Category Archives: News

GPA’s new intern!

Geoff is happy to welcome Shantanu Raut as an intern to GPA and looks forward to collaborating with him over the coming months. Due to covid travel restrictions, the internship will sadly have to be conducted online, but we hope it will prove constructive and beneficial.

Shantanu Raut, GPA’s new intern!

Shantanu is an Urban Development student and a trained Architect from India whose interest lies in sustainable urban development and capacity building for a sustainable future. He is currently finishing his MSc. in International Cooperation in Urban Development at the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany. He believes in the multistakeholder, people-centric, gender-sensitive approach to achieve sustainable development. He has two years of experience in urban design, planning, and research projects in India. He wants to enhance his knowledge concerning Urban Land management, land tenure, and property rights. He is keen to understand the linkage between land tenure and property rights to improve access to secure and affordable housing for low-income groups and understand the formation of economic and financial policies framework for secure land and housing rights.

Geoff’s podcast!

Geoff was recently invited to discuss his relationship with the elements (earth, water, fire and air) as part of a series of podcasts by The Living Project ( As a committed glider pilot and instructor, Geoff selected air as the focus for his podcast which can be accessed at and

Enjoy listening!

25th Year Party of GPA!

Geoff was happy to celebrate the 25th anniversary of establishing GPA on 01 October by inviting many friends and colleagues to a zoom ‘party with a purpose’ that was organised and brilliantly moderated by GPA Associate Cemre Sahinkaya. 

The participants celebrated 25th Year of GPA in the Zoom meeting!

Over thirty people joined covering fifteen times zones thanks to Zoom and we exchanged ideas on the nature of development at a critical time for humanity, with the climate crisis and high levels of inequality both thrown into focus by the covid pandemic. 

Colleagues and friends shared their ideas and experiences during the meeting.

Geoff circulated a reading list of publications on development that he finds particularly useful and this can be accessed by clicking here. During the meeting GPA Associate Hamish Stewart proposed a covid development book club and has kindly offered to host this. To register an interest, click here. We look forward to your participation!

A new blog from Geoff for RTPI !

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) has launched a new campaign ‘Plan The World We Need’ for which they invited Geoff to write a blog about UK policy on addressing the climate crisis.                                                                                           

The blog has just been included as part of the launch and can be found at:

New land tenure and property rights matrices from the TU Darmstadt students

GPA is proud to announce twenty new contributions to the online library of land tenure and property rights matrices! Students from many different countries undertaking the Mundos Urbanos master degree course at the Technical University of Darmstadt have submitted a land tenure and property rights matrix for their own city indicating the full range of statutory, religious, customary and non-formal land tenure categories known to exist in their respective urban areas, together with their associated property rights. This expands the library considerably and covers many cities around the world. Please click here to see the students’ land matrices.

Readers are also invited to download the format and submit one for other cities by following the simple steps provided from the link  here to fill our Land Tenure and Property Matrix. If you would like to see the guideline for preparing the matrix, please click here and send your answers to and follow the results on the website!

Geoff’s continuing online classes at Darmstadt!

Geoff is pleased to carry on lecturing at the  Mundus Urbano master’s degree course at the Technical University Darmstadt, Germany in May 2020! Due to the corona-virus restrictions, the classes were undertaken online with the high motivation of the students of the programme.

The class was made up of 21 students from 13 different countries and very interdisciplinary backgrounds of (architects, environmental planners, civil engineers) and the week consisted of two parts.

Mundus Urbano Group Picture 2020!

In part one, daily Zoom sessions addressed the challenge of improving access to affordable land and housing and group work to analyze a situation based on real experience and prepare detailed design and financial proposals. 

In part two, discussions, an exercise, and a film were seen issues of land tenure and property rights. This included a review of the literature, a methodological framework for analyzing existing tenure categories and a range of policy options. 

The student groups have presented their projects!

At the end of the class, the presentations were given by the student groups and discussions were  made with Geoff!

The presentation of the Girs Power team!

Geoff is examining at Westminster University

Geoff was invited to be the external examiner for the MA Degree in International Planning and Sustainable Development (and Pathways on Spatial Planning and Urban Resilience) at Westminster University, in London. After reviewing the course, Geoff was happy to recommend that it be re-validated for the maximum permitted period as it constituted a flagship course for the university, particularly given the current coronavirus pandemic and the climate crisis.