Andreas Papallas

DPhil in Sustainable Urban Development


Spaces of Segregation amidst Migration: Urban Strategies for Transforming the Cypriot City

Research abstract

This doctoral research investigates how practices of social production of space identity affect perceptions of spatial justice and belonging between refugees and locals in Nicosia, Cyprus. A number of theoretical concepts inform this study, including the right to the city, post-structuralist theory of space as practiced place, social network theory and intergroup contact theory. Approaching these concepts with a theory of practice lens that allows the discussion and findings to focus on the sociospatial element as a product, process and outcome of a specific context and time, rather than focusing on eliciting objective patterns of sociability between strangers.

To respond to these questions, an extended fieldwork period in the city of Nicosia in Cyprus, where schisms between migrants and locals on a socioeconomic and political stratum have manifested in practices of segregation, racism and xenophobia is envisioned. During this period, an ethnographic methodological approach involving interviews, observations, cognitive mapping and participatory photography with reflective discussion and reflexive documentation will take place. The combination of methods allows for observations that move between and betwixt the macro and the micro, the political and the social, the spatial and the immaterial. 


Dr Debbie Hopkins


Andreas started his DPhil in 2019 supported by the A.G. Leventis Foundation, the Athanasios Ktorides Foundation and the Youth Board of Cyprus. He holds a BA in Architecture from Sheffield University and an MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design with distinction from the University of Cambridge. Andreas is a Research Associate at the Cyprus University of Technology and a practicing architect. He has presented his work at several conferences including the 2016 AAG Annual Meeting and the 2015 CRASSH Urban Research City Seminar. 

He has worked in various European Funded Research Projects under H2020, Erasmus+ and AMIF schemes involving social change, creative design methods and migration. Most recently, he has received funding as co-investigator through competitive research schemes for two research projects under the subjects of Sustainable Urban Governance and Architecture Training for Conflict Transformation.


Book Chapters:

Papallas, A. (2016). "Nationalism, Cultural Identities and Urban Conflicts as Shaped within the Contested Space of Nicosia". in N. Hadjigeorgiou, ed. Identity, Belonging and Human Right: A multidisciplinary perspective. Brill, UK: BRILL, pp.47–58 (ISBN: 978-1-84888-457-1)


Papallas, A. (2017). Urban Rapprochement Tactics: Stitching Divided Nicosia (Masters thesis).

Papers and lectures

Geddes, I., Charalambous, N., Papallas, A. (2019) “Participatory methods in the development of public space: case studies review”, 9-13 July 2019, AESOP Annual Congress, Venice, Italy.

Papallas, A. (2018) “Using Social Media Communication to Detect Patterns of Urban Segregation and Aggregation within Contested Cities”. UCR Keynote Lecture, 22 June. International Association for Media Communication Research (IAMCR) Conference, Eugene, Oregon, USA

Papallas, A., Birgel, S. (2016) “Patching Divided Nicosia: Peace amidst Hybrid Sovereignty Regimes?”. Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting 2016, San Francisco, California

Research interests

Urban Sustainable Development, Urban Segregation, Migration, Urban Inclusion, Sustainable Urban Governance, Participatory Planning