transit facilities. Common TOD traits include urban compactness, pedestrian and cycle-friendly environs, public and civic spaces near stations, and stations as community hubs. TOD has been rediscovered in many parts of the world due to a combination of factors including technological innovations in transit and logistics, privatization reforms in rail transit, the quest for sustainable development patterns, and the shifting spatial dynamics of contemporary society. In some countries, the TOD approach reaches further than single locations towards a network approach, which aims at realigning entire urban regions around rail transport and away from the car. New TOD projects are often seen as important contributors to good urban design to coordinate transportation modes, mix land uses, and create an appealing public space within a limited area. However, studies to date indicate that TOD projects have been mixed in terms of delivering a genuine transit-oriented experience.

  • More than half the world’s population now lives in cities or urban areas, which are responsible for more than 70% of carbon emissions. It is increasingly understood that cities must lead in tackling these problems and adapt to changes in weather patterns. The earth’s and humans’ vulnerability to the impacts of climate change is tied up with cities' ability to cope. But how prepared are cities to global warming? How well prepared and implemented are urban plans for climate change?

  • Urban design is mainly understood as the activity of producing public and private space. It is not necessarily considered as a political activity. However, the design of public space is also a political decision about how people should interact, communicate, relate, or behave. Furthermore, urban design, especially that of city centers or other highly visible spaces, can be used as a political tool in the form of national representation or social activism. Urban design can also serve as a medium for public participation. Proposed or implemented projects can lead to discussions and negotiations about identity and meaning, as well as possible futures. Given this premise, there is a large scope for exploring and defining the boundaries, overlaps, and tensions between politics and urban design.

  • Authoritarian regimes are characterized by limited political pluralism; constraints on civil society; social engineering; political apathy; and suppression of dissenting voices. Many countries around the world are emerging from an authoritarian past. Questions to explore in relation to urban planning include: (a) what is the legacy of a history of authoritarianism on planning institutions and practices, and the culture of public participation, (b) what is the level of public participation in authoritarian and post-authoritarian regimes and (c) what planning outcomes are produced by authoritarianism or a former history of authoritarianism, and how do they compare with outcomes produced through democratic processes?

  • As the rich-poor gap widens, regions re-urbanize, and wealthier residents flow into once-low-income inner-cities, longtime residents can be priced out. How do these dynamics play out? Is displacement extensive? What kinds of people are displaced, and how do people and groups fare after they leave gentrifying neighborhoods? How does the built environment change as gentrification takes place? Does gentrification lead to more population and built environment diversity? Is gentrification and displacement a symptom of the scarcity of quality urbanism?

  • Substantial tracts of urban space have traditionally been dedicated to roads and parking. The transitions to new technologies such as automated vehicles and new business models including collective vehicle-sharing arrangements are already having profound implications across the built environment. The inevitable uptake of automated vehicles will result in far fewer motor vehicles servicing urban mobility needs, particularly if they are operated as a shared service. In addition, car-sharing services employing conventional vehicles, such as Uber, are already a reality. Considering these transitions and trends, important questions arise concerning the design and use of urban space. Policy-makers now need to determine how best to manage and promote these shifting mobility patterns to take advantage of this opportunity to redesign the built environment. How best to repurpose the space that currently accommodates private motor vehicles (moving and parked) to make cities more attractive and liveable places?

  • Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is a recently developed low-cost bus-based alternative to metro and tram systems. A BRT system emulates the performance and amenities of modern rail-based transit systems, including segregated rights of way, closed stations, and pre-board ticketing. However, it has major advantages over rail-based transit, including much lower construction costs, short implementation periods (one to three years after conception), accommodation of many route permutations, and flexibility to adapt to a range of urban conditions. In the last few decades, BRT has become widely used for urban mass transit, especially in developing cities. More than 40 cities on six continents have implemented BRT systems, and at least as many systems are either in the planning or construction stages.

  • What are the main active transport determinants (e.g., topography, weather, built environment, socio-economics, gender, etc.)? How can cycling be effectively promoted as both a viable and safe mode of transport and an enjoyable recreational activity? What are the barrier to creating a comprehensive and continuous network of safe and attractive bicycle routes and end-of-trip facilities in different countries? Why are active transport needs insufficiently considered and addressed in relevant transport and planning activities?

  • In OECD countries, the population share of those over 65 years old reached 18% in 2010, up from 7.7 percent in 1950, and is expected to climb to 25% in 2050. Home to 43% of this older population, cities need to prepare for an aging citizenry. Some of the challenges include a rising demand for social services, healthcare, and public housing, and accessible and socially appealing public spaces. Adapting cities will need to redesign infrastructure and development patterns.