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Personal profile

Personal profile

Mafalda is currently an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), in the department of Urban and Regional Planning and Geo-Information Management (PGM), of the University of Twente. She is also a researcher at PLUS - People, Land and Urban Systems, at ITC.

She received her PhD in Urban Planning in 2014, from the Blekinge Institute of Technology, in collaboration with Circle - Center for Innovation, Research and Learning in the learning Economy, at Lund University, in Sweden. She holds a bachelor in Geography from the University of Porto, in Portugal, and a master in European Spatial Planning and Regional Development, from the Blekinge Institute of Technology, in Sweden.


Her main research interests lie in Urban Geography. Currently Mafalda is researching the relationships between creative industries and different forms of informality, in Urban kampungs in Indonesia. She is also researching urban fragmentation and urban inequalities, especially policy formulation that is targeted towards addressing these urban challenges. She is supervising PhD students in issues such as the use of ICTs to support social participation in the planning, design and management of public spaces; and the institutionalization of a Planning Support System (PSS) in planning practice.

Her research has often involved other disciplinary fields, such as urban planning and policy, economic geography and regional development.

Her PhD thesis focused on urban planning practices associated with an entrepreneurial approach to urban policy and governance, from a local government perspective. She was also the selected scholar to work on a project for the Swedish Agency for Innovation (VINNOVA), focused on the reformulared objectives for the Cohesion Policy (2007-2013) and the opportunities this offered for national innovation agencies. She participated in the EU project MERIPA, that aimed to define tools for the identification, promotion and benchmarking of regional economic clusters.


Mafalda gas taught and supervised master students from a wide range of countries and has developed and delivered courses for a multicultural student group in Sweden, Brazil and Netherlands. She brings to her lectures the international and comparative perspective that she also develops in her research. She was awarded a grant by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) to setup a student and staff exchange between the Blekinge Institute of Technology and the Federal University of Amazonas (UFAM), in Brazil.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, (Re)acting the city : physical planning practices and challenges in urban development projects of the entrepreneurial city, Blekinge Institute of Technology

Award Date: 1 Apr 2014


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