New Associate Professors for Sustainable Urban Development

Dr Nihan Akyelken and Dr Vlad Mykhnenko joined the Department in January 2017 as our newest Associate Professors in Sustainable Urban Development.

Both bring an impressive breadth of teaching, research and international experience in support of our Master’s and Dphil in Sustainable Urban Development.

Nihan Akyelken

Nihan is no stranger to Oxford, having completed her doctorate in Economic Geography at Oxford, then served as a Research Fellow at the Transport Studies Unit in the School of Geography and the Environment in 2008. She has been a Departmental Lecturer on our Sustainable Urban Development programme since 2015.

Part of the core team on the Masters and Doctoral programmes in Sustainable Urban Development., Nihan is responsible for Research Methodologies on both courses, as well as teaching political economy of finance and investment in sustainable urban development, transport, inequalities and economic development.

‘Movement within cities and between regions is becoming increasingly relevant to emerging forms of inequalities and how we govern cities,’ said Nihan. ‘I am particularly interested in researching mobility of goods and people in relation to economic activities and infrastructure investments to understand changing patterns of access to economic opportunities and the implications of extended productions networks for urban economies and governance.’


Vlad Mykhnenko

Vlad joins us from an impressive teaching and research career that includes Universities and Centres at Cambridge, Glasgow, Budapest and Birmingham. He has taught undergraduate and graduate students in England, Kazakhstan, Scotland, and Ukraine.

His research is dedicated to the advancement of geographical political economy – the study of modern capitalist social formations understood as highly dynamic and innovative, but spatially uneven, variegated, crisis-driven systems.

Vlad has recently been awarded a research grant from the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council. for a project entitled Ukraine's hidden tragedy: understanding the outcomes of population displacement from the country's war torn regions . Over the coming 18 months he will explore the experience of the Ukrainians displaced by the de facto annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014, and the ongoing armed conflict in Ukraine’s Donbas region.

Vlad said, ‘Closely working with urban practitioners and policy-makers, my aim is to identify what works in a shrinking city context, and how the underlying forces of urban shrinkage can be reversed in order to convert these cities into sustainable, liveable, and economically resilient urban environments.’

Please join us in welcoming Nihan and Vlad to the Department.

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Published 9 February 2017