The PhD Candidates

PhD candidates 28° ciclo

maggioniAlessandro Maggioni Phd Student in Urban Sociology in cotutelle agreement between Dipartimento di Sociologia e  della Ricerca Sociale, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca and Centre d’études européennes, Institut d’Études Politique, Sciences Po, Paris. The object of my doctoral research is about the regulation of urban logistics infrastructures dedicated to food provision in metropolitan regions, adopting a territorial governance analytical frame work. Former academic experiences are related to social policy planning and public policy implementation in urban contexts. My academic interests include: urban governance, sociology of public action, policy studies, organizational institutionalism, local welfare systems.


  • Maggioni, A. (2010) “Gli strumenti di regolazione delle back door polizie e il paradigma concentrazionario in Europa” (The regulation instruments of back door policies and the concentration paradigm in Europe), Studi Emigrazione n° 177, pp. 137-156. ISSN 0039-2936.
  • Maggioni, Alessandro (2015) “The global city model and the change of the occupational and social structure of Paris metropolitan region.”, Territorio, 73, pp 39 – 48.

fotoevaEva M. Bosch studied urban geography at Utrecht University, in the Netherlands. She is fascinated by the role that the neighbourhood plays in residents’ lives and by the ways in which residents try to change their neighbourhood. Therefore, a large part of the work she did as a researcher at Delft University of Technology (2007-2012) focused on studying residents’ participation in neighbourhoods, their perception of demographic and physical change in the area, and on neighbourhood-based welfare services. This last topic is also the subject of her doctorate research. In the last few years, Dutch local welfare services have come to rely more on volunteering work by and for residents at neighborhood level. This is because state budgets for welfare service provision are diminished, but also because citizens’ self-organisation receives much political and administrative support. Eva studied how this new configuration of money and citizen influence, impacts the distribution of welfare services over the city and over groups within the urban population. She defended her thesis in May 2016. For further info or if you have any questions, please mail to She’ll be happy to hear from you.

Peer-reviewed publications:

  • Ouwehand, A.L. & Bosch, E.M. (2016) ‘Planning ‘home’ by Branding – Developers setting the stage for middle class’ sense of home in social mixing schemes’. Home Cultures 13(2), pp. 169-192.
  • Bosch, E.M. (2015) ‘Gentrification in all boroughs of Amsterdam: increasing land values and socio-spatial change, little direct displacement’. Territorio, 73(2), pp. 23-29.


Linus Vanhellemont.  I graduated as a bachelor in social and political science and went on to make a master in cultural and educational Sociology at the KULeuven (Belgium). Later I studied urban geography in POLIS, a master in European Urban Culture at Manchester Metropolitan University (UK), Tilburg University (The Netherlands), the VUBrussel (Belgium) and Tallin Art Academy (Estonia). I worked as an urban geographer on the European Union’s headquarters city structure at the research center COSMOPOLIS at the VUBrussel. And currently, in the context of my PhD at URBEUR, I am working on the role of spatial imaginaries in urban planning conflicts. I focus specifically on the case of Brussels’ large scale pedestrianization project and on the Taksim Gezi development project in Istanbul, Turkey. For this research I collaborate closely with the Urban Research Institute of İstanbul Şehir Üniversitesi.


PhD candidates 29° ciclo


Stefania Animento is a PhD candidate in Urban Studies at the University of Milan-Bicocca and at the Humboldt University of Berlin. She holds a BA in International Relations from the University of Florence and an MA in Social Sciences from the Humboldt University of Berlin. Her research interests focus on urban theory, migration and housing. In her PhD research she investigates how migratory flows of young people interact with processes of urban restructuring related to housing, such as gentrification. Specifically, she analyses the case study of young South Europeans in Berlin.



Lorraine Bozouls is a PhD candidate in urban sociology in cotutelle with Sciences Po Paris (OSC). She works on the issue of security in upper-class and residential neighborhoods under the direction of Fabio Quassoli and Marco Oberti. She is working more specifically on the case of the parisian metropolis. She holds a Master degree in sociology and urban policy (Sciences Po). She teaches Introduction to sociology (1st year students) and Urban Sociology (master students) at Sciences Po.



Paolo Borghi is a freelance social researcher and PhD student of Urban Studies at the University of Milan-Bicocca and Humboldt University of Berlin (co-tutelle). Participation and representation strategies are two of his main research interests both in relation to social movements and in professional contexts. His PhD thesis is on organizations (trade unions, associations, self-organized networks) involved in the representation of freelancers and non standard high skilled professionals. He previously worked in European and National research projects on migrations and working condition of professionals.

Among his last publications:

  • Borghi P., Cavalca G., Frontiere della rappresentanza: potenzialità e limiti organizzativi dell’offerta rivolta ai professionisti indipendenti in Sociologia del Lavoro, n.4 (140)   Milano, Franco Angeli, 2015 – (publication planned: Dec. 2015).
  • Mingione E., Andreotti A., Benassi D., Borghi P., Cavalca G., Fellini I.,- Le organizzazioni sociali e i giovani professionisti nell’area milanese – Frammentazione e individualizzazione della domanda di tutela. L’esperienza dei giovani professionisti nel milanese  in Pirro F., Pugliese E. (edited by), Rappresentare i non rappresentati, Roma, Ediesse Edizioni, 2015


delgrecoManola Del Greco
Currently, she works on the relation between spatial mobility, wellbeing and aging people in urban context. She holds a Master’s degree in Tourism and Local development, with focus on regeneration practices, landscape and spatial analysis. Her main interests are mobility, urban tourism, gender and social inequalities.






Fausto Di Quarto. Interested in urban political ecology, environmental discourses and post-capitalist imaginaries. He is currently researching on environmental conflicts and participatory governance-tools in the Seveso river basin (Milan area). He holds a MA in Human Geography from the University of Bologna (2009), with a thesis on urban segregation and public space conflicts in Belo Horizonte (Brazil).


  • “Auto-organizzare gli spazi pubblici: il caso del Viaduto Santa Tereza a Belo Horizonte (Brasile)”. In: Commons-Comune. Geografie, luoghi, spazi, città. Soc. di Studi Geografici (In corso di stampa)




Luca Bottini. The focus of his research is about the relationship between urban spaces and social behavior. In particular, Luca is studying the impact of the quality of urban spaces on community participation, using an interdisciplinary approach between urban sociology and environmental psychology. Luca presented his research attending many conferences in Chicago, Turkey, Italy and UK, and he is currently Visiting PhD student at the Robert Gifford’s Environmental LAB at the University of Victoria, BC (Canada).




PhD candidates 30° ciclo

Simone Caiello

Simone Caiello. He works on the metropolitan development in Lombardy region and the peri-urban territories of the Milan metropolitan area in particular (compared with the Lyon metropolitan area), in order to analyze their morphological and social characteristics. Focused mainly on the methodological aspects of socio-territorial analysis, and the use of GIS methods, his research also addresses the theoretical debate on the Urban Question and the city nature. Walkability, as a specific dimension of mobility, and pedestrian accessibility are assumed as the analytical tools to study and measure the “urbanity” of spaces. He is graduated in Sociology (bachelor and master degree) at the University of Milano-Bicocca, and he has experience of both qualitative and quantitative research. He worked as junior research assistant at Ipsos ASI and as junior research executive at Doxa, in the marketing field. He has been visiting PhD student at the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research in 2016, where he had the opportunity to focus on the walkability issue and GIS techniques.


  • Colleoni M., Caiello S., (2013),“Il peri-urbano e i suoi caratteri socio-territoriali. Una proposta analitica e empirica in lombardia”, Sociologia Urbana e Rurale,102, pp. 101-119.



Carnelli FabioFabio Carnelli is working on flood risk governance with a comparative perspective; namely, he is looking at the inclusion of local knowledges and local stakeholders in risk adaptive governance by comparing two different projects: a natural flood management process implemented in Gloucestershire, England and a river contract in Reggio Emilia Province, Italy.

He got a MA in Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology (University of Siena) focusing on the change in local practices of dwellings and the revival of a Saint festival, in the aftermath of the 2009 L’Aquila earthquake.

Other experiences include working as editor for a free cultural journal (Lavoro Culturale), visiting periods abroad (University of Gloucestershire – UK, Bremen Universität – D) and working experience in teaching/educational activities and museum and eco-museum management.


  • Ethnography of a present absence. Space-time practices and walking ethnography in post-seismic L’Aquila, F. Carnelli, Contemporary Anthropology and Ethnology, 1 (1), Minzu, Beijing (in press).
  • A socio-spatial vulnerability assessment for disaster management: insights from the 2012 Emilia Earthquake (Italy), F. Carnelli and I. Frigerio, Sociologia Urbana e Rurale, 111, Franco Angeli, Roma, 2016.
  • A “new normality” for residents and tourists: how can a disaster become a tourism resource? S. Mugnano and F. Carnelli in N. Bellini and C. Pasquinelli (edited by) Tourism in the city. Towards an integrative agenda for urban tourism, Springer, Dordrecht, 2016.
  • Oltre il rischio sismico. Valutare, comunicare e decidere oggi [Beyond seismic risk. To assess, communicate and decide now], F. Carnelli and S. Ventura (edited by), Carocci, Roma, 2015.
  • “La festa di San Giovanni a Paganica. Riti e Santi fra le macerie del post-sisma aquilano” [St. John’s in Paganica. Rites and Saints among L’Aquila rubble] in Fukushima, Concordia e altre macerie. Vita quotidiana, resistenza e gestione del disastro, P. Saitta (edited by), Ed.It Press, Firenze, 2015.
  • Istantanee etnografiche post-sismiche da Paganica” [Post-seismic ethnographic snapshots from Paganica], in Territorio e democrazia. Un laboratorio di geografia sociale nel doposisma aquilano, L. Calandra (edited by), L’Una, University of L’Aquila, 2012.
  • Sismografie. Ritornare a L’Aquila mille giorni dopo il sisma [Sismografie. Back to L’Aquila a thousand days after the earthquake], F. Carnelli, O. Paris, F. Tommasi (edited by), Effigi, Arcidosso, 2012.




Letizia Chiappini is a Ph.D candidate in Urban Studies (UrbEur Doctorate) at the Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Milano-Bicocca and within the research group Human Geography & Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Amsterdam (joint doctorate). Her research interests revolve around urban transformations and the generation of societal change under late capitalism. This is reflected in her ongoing PhD project in which she attends critically to the development of sharing economy policies at the urban level. She employs a comparative perspective based on extensive fieldwork in Milan and Amsterdam. In particular the research project attends to the ways in which a diverse set of differentially situated urban actors are able to influence processes of policy making in the two cities. As such the project is positioned within the broad field of urban political economy.

In other ongoing projects she investigates the maker movement, crafting, digital fabrication and making more broadly (e.g. FabLabs) as an alternative mode and space of production, starting from initial empirical engagement in Milan. These projects are undertaken in collaboration with researchers across Università di Milano-Bicocca, Politecnico di Milano and Università degli studi di Milano.

Research for her master thesis focused on smart city discourse and participatory processes in urban governance. She holds a bachelor degree in literature and philosophy (University of Parma), and a master degree in sociology and social research (University of Milano-Bicocca, co-supervised with Aalborg University, Denmark).

For publications, she can be found online:


raffaeleRaffaele Matacena. Situated at the intersection of economic, rural and food sociology, his research focuses on small-scale agri-food producers selling their product through alternative food channels in Western European contexts. He investigates the role of farmers-producers in alternative urban networks of food provisioning, highlighting their practices, attitudes, representations, and logics of action, and how these are shaped by the collaboration with such networks. By comparing the cases of Milan and Manchester, the ultimate aim of his research is to further the comprehension of the potential of alternative food networks to transform the rural and peri-urban agricultural fabric and promote the construction of a sustainable local food system, and analyze related urban-based policy implications.

He graduated at the University of Gastronomic Sciences of Bra-Pollenzo, with a thesis on the socio-cultural implications of consumption choices in the Spanish beer market.

Before beginning what will surely be a scintillating career as a social researcher, he tried to work for the food industry, with miserable outcomes.





Õnne Mets. Her research project in conjunction with Tallinn University, School of Digital Technologies focuses on the issues of information society, and aims to compare and clarify the relations between social interaction and discoverability of digital resources of libraries, archives and museums. Õnne has graduated from Tallinn University, holding master degree in Communication and master qualification in Information Studies. She has worked as a communication manager in the National Library of Estonia and for the pan-European library network EOD (eBooks on Demand).


  • Mets, Õ. (2016) Defining Relationships between Social Interaction and Discoverability of Digital Resources
in Memory Institutions. Bulletin of IEEE Technical Committee on Digital Libraries (to be published).
  • Mets, Õ., Gstrein, S., Gründhammer, V. (2014) Increasing the visibility of library records via consortial search engine. Digital Libraries (JCDL), IEEE/ACM Joint Conference. 8-12 Sept. 2014, London. IEEE, pp. 169-172.
  • Mets, Õ., Gstrein, S., Gründhammer, V. (2013) Evolution of eBooks on Demand Web-Based Service: A Perspective through Surveys. Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries. Lecture Notes in Computer Science Volume 8092, Springer: Berlin, Heidelberg, pp. 417-420.



Cecilia Nessi studied Political Sciences jointly at Turin University, Italy, and IEP Sciences Po Bordeaux, France. She’s currently working on her PhD project about the construction of diversity in multicultural cities; she’s interested in the intersection between ethnic and sexual diversity and she uses qualitative methods such as ethnography and grounded theory. Other interests are postcolonial studies, LGBTQ issues, and sport – in particular football- as a tool for integration.





PhD candidates 31° ciclo


Giovanna De Santis: her PhD research is about long-term trends in neighborhood change and the relationship with residential intra-urban mobility and incumbent processes. Her broader research interests include: urban transformations, segregation, urban policies. She is also interested in research methods, especially in quantitative methods and spatial analysis. She graduated from the University of Turin in 2015 with a Master Degree in Sociology.




Veronica Conte holds an MA in International Cooperation, Development and Human Rights from the University of Bologna (2012), with a dissertation on the renewal of public space (case study: Piazza Verdi in Bologna). She later collaborated with a research group at the University of Bologna on the PRIN 2009 (Moving populations and new organization of public space: students and homeless in the inner city of Bologna) and worked at Urban Center Bologna on the projects Di Nuovo In Centro  and Passaggio a Nord Est: percorso di ascolto e comunicazione sulle trasformazioni urbane delle aree fra Caab, Scalo e Pilastro. In 2015 she completed an MSc in Urban Studies (4cities- Erasmus Mundus Master Programme) at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, with a thesis on the redevelopment of railway areas (case studies: Porta Garibaldi in Milan and Chamartín in Madrid). Her primary research interests are the political economy and the financialization of urban development from a comparative European perspective, with a specific focus on regeneration through large scale urban projects.


  • Conte, V. (2014) “Piazza Verdi: pratiche d’uso e controllo dello spazio pubblico” in Bergamaschi, M., Castrignanò, M. (eds.) (2014)  La città contesa. Popolazioni urbane e spazio pubblico tra coesistenza e conflitto, Franco Angeli, Milano.




IMG_M.DodaroMaria Dodaro holds a MA in Economic and Social Sciences for Development and Cooperation at the University of Calabria (2013). Her dissertation focused on social innovation processes in the context of new theoretical approaches to well-being and local development. Currently, her research activity deals with employment policies in a comparative perspective with a specific focus on innovative activation policies targeted to young people. She is mainly interested in changing (local) welfare systems and economic sociology.





Igor Costarelli holds a Bachelor degree in Sociology and a Master degree in Tourism and Local development from University of Milano-Bicocca. He has carried out comparative research on urban regeneration programs of deprived neighbourhoods in Milan and Paris (master thesis co-supervised at LAB’URBA Research Centre – Paris Institute of Urban Planning – University Paris Est-Créteil). His doctoral research deals with dynamics of socio-spatial mix and segregation within mixed tenure housing developments in Italy and The Netherlands. Igor will be visiting researcher at Delft University of Technology – OTB Research for the Built Environment. His research interests include housing and spatial distribution of ethnic minority groups, disadvantaged neighbourhoods, urban renewal and social mix. He has recently published: “Il mix sociale nelle politiche di rigenerazione urbana dei grandi complessi residenziali a Milano” (2015) in Sociologia Urbana e Rurale, co-authored with Silvia Mugnano.





alona liashevaAlona Liasheva  -Her research concerns political economy of housing in post-Soviet cities. Previously she graduated in Sociology from Taras Shevchenko National University of  Kyiv and in Urban Studies from Erasmus Mundus Master 4cities. Also Alona is an editor and an author of Commons: Journal of Social Criticism.





segoDublinSegolene Provot holds a Master Degree in Political Science and urban planning from Sciences-Po Paris (2003) and a Msc in Regional and Urban Planning Studies from the London School of Economics (RUPS, 2006). Ségolène has over 10 years of professional experience in the field of urban planning in connection to European issues, first as a consultant for Roger Tym and Partners in London and as project manager & web communication responsible for the URBACT European Programme. Ségolène Pruvot has also developped a wide experience of transnational civil society activism and cultural projects direction as Cultural Director of European Alternatives and coordinator of TRANSEUROPA Festival. Ségolène is passionate about cities, public space and the urban environment. At Bicocca she will research how cultural projects and institutions can help foster the sense of community in their neighbourhoods and beyond. Ségolène is also interested in thematics such as democracy, equality, feminism, migrants & minority rights in Europe.


PhD candidates 32° ciclo

RoeiRoei Bachar holds a Bachelor Degree in Sociology and Economics from the University of Bar-Ilan, Israel, and a Graduate Degree in Sociology from the University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy. His graduate thesis about the sociological design of the game of basketball, and the the gendered and multicultural aspects of women basketball in Israel, is due to come out as an ethnographic novel this year. His doctoral research would focus on the changes in the cultural meaning of home across western cities, while approaching qualitative and visual methods. Roei is also working on two papers for publication. The first, about the ” doing of Romance” in the city of Milan. And the other, about the consequences of penetration of “cultural items” into safe and semi-close spaces.




LucaLuca Calafati is a PhD student in Urban and Local European Studies. His main research interests are local development, spatial justice and public policies. His PhD research focuses on strategies of local economic development in Europe that put people and environment first. Luca holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Pisa, a MA in Social Anthropology from the University of Sussex and a MA in Urban Sociology from the University of Milano-Bicocca.





david.pngDavid Consolazio has studied Sociology in Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca and then in Università Statale di Milano, with a dissertation on poverty and deprivation in Italy studied with a multidimensional approach. After the master degree, he had a working experience in the field of market research in companies like Duepuntozero Research (Doxa Group) and Viralbeat, where he learnt and applied the techniques of Digital Ethnography. His main research interests are related to the studies of social inequalities, and his Ph.D. project focuses on health inequalities at local level, with the aim of assessing the impact of residential locations on health outcomes within a city, relying on quantitative methods.






Jim MacNeil comes from quite a mixed background, with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Salem State University (2009) and a master’s degree in Transportation Planning from the University of Leeds (2013). His interests in cities and urban planning have led him to the urban sociology field, where he would like to focus his research on car-free neighbourhoods by challenging the current thought of streets as just a mean of transportation, and looking at them more as a social and public areas.

After his bachelor’s degree, Jim worked in the banking industry for almost 3 years, which during that time he realised the cube life just wasn’t for him. He also taught English as a foreign language in Thailand and Italy before finding his place in the wonderful world of academia.





william.JPGWilliam Otchere-Darko holds a B.Sc. in Development Planning at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana, an M.Sc. in Urban studies (from the Université Libre de Bruxelles) and an M.Sc. in Urban and Regional Planning (from Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh). His previous research interests focused on a political economy of alternative transport use and projects (especially Cycling and walking) as well as Landuse-transport interaction in relation to business clusters.  His previous non-academic research experiences include Mobility tracking of Cyclists (in Copenhagen, with Copenhagenize Design Company) as well as Compilation of Neighbourhood profiles (in Edinburgh, with Midlothian City council).

His current research focuses on resource extractivism, urbanisation, and global extractive networks (using postcolonial urban theory).






Vanessa Mascia Turri holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Sciences from Università Statale di Milano, a master’s degree in Programming and Management of Social Policies and Services from Università degli Studi di Milano Bicocca, a master’s degree in Playful Pedagogical Techniques from Universidad de Montevideo and a post degree specialization course in Design, Writing and Management of Funded Educational Projects from Università degli Studi di Milano Bicocca. Her degree thesis has been about the new forms of slavery of migrants in European Union labour market. Prior to the PhD, she has worked as a professional educator and as a designer of educational projects in various social cooperatives; she has also worked as a social policy programmer in the Municipality of Novate Milanese (MI). In 2009 she has participated in the creation of the cultural association Altramente-scuolapertutti (, with whom she is still actively contributing as writer of educational projects and as researcher for free. She regularly writes in the Alternative per il Socialismo magazine on issues of immigration, social policies, social movements and economic globalization.

Her doctoral research focuses on local governance experiences in the self-government of Common Goods and on Common as anti-neoliberal paradigm.



PhD candidates 33° ciclo




Senza titolo

Anila Alushi, holds a Bachelor Degree in “Sociology and Social Policy” from University of Florence, and a Master Degree in “Planning and Management of Social Policies and Services” from University of Milan-Bicocca. She has a working experience as a junior researcher in problems of social and economic integration and in different issues of exclusion of disadvantaged young people in Milan’s suburban area, on education and VET field, and as a European project designer in the Erasmus+ Programme, for various Social Organisations and Foundations. Her research interest are mostly focused on urban youth transition policies , global work transformation on cities, global cities, attractive and competitive cities, urban governance, industrial policies, social capital networks and local development. Her PhD project focused on the transformation on our industrial world in the city and rising youth unemployment from a comparative perspective in the European cities; with the aim on how can cities activate innovative trajectories in work transition policies for young people.








Oscar Azzimonti is a PhD candidate in Urban Studies at Università di Milano-Bicocca. His current research interests concern the connections between the environmental and the social facets of space, including themes like spatial and environmental justice, urban resilience and social vulnerability. He has recently worked on seismic risk assessment, along with researchers of the Earth and Environmental Science Department. Oscar holds a bachelor in Anthropology and Oriental Civilisation from Università di Bologna and a MA in Sociology from Università di Milano-Bicocca.






bikeElena Colli holds a BA in International Cooperation & Development from the University of Bologna and a MA in Sociology & Social Research from University of Milano-Bicocca. In her personal & academic experience she developed an interest in urban studies, with a focus on quality of life & environmental issues. Her favourite topics are urban regeneration processes & mobility policies. She has worked on urban agriculture (with Politecnico di Milano & Institut national de la recherche agronomique – INRA), food policies & ageing (with Università di Milano-Bicocca & Fondazione Cariplo) and mobility policies (with Università di Bologna & Stockholm Environment Institute in York – SEI). Currently she is working on her PhD project about travel behaviour in the post-industrial city, with an eye on the ageing process: who are the ‘gross polluters’ & the ‘smart travellers’ and what is their impact on climate change.






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Michael Gameli Dziwornu is a PhD student in Urban Studies at the University of Milan-Bicocca. He holds an MA in Geography (Turkey) and a BA in Geography and Resource Development (Ghana).His thesis focuses on the containerization of urban space in Ghana and its implications on spatial planning and transformation.








Sara Maani-foto-blog urbeur

Sara Maani.

My PhD research topic “refugees, agency, city” lies at the intersection of “critical urban studies” and “refugee studies”. It explores the mutual impact of migration and the urban space, with a focus on the spatial politics of accommodation systems and the processes of subjectivation of refugees.

My main academic studies include degrees in “sculpture”, Tehran University, Iran; in “architecture”, Polytechnic University of Milan, Italy, RWTH university of Aachen, Germany, field research in affiliation with University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; and in “critical theory of society”, University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy.




Senza titolo Caio PenkoTeixeira is undertaking the PhD in Urban Studies at the University of Milano-Bicocca. His current research is focused on cities and migration, covering areas such as public involvement in planning, right to the city and housing movements. Part of his theoretical interests are now in post-colonial studies, insurgent urbanism and public sociology. Moreover, he has professional experience working as a public policy specialist and teaching public policies. He holds a BA in public policy management and a BA philosophy. He received a MA in sociology of education from the University of São Paulo and a MA in public administration from the São Paulo School of Business Administration Getúlio Vargas Foundation. For some reason, he tends to describe himself more as an urban thinker rather than a social researcher concerned with policy issues.