Speakers

geetham

Prof. Geetam Tiwari is Coordinator Transportation Research and Injury Prevention Programme at IIT Delhi and MoUD Chair Professor for Transport Planning at the Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Delhi. She obtained B. Arch degree from the University of Roorkee and  Master of Urban Planning and Policy, and Ph.D. in Transport Planning and Policy, from the University of Illinois, Chicago. She has received the degree of Doctor of Technology honoriscausa from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden in 2012. She has been Adlerbretska Guest Professor for sustainable urban transport at the Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden 2007-2010. In traffic and transport planning, she focuses on pedestrians, bicycles and bus systems. She has written extensively on transportation planning and safety in national and international journals and peer reviewed seminar proceedings. She has been advisor to Urban Age series of conferences coordinated by London School of Economics from 2005-2012. She is editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion since 2009.

Her research is centred around urban transport systems, road safety and injury prevention, with focus on pedestrians, bicycles and bus based public transport systems. Her research has special relevance to low-income countries.

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Prof. Nihal Perera is Professor of Urban Planning at Ball State University, and Director of the CapAsia field study programme in Asia.  In addition to the USA, he has taught in Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, and Sri Lanka.  The two time Fulbright Scholar awardee: to China (2006–07) and Myanmar (2015-16) was also Senior Research Fellow at the National University of Singapore (2010).  Dr. Perera’s research focuses on how people create/ negotiate their own spaces.  His publications include articles on Feminizing the City, competing modernities in Chandigarh, and competing visions for Dharavi and books entitled Decolonizing CeylonTransforming Asian Cities, and People’s Spaces.

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Dr. K Locana Gunaratna received his Master’s in City Planning from Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and his PhD from the University of Colombo. He has given leadership to many professional associations including The National Academy of Sciences, The Institute of Town Planners, Sri Lanka Institute of Architects and Economic Association.

Presently, he is a partner at Guneratna Associates, Chartered Architects, Engineers and Planning Consultants, Colombo and has extensive experience working with the government in areas such as the Ministry of Urban Development and Mahaweli Development Board.

His research focuses on urban spaces and development in Sri Lanka about which he has written extensively.  His publications include Spatial Concerns in Development: A Sri Lankan Perspective and Shelter in Sri Lanka: 1978-1991.

rohan

Professor Rohan Samarajiva is founding Chair of LIRNEasia, an ICT policy and regulation think tank active across emerging economies in South and South East Asia.  He was its CEO until 2012.  He serves on the Boards of Communication Policy Research south, Research ICT Africa and the Lanka Software Foundation.  He is a member of the Data Privacy Advisory Group of UN Global Pulse, the Study Group on Incentives for Investment of the Sri Lanka Prime Minister’s Office, and the Steering Committee on Infrastructure Development of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

nethra

Nethra Samarawickrema is a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Stanford University. Her research interests focus on contemporary trade and capital flows in the Indian Ocean, particularly how commerce is constituted through concerns about trust and risk, credit and debt, and moral economies connected to traders’ kinship and religious obligations. Prior to her doctoral studies, Nethra Samarawickrema obtained a B.A. in Politics from Ithaca College and an M.A. in Anthropology from Dalhousie University, where her thesis focused on heritage management and gentrification in Galle Fort, a colonial walled town in Southern Sri Lanka.

niriella

Dr. Chandrasiri Niriella is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Colombo. His research work has been based on urban studies particularly in cities, urban housing, urban neighbourhoods, and ethnic harmony in Sri Lanka. Dr. Niriella authored the book, Urban Housing Policy in Sri Lanka(2010); Ethnic Strife and Urban Neighborhood Ties (2010); Urban Poor (2012); Sociological Study of City (2012); A Guide for Research Proposal Writing (2013); and, Urban Sociology(2014), and various research articles in urban studies. He has won the University of Colombo Research Award in 2014.

nishara

Nishara Fernando is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Sociology of the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, and the Acting Director of Social Policy Analysis and Research Centre (SPARC), Faculty of Arts University of Colombo. He has a Bachelor of Arts (Sociology Special) degree from Colombo, University, Graduate Diploma in Sociology from La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, MPhil in Sociology from University of Colombo, Sri Lanka and PhD in Human Geography from University of Bonn, Germany. His MPhil thesis was on “Vulnerability to Chronic Poverty and Livelihood Strategies of Urban Resettled Families” and PhD thesis was on “Forced Relocation after the Indian Ocean Tsunami 2004: Case study of vulnerable populations in three relocation settlements in Galle, Sri Lanka. Nishara’s specialisation lies in the fields of voluntary and involuntary relocation studies, applied research methodology, urban livelihoods analysis, vulnerability assessments, natural hazards and disasters, vulnerable youth and children in Sri Lanka.