Roudaina Al Khani,
Director and Founder
Chartered Member of the Danish Association of Architects - and urban planners
Roudaina Al Khani - CV
Roudaina Al Khani
Architect MAA (Registered in DK) DEA Urbanisme (FR) PHD Planning (DK)
Director and Founder
I am an architect, urban and regional planner, an academic and an international development consultant with extensive experience in the planning and development fields. Besides running Platforms, I worked until March 2023 as a Senior Lecturer in Planning and Urban Design at the University of Westminster and as the Co-Course Leader of the BA Designing Cities where I led undergraduate and postgraduate modules focused on sustainability and making good places. I am Fellow of Higher Education Academy in the UK, an Expert of the Worldwide Network of Port Cities and an Affiliate of the UN-Habitat programme Planers for Climate Action P4CA. I have chaired sessions and spoken in a great number of conferences.
I grew up in Damascus - a city that progressed around a tremendous treasure of humanity and culture. I studied architecture at the University of Damascus with prominent professors who opened my eyes to a world with no boundaries and a thirst to search for knowledge and learning where these are found. With a bursary from the French Government in 1987-1991, I continued my postgraduate studies at Paris Planning Institute, Université Paris Est - Créteil Val De Marne, and achieved my postgraduate degree (MRes) in 1988 in urban policy, spatial planning and management. I focused there on comparative metropolitan trends and planning and how the transfer of planning ideals impacts different cultural, political and economic settings. I explored five great cities: Boston, Lyon, Damascus, Tunisia and Riyadh.
My research in comparative development, planning and urban restructuring, and competitiveness and management in metropolitan areas culminated in my PhD research in Denmark on the transformation of central and harbourfront areas and urban revitalisation in post-industrial cities.
With the support of the late Professor Hans Mammen of the Aarhus School of Architecture under the Modern City Programme, I directed my attention to the North European region. Copenhagen, where I lived between 1991-2013 was the main case study. I also explored Oslo, Gothenburg and Amsterdam. I continued my research at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture in Copenhagen during 1998 - 2005 with Architect MAA Finn Barnow and Associate Professor Architect MAA Hans Ovesen, making a significant contribution to waterfront redevelopment and regeneration research and to understanding the changes of modern cities under new conditions. My research also contributed significantly to planning research and research methods and to research on strategic planning, management and sustainability.
My PhD was based on theoretical and practical approaches elaborating on an extensive interview enquiry with different stakeholders and ended up cultivating an integrated qualitative approach to planning and sustainability. In this research, I also explored the possibilities and limitations of different planning systems, looking into the UK, the French and the Nordic planning systems. This gave me great insights into what works, the qualities resulting from different governance and partnership forms, and the aspects of governance and partnership models under different political systems.
Several highly esteemed institutions, including MIT Library, the National Library of Norway, The Royal Library of Denmark and the Library of the Arab Urban Development Institute, requested a copy of My PhD dissertation. Based on my work, I was appointed a member of the Scientific Committee of the World Wide Network of Port Cities based in France www.aivp.org.
My professional and academic background articulating architecture and planning approaches has been a firm basis on which I built an exciting career in local governments in Denmark, advisory to ministries and consultancy to international organisations. Among other works is my leadership in the City of Copenhagen of the multidisciplinary working groups that established the background for a new-thinking strategy for Copenhagen. This strategy aimed to promote Copenhagen as an environmentally sustainable city, socially inclusive and economically viable and competitive. My high-level consultancy role in Syria included the transfer of sustainable development strategies and tools at the national, regional and urban levels. I was an advisor to the Sustainable Urban Development Programme - a national-level agreement between the Governments of Germany and Syria, where we worked with 16 Syrian cities. As a high-level advisor at a ministerial level, I offered consultancy and supervision at the national, regional and urban levels. This included feedback on Syria's national Five Year Plan, strategies and planning for the Syrian cities, support to the planning system and its legal frameworks, and overseeing and feedback to master planning activities in the big cities, including Damascus, Damascus Region and Aleppo.
My work for development NGOs while serving on the board of one of the leading Syrian NGOs with national outreach, working for children, youth and women, gave great depth to my planning approach and inspired integrate the human - social dimension into my planning activity at all levels. This reinforced my unique integrated approach to development and my work for more inclusive and prosperous cities and regions and more dynamic economies and good living environments.
With my appreciation of a human-based approach and the relationship between people and places, and with my professional and academic background and the privilege to work with problem-solving at all scales and across different administrative levels and cultures, I develop genuine and innovative solutions for each locality and community. I perceive each project as unique and to be well-tailored in dialogue with all concerned. It is the occasion for growing together with our partners with more understanding of the challenges and potentials facing cities and regions, how to meet them, and how to benefit from them through sustainable solutions.
I am passionate about my work in Platforms and hope we will have many fruitful collaborations.
You can read more about my earlier activity and positions in the attached files to the left.
For more about my approach to development, space and sustainability, please follow the link: