Richard was appointed Professor of Urban Planning for Disaster Risk Reduction in 2017.
He is an urban planner, specialised in the use of geo-spatial technologies for urban planning and management. From 1981 to 1983 he worked as a planning consultant and local government planner in South Australia. He has worked in planning education and research since joining ITC in December 1983. He obtained his PhD from Utrecht University, for his research “Managing Informal Settlements: a study using Geographic Information Technology in Dar es Salaam Tanzania”. His research interests and activities are focused on the use of geo-spatial technologies in spatial planning for sustainable urban development with an emphasis on issues related to urban informality, urban poverty alleviation and the relationship between spatial planning and disasters. He is now supervising PhD students working on: social-ecological resilience in Rafsanjan, Iran; integrated urban and flood modelling in Kampala and Kigali; the use of UAVs for slum mapping in Kigali, Rwanda; Planning support for urban resettlement projects in Kigali, Rwanda; Risk perception and flood mitigation in Kampala; and modelling impacts of urban growth in the Nile River valley. He has supervised PhD’s working on disasters and urban spatial planning issues in Lalitpur, Nepal and Medellin, Colombia; participatory spatial planning tools in Tripoli, Lebanon; spatial planning and surface water management in Wuhan, China; economic cluster development in Beijing, China; urban village development in Shenzhen, China; slum mapping methods for Indian cities; slum upgrading and governance in Ahmedabad; land use and transport integration in Hanoi and Wuhan.
Richard has worked in numerous international development and capacity building projects including the following countries: China, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Vietnam. From 2012-2013 he was team leader of the Integrated Flood Management in Kampala project undertaken under the UN-HABITAT Cities and Climate Change Initiative. He is currently coordinator of the Resilience and Risks Management Strategies thematic group of the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP) and a member of the Global Human Settlement working group