Dr Cristian Alejandro Silva

MSc Arch (PUC, Chile), PhD in Urban Studies (BSP, UCL, UK)


I received a degree in Architecture in 2001 (Chile), a MSc in Architecture in 2006 (P. Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile), and a PhD in Urban Studies from the Barttlet School of Planning (BSP), UCL, London, UK (2017). I currently hold a position as Lecturer in Urban Design (Theory and Practice) and as Researcher in Urban Studies and Planning at the School of Architecture and Planning, University of Auckland.

I have been in academia from 2001 working as Lecturer in Architecture and Urban Design (ULA, Chile, 2000-2010, UTEM, Chile, 2011-2012), Research Fellow at the Centre for Regional Studies and Local Development, CEDER (Chile, 2008-2009) and Director of the Department of Architecture and Design, ULA, Chile (2006-2009). I have been presenting and publishing part of my activities in Latin America, the US and Europe aimed to academic, professional and non-expert audiences through conference presentations, peer review papers and public reports. From 2003 onwards I have been permanently working as private consultant in Architecture and Planning for the indigenous communities of San Juan de Costa, southern Chile.

Between 2005 and 2010 I developed research on issues of urban informality, social housing and local development. However, from 2012 onwards my research interests have been centred on explorations of contemporary patterns of urban growth and change, urban sprawl and (post)suburbanisation particularly focused on planning policies and the implications of undeveloped areas and open tracts in contemporary transformations of city-regions

Research | Current

  • Urban densification/intensification and Urban Design (The National Science Challenge 11 - Build Better Homes Towns and Cities - Strategic Research Areas (SRA) 4
  • 'Determinants of urban sprawl in Auckland. The case of Pukekohe and the incorporation of peri-urban lands into the metropolitan expansion'. School PBRF 2017 allocation R2. Project number A1714 

Teaching | Current

  • Urban Design Theory and Practice_UrbDes 702
  • Urban Design Studio One_UrbDes 710
  • Urban Design 705

Postgraduate supervision

  • Master supervision UrbPlan 715
  • Master supervision UrbPlan 757


  • 2017, Research grant, PBRF 2017 allocation, Round 2. Project number A1714
  • 2014-2016, The Doctoral School (UCL), The Bartlett School of Planning (UCL). Conference and research fieldwork grants.
  • 2010-2016, Research Grant, The National Committee of Science and Technology (CONICYT), Chile. 
  • 2010, Fulbright Scholarship. Fulbright Foundation, USA
  • 2004, Third Prize, ‘Affordable Social House Design’, Ancud City, Chile. XIV Biennale of Architecture. National Association of Chilean Architects, Chile
  • 2004, Honorable Mention. ‘Design for and ecological house’. XIV Biennale of Architecture, National Association of Chilean Architects, Chile 


  • PhD Provisional Year Review Process

Areas of expertise

  • Urban Studies
  • Spatial Planning 
  • Urban Design


Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • 2016 – Present, Member of the Royal Geographical Society – RGS, UK
  • 2016 – Present, Member of the Green Economy Society – GES, UCL, UK
  • 2016 – Present, Member of the Netherlands Association for Latin American and Caribean Studies, NALACS. Delft, The Netherlands
  • 2015 – Present, Member of the Regional Studies Association – RSA, UK
  • 2015 – Present, Member of the Latin American Studies Association – LASA
  • 2013 – Present, Member of the UCL Americas Research Network, UK
  • 2009 – Present, Member of the Chilean Society of Geographical Sciences, Chile     
  • 2011-2012,  Staff member at the Department of Architecture and Territorial Planning, Universidad Tecnológica Metropolitana (UTEM), Chile
  • 2009-2011, Teaching Fellow, Master in Environmental Management (PROGOA), Engineering College, University of Santiago de Chile, Chile
  • 2008-2010, Research associate at the Centre of Regional Studies and local Development (CEDER), Universidad de los Lagos (ULA), Chile
  • 2006-2009, Director of the Department of Architecture and Design, (ULA), Chile 
  • 2000-2010, Staff member, Department of Architecture and Design, (ULA), Chile 
  • 2006-2009, Staff member of the Editorial Committee at 'Architecture and Design Journal-AD, (ULA), Chile


Contact details

Primary location

New Zealand