Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies

Staff Profile

Eman Zied

Postdoctoral Research Assistant (CURDS)


I am a postdoctoral research assistant at the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS). I am currently part of the Spatial Inequality and the Smart City Turing Institute Project. My work mainly focuses on spatial and digital inequalities, and how that can manifest as social inequality. 



2016 – 2021         PhD in Architecture and Built Environment (ABE)   

Northumbria University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom

Thesis Title: A Classification of Informal Settlements in Cairo, Egypt


2011- 2016        BSc (Hons) in Architectural Engineering and Environmental Design

Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, Cairo, Egypt

First with Honours



Funding and Prizes

2019 – 2020: Charity Maintenance Grants

 2016 – 2019: Northumbria University Research Studentship – Full Tuition and Full RCUK Stipend

 2016/17: Civil Society Scholar Award (CSSA) – Open Society Foundation ($10,000 to conduct critical scholarship of civil society)

 2015: Berkeley Prize International Essay Competition - Title: Bottom-up Participatory Design in Impoverished Communities in Egypt



My main areas of interest are research informed urban policy and planning, spatial modelling and statistical analysis of urban environments, and the complex relationships between right, privilege, and inequality in spatial planning.  

My current research focuses on the development of a decision making support tool for stakeholders to decide on optimised sensor placement in the city. My role involves running interviews and focus groups with stakeholders to find out their priorities for the tool. I also undertake the spatial analysis of the city to embed this within the tool to support decision making.

My PhD research in has primarily focused on studying informal settlement as a mode of production in the global south, using a mixed methods approach, with the aim of creating a classification framework to be used to inform urban policy. I use quantitative spatial analysis, qualitative research methods, and statistical analysis to study the socio-spatial configurations present in informal areas and find implicit spatial and social rules to inform classification.


I am an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA) and I have taught on a number of varied modules. 


2018 – 2020 -  Module Tutor – Foundation and First Year 

Northumbria University, Department of Architecture and Built Environment (UK)

Modules Taught:  Space and Design Investigations, Architectural Design Projects, Evolution of Built Environment, Technical Drawing and Communication


2014 – 2016- Teaching Assistant 

Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (Cairo, Egypt)

Modules Taught:  Modern Architectural History and Theory, Architectural Design Studio 1 & 2