New York City / Thursday May 08,2014
11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Solly Angel

Room 7-191 Kaufman Management Center 44 West 4th Street New York, NY 10012

Thanks to Solly Angel, Patrick Lamson-Hall and Nicolás Galarza for leading this week’s brown bag discussion and providing a progress report on the Urbanization Project’s Urban Expansion initiatives in Ethiopia and Colombia.

The Urban Expansion initiative is currently working with several rapidly-growing cities in Ethiopia and Colombia to plan for their inevitable growth. The collaboration is based on Angel’s “making room” approach to dealing with urban expansion.

Angel’s “making room” paradigm has four propositions:

One: The inevitable expansion proposition: urban population growth cannot be contained and we must make room to accommodate it

Two: Sustainable density proposition: cities should stay within a sustainable density range, it cannot be too high or too low

Three: Decent housing proposition: decent housing for all can be ensured if urban land is in ample supply

Four: Public works proposition: the land for public street and infrastructure needs to be secured before development; infrastructure can then be built as development occurs

Patrick Lamson-Hall, a Research Scholar at the Urbanization Project, highlighted the Urban Expansion Initiative’s progress in Ethiopia.  The Initiative held a workshop in Addis Ababa in July with the participating cities - Adama, Bahir Dar, Hawassa, and Mek’ele. Each city created an expansion plan along with a 3-to-5 year compensation plan to purchase the rights-of-way for an arterial grid. The first phase of the project will continue through June 2014. Find an interim progress report on the work in Ethiopia here.

Nicolás Galarza, also a Research Scholar at the Urbanization Project, presented an update about the Urban Expansion Initiative in Colombia. This initiative recently held a workshop in Cartagena with participating cities, similar to the Ethiopia Initiative. The participating cities are Montería, Santa Marta, Tunja, Yopal and  Valledupar. In the second phase of the project, cities will determine the best way to secure land for an arterial grid, prepare cost and compensation plans, and collaborate with financing partners to implement the project.


Shlomo (Solly) Angel
Program Director / Urban Expansion
Professor of City Planning

Shlomo (Solly) Angel is a Professor of City Planning at the Marron Institute. He leads the NYU Urban Expansion based at the Marron Institute and the NYU Stern Urbanization Project. Angel is an expert on urban development policy, having advised the United Nations, the World Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). He currently focuses on documenting and planning for urban expansion in the developing world.

In 1973, he started a program in Human Settlements Planning and Development at the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok. He taught at the Institute from 1973 to 1983, while researching housing and urban development in the cities of East, South, and Southeast Asia. From the mid-80s to mid-90s, he worked as a housing and urban development consultant to UN-Habitat, the Asian Development Bank, and the Government of Thailand. In 2000, he published Housing Policy Matters, a comparative study of housing conditions and policies around the world. From 2000 onward, he prepared housing sector assessments of 11 Latin America and Caribbean countries for the IDB and the World Bank.

Angel earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture and a doctorate in city and regional planning at the University of California, Berkeley.

Nicolás Galarza
Affiliate Scholar / Urban Expansion

Nicolás Galarza is an Affiliated Scholar in the NYU Urban Expansion program. Nicolás holds a Masters of Urban Planning from NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Prior to pursuing his Masters in New York City, Nicolás served as advisor to the Program Director of the National Poverty Alleviation Strategy and to the High Presidential Commissioner for Social Action on Civic Technology and Innovation in his native Colombia.

Patrick Lamson-Hall
Research Scholar / Urban Expansion

Patrick Lamson-Hall is an urban planner and a research scholar at the NYU Stern Urbanization Project. He has contributed to the development of the Atlas of Urban Expansion: 2016 Edition, a groundbreaking and original study of the dynamics of global urban growth. He manages the India Urban Expansion Observatory, a 30-person research facility located in Mumbai, India. He is also the New York-based coordinator of the Ethiopia Urban Expansion Initiative, a project to implement long-term spatial plans in 16 Ethiopian cities. He coordinates the Climate Smart Cities: Grenada program, a collaboration with the Green Climate Fund.

Mr. Lamson-Hall holds a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from the NYU Wagner School of Public Service and is currently a PhD candidate at the Wagner School. In addition to his work at NYU, he has contributed to the crafting of the sustainable development goals as an expert urban planner, has collaborated with UN-Habitat on the writing of a methodology for the assessment of public open space, and has shaped new strategies for the evaluation of cities using high-resolution satellite imagery. His other research interests include alternative transportation, special economic zones, and the measurement of urban density. He is from Eugene, Oregon and now lives in Newark, New Jersey.