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Curtin University
Staff Profile

Professor Reena Tiwari

Professor Reena Tiwari Professor Reena Tiwari

PhD (Urban Studies), M.Arch (Urban Design), B.Architecture

Position Professor
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
School School of Built Environment
Department Dept of Architecture and Interior Architecture
Campus Bentley Campus
Location 201.621
Phone 08 9266 4730
Fax 08 9266 2711

Brief Summary

Professor Reena Tiwari is Fellow of the Curtin Academy. As a researcher Reena has published extensively on space psychology and place-making; urban ethnography and community engagement; sustainable transport and urbanism. Reena is passionate about democratic architecture and development and has forwarded a model of enquiry which is ethnographic, collaborative and trans-disciplinary and has a goal to facilitate change and adaptation for all involved in the process. As an architect, urban designer she has been a professional advisor to a broader academic community and industry and has successfully worked on competitive research projects for the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, Aus-Aid and the Australia-India Council. International significance of her research work and leadership in the area of urban studies, community development and international cooperation is demonstrated by her ongoing research work with the University of California, Berkeley and University International Catalunya, Spain. She has a continuing involvement in the International Cooperation Program which is run by the European Union under the prestigious Erasmus Mundus umbrella and supported by UNESCO and UN Habitat.

Tiwari received the Australian National Award for Teaching Excellence in 2013 for leading and inspiring a model of teaching and research which has established a point of difference in the profession, with its commitment to community engagement and philanthropy (including Lakhnu rural development project in India, Slum Action project in India, Wedge coastal shack community project in Western Australia, To Walk or Not to Walk project in New Delhi, and Body performance in East Perth project for which support and funds were received from industry and professional bodies including the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations WA, Department of Planning WA, Department of Transport WA, City of Canning (Perth), Clean Air Initiative Asia (Philippines) and EMBARQ World Resource Institute (Washington).  Reena has been invited as consultant for sustainable development projects in India and Italy. Prior to moving to Australia in 1996, Reena headed her own design consulting company Creation Architects and Engineers which undertook housing projects in India. She thus has a global perspective and wide ranging experience on city growth and development.

Tiwari has held  position of the Head of Department Architecture and Interior Architecture and has been Director of International Cooperation Research Cluster at Curtin University. Tiwari is an executive committee member for Urban Development Institute of Australia,  Urban Design Institute of Australia and the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand.


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Research Interests

Reena is currently working on a project in India funded by AUS-AID titled 'Stemming car dependency and improving transport options in Indian cities'.Work under this project in Pune focuses on design and policy implementation for pedestrian friendly streets by using deliberative democracy principles while the project in Bangalore builds on ideas of transit value capture.

She is leading 'Lakhnu rural development Project' in India, which aims to empower local community at Lakhnu while developing a model of best practice in research and teaching. This project is done in collaboration with NGO IREAD and local Indian government agencies and is a five year long project involving community capacity building through co-build and co-design.

‘To Walk or Not to Walk’ project was undertaken in Delhi in October 2012 in collaboration with Clean Air Asia, Sakshi Theatres and Samarthyam. The aim of this study was to assess walkability of streets around metro stations, providing insights into built-form design impacting accessibility, and the responsibility of government, design/transport professional and occupants.

In 2011 Reena completed a 'Pedestrian Safety (against crime) Audit for metro-station accessibility in Indian cities' in Bangalore in partnership with EMBARQ India.

She was invited as a consultant by City of Canning, Western Australia for 'Landuse Study for Canning' in 2011. In Perth, she conducted roundtable workshops for 'Green Campus Design – Bentley Technology Precinct' for resolving professional and political barriers towards implementation of sustainable transport in 2009, with Professor Robert Cervero (University of California, Berkeley) and Dr Lee Schipper (Stanford). In 2010 she conducted 'Moving Cooler – sustainable transport strategies workshop' with Dr Lee Schipper in Perth.

In 2008 as a Visiting Scholar at University of California, Berkeley she worked at University of California Transport Research Centre to compare transport mobility and built form issues of urban arterials in San Francisco and Perth.

Project titled 'Transitioning Arterial Roads – Traffic Management and Place-making' was funded by the West Australian Planning Commission and Curtin University of Technology in 2007.

In December 2008, Reena was invited as a member of the Australian delegation of 14 people for public lectures and Urban Futures workshop on future growth of Delhi. She was also invited as a key note speaker for City Futures 2009 in Milano organized by the European Commission. This was Sustainable Energy Week event debating on future challenges to metropolitan regions and cities while also exploring conceptual and technology tools for developing models for these. She was a keynote speaker at Biennale Democrazia 2011 at Turin, Italy speaking on Democracy in Architetcure.

Reena has also supervised fieldwork, study and analysis of a remote tribal settlement Dandami Marias in India, with a focus on use of streets and squares and its related effect on the settlement structure.She has led Australia India Council funded Slum action project in India in 2010 to explore home based work issues for women as well as light and ventilation issues. She conducted ‘SKIN’ workshop for a shack settlement in February 2005, in an Indian city of Ahmedabad in collaboration with a renowned practice of architect BV Doshi and Yatin Pandya. Squatter settlements and their specific issues of environment, equity and empowerment are of interest to her. She was invited to make a submission to the Parliamentary Committee Western Australia on coastal shack settlements in WA in 2010.

Reena has worked on AHURI funded project focusing on issues of homelessness. Work for marginalised communities both in India and Australia provides a ground for a comparative exploration of the needs, lifestyles, questions of identity and change for these communities. Other projects include low cost housing, neighbourhood subdivision, hospital and residential architecture.

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Specialty Areas

Urban Design; Place-making; Psychology of space; Community engagement; Sustainable development

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Journal Articles (Research)


Journal Articles (Research)


Books (Research) - Edited

Book Chapters (Research)

Creative Works


Journal Articles (Research)

Conference Articles (Research)

Creative Works

Exhibition - Group


Journal Articles (Research)

Conference Articles (Research)

Creative Works


Books (Research)

Book Chapters (Research)

Conference Articles (Research)


Journal Articles (Research)

Conference Articles (Research)


Journal Articles (Research)


Conference Articles (Research)


Creative Works

Exhibition - Solo


Journal Articles (Research)

Conference Articles (Research)

Exhibition - Curation


Conference Articles (Research)

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Other Information


• Urban Transport Pathways: Do the Experiences of the US and the EU Offer Lessons for the Developing World? Symposium Sept 13-14, 2012 – David Brower Center, Berkeley.

• The Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (CAI-Asia) in cooperation with the India Urban Transport Institute and with support from the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation invited Reena Tiwari as an Expert for the National Forum on “Walkability Forum: Better Air Quality and Liveable Indian Cities” at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi on 22 June 2012.

• Invited for delivering a module for Masters in International Cooperation at Course at University of Catalunya, Barcelona in November 2012, 2011 and 2010 -

• Invited speaker for Swagmen, Squatters and Troopers? Shackies and the recreational development of the Western Australian Coast, Tourism Seminar, Curtin Unviersity

• Invited for lectures at Université Pierre Mendès, Grenoble for Masters students of Urbano Mundus in December 2010

• Invited panellist speaker for Governance Forum on Achieving Sustainable Transport in Melbourne, GAMUT, 2010

• Invited Presentation at IGES (Institute for Global Environmental Strategies) Pre-Event at Better Air Quality (BAQ) 2010: Accounting for Co-benefits in Asia's Transportation Sector. "CO2 Co-benefits from Transport: Perth Experience"

• Invited Presentation at Better Air Quality 2010 session on Strategies for Liveable Cities organised by Clean Air Asia - "Greening our Cities through Sustainable Urbanism - an East West Dialogue"

• Invited Course Presenter for ‘How Sustainable is Sustainable Transport? What matters and why and the potential economic, technical and regulatory improvement options’, organised by Transport Roundtable Australasia, Short course 12-13 August 2010, Brisbane

• Invited panellist on Transport Forum organised by GAMUT, the Australasian Centre for the Governance and Management of Urban Transport, Melbourne, June 2010

• Coordinated ‘Moving Cooler Roundtable – Sustainable Transport Matters’ with Dr Lee Schipper (from University of California, Berkeley) in 2010. The Roundtable was conducted in Perth in August and was aimed at industry professionals, NGOs, state government, and local government decision makers and politicians. ASDI and Faculty of Humanities supported the event.

• Invited Keynote City Futures 2009 in Milan organized by the European Union • Cities for Rich or Poor in CUSP Seminar series, Fremantle, 2009

• Transitioning Activity Corridors – University of California Transport Research Center, Berkeley, August 2008

• Invited talk on Comparative Issues of Western and Eastern City Models at Centre for Southeast Asian & Pacific Studies S.V. University, Tirupati, India, 2008

• M. A. National Institute of Technology, Bhopal, India 2005 Nexus between Research and Design. Audience – Post graduate and undergraduate students, and staff of Architecture and Planning departments

• Vastu-Shipa Foundation for studies and research in Environmental Design, Ahmedabad, 2005 Design with Nature – Architecture of Shacks

• John Curtin Gallery Public Lecture – 2003, Curtin University of Technology, Mimesis and Printmaking


FORM GALLERY – Interview for Exhibtion Installations on ‘Conversations through body in social and physical spaces’



• 2012 Curtin University Teaching Excellence and Innovation Award • 2011 Best Book of the Year, Curtin University

• 2006 Carrick Australian Awards for University Teaching. Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning for developing a cross-disciplinary and integrative approach to teaching urban theory and design – blurring boundaries between class room and the ‘real world’ experience

• 2006 Curtin University Citation Award for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning

• 2004 Presenter’s Fellowship for Conference hosted by Vernacular Architecture Forum in New York

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