In this episode, we speak to Fizzah Sajjad, a Pakistani urban planner and researcher. Her research interests broadly revolve around questions of land, housing and the politics of infrastructure development. She has worked on topics ranging from affordable housing development and gender equity in transport planning, to dispossession and speculative real-estate practices in rapidly transforming cities of the Global South. Fizzah recently co-authored a paper with Iromi Perera on the effects of state-led displacement within working class communities in Lahore and Colombo, in which they consider the theory of ‘grievable lives’ to raise questions around whose lives are put at risk in the process of development.
Fizzah holds a masters in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), with a specialization in International Development Planning, and is currently pursuing her PhD in Human Geography and Urban Studies at the London School of Economics. Over her nine years of research and project management experience, she has worked at LSE Cities, the Cities and Infrastructure Programme at Edinburgh and at the Mahbub ul Haq Research Center. Through her research she advocates for equal access to transport, inclusive planning practices in urbanizing cities of the Global South and a holistic approach to urban planning.
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Victim, broker, activist, fixer: Surviving dispossession in working class. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. Ammara Maqsood and Fizzah Sajjad. 2021.