Nicholas Simcik Arese Researcher

Nicholas is a researcher on the PEAK Urban programme. From 2015 to 2016, he was a Post-Doctoral Research Associate coordinating comparative aspects across Urban Transformations’ international portfolio, and a Research Associate at the Oxford Programme for the Future of Cities.

A legal geographer, his current ethnography explores conceptions of property and rights by aspirational middle class home-buyers and a group of urban poor squatters in an affordable gated community in Cairo’s satellite suburbs during the 2011-13 revolutionary period. The project seeks to delineate how people invent or simulate law in cities built from scratch amidst profound political ambiguity, towards re-calibrating dominant moral framings of urban legitimacy.

Other interests include affordable mortgages as development aid, governance in public-private partnerships, speculative forms of plural ownership, and history of conspiracy in urban Egypt.

Nicholas also practices as an architect (AADipl. RIBA II), briefly worked for UN-HABITAT in Kenya, and consults for non-governmental organisations in Nepal, Italy, Vietnam, and the United States. He speaks Arabic, Russian, Spanish, Italian, and French.

Nicholas holds Bachelor’s degrees in Political Economy and in Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley, a Master’s in Contemporary Urbanism from the London School of Economics, and an AADiploma/RIBA Part 2 from the Architectural Association. He has experience working for UN-Habitat and various non-governmental organisations.




Blog Posts

New migrant urbanisms and the United Nations Habitat III conference in Quito

Michael Keith, Nicholas Simcik Arese and Andreza de Souza Santos


PEAK Urban

Michael Keith, Mikal Mast, Rosaleen Cunningham, Bhawani Buswala, ChengHe Guan and Nicholas Simcik Arese | 1 October 2017 - 31 December 2021

Urban Transformations Coordination

Michael Keith, Nicola Headlam, Peter Grant, Igor Calzada, Andreza de Souza Santos, Nicholas Simcik Arese, Emma Newcombe, Mikal Mast and Nathan Grassi | 2015 - 2019