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Umar is a PhD student at the Department of Geography, interested in exploring how approaches of futuring in urban contexts and their material consequences are shaped by visions of different factions of expertise. He is a recipient of the London Arts & Humanities Partnership Doctoral Training Partnership (LAHP DTP) studentship, funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Umar holds an MPhil in Human Geography from the University of Oslo and a BEng in Urban and Regional Planning at Bandung Institute of Technology.


Thesis title: Experts for a Brave New City: The Politics of Expertise in the Production of Indonesia's New Capital City

Umar's research attempts to explore how experts—and contestation surrounding what constitutes expertise—are shaping the production of Indonesia’s new capital city. As planners, architects, and consultants are brought in to work on the project, ‘non-elite’ experts, such as local community figures, activists, and indigenous leaders who possess 'unconventional' knowledges are consistently being side-lined. He is interested in how elite and non-elite experts meet, contest, and negotiate the notion of the urban in the context of Indonesia’s New Capital City project. Consequently, the project endeavors to examine how factions of expertise feeds into and is fed by global circuits of capital and expertise. Theoretically, this research attempts to reinvigorate a Gramscian geography foregrounded by processes of urbanisation in Southeast Asia and the Global South. Additionally, it seeks to add into the 'policy mobility' literature the case of the new-build capital city.

PhD Supervisors

Principal supervisor: Dr Majed Akhter

Secondary supervisor: Dr Alex Loftus

Further details

See Umar's research profile