Dr Nicholas Simcik Arese coordinates comparative aspects across the UK ESRC 'Urban Transformations’ international portfolio and is a Research Associate at the Oxford Programme for the Future of Cities.
A legal geographer, his current ethnography explores conceptions of property and rights by aspirational middle class homebuyers and a group of urban poor squatters in a gated community during Cairo's 2011-13 revolutionary period. The project seeks to delineate how people invent or simulate law in cities built from scratch amidst profound political ambiguity, towards recalibrating dominant moral framings of urban legitimacy.
Other interests include affordable mortgages as development aid, governance in public-private partnerships, speculative forms of plural ownership, and history of conspiracy in urban Egypt.
Nicholas also practices as an architect (AADipl. RIBA II), briefly worked for UN-HABITAT in Kenya, and consults for non-governmental organisations in Nepal, Italy, Vietnam, and the United States.