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Ashim Manna

Ashim Manna CROP-01.jpg

Doctoral researcher, KU Leuven Belgium

MSc. Urbanism and Strategic Planning, KU Leuven, Belgium

MSc. Human Settlements, KU Leuven, Belgium

M.Arch (Urban Design) CEPT University, India

B.Arch Jamia Millia Islamia, India

Ashim is a doctoral researcher at the Faculty of Engineering Sciences at KU Leuven, Belgium. He is part of the Urbanism and Architecture (OSA) research group affiliated with the International Centre of Urbanism (ICoU) at KU Leuven. His research analyses the ongoing urbanization, receding ecological resilience and climate impacts in the Himalayan region. He has received the PhD Scholarship for Researchers from the South at KU Leuven, Stichting DAIDA funds and the JN Tata endowment award for pursuing his research. Ashim is a founding principal at Ekatra, collaborative design-research practice and part of the sanitation think team at BasicShit. He regularly contributes articles to the MyLiveableCity magazine and coordinates the Regen Lab at the Trust for Regeneration of Indian Settlements.


Ashim’s work has provided engagements with communities, local governments, not-for-profit organizations, consultancy firms and academia on research, urban design and planning projects across several scales. Over the past decade, Ashim worked on projects in Nepal, China, UAE, The Netherlands, Indonesia, Belgium, and extensively in India, including a few award-winning projects. His approach to urbanism is interdisciplinary, where the projects have address issues housing, city development, ecology and infrastructure.


Before joining KU Leuven as a researcher, Ashim worked as a senior urban designer at AECOM’s Design Planning and Economics team in India. As a project manager, he was responsible for designing and implementing several public realms, capacity building, and mobility projects in four Indian cities (i.e. Ludhiana, Vizag, Tirupati and Panaji) the Smart City Missions program. As an urban designer with Building Design Partnership, India, he was part of the master planning teams for two new Indian Institutes of Technology in the Himalayas and the Indian desert. As a visiting faculty, he has also taught several theoretical courses and guided nine successful dissertations from 2011 to 2019 at the faculty of Architecture and Ekistics, Jamia Millia Islamia.


Ashim received as a VLIR-OUS scholar a Master’s degree in Human Settlements and a Masters in Urbanism and Strategic planning (2014-2016) from KU Leuven. He participated in two UN-Habitat ARCADIS Shelter missions to Banjarmasin Indonesia and a Post-disaster recovery mission to Kathmandu Nepal in 2015. Ashim previously completed his Master’s In Urban Design at CEPT University (2009) as GATE scholar and was trained in architecture at the Faculty of Architecture and Ekistics at Jamia Millia Islamia, a central university in New Delhi (2007).

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