The Development Planning Unit conducts world-leading research and postgraduate teaching that helps to build the capacity of national governments, local authorities, NGOs, aid agencies and businesses working towards socially just and sustainable development in the global south.
We are part of The Bartlett: UCL's global faculty of the built environment.
Étienne von Bertrab joined the Development Planning Unit (DPU) as a lecturer in 2011. He is lead tutor of two modules based in the MSc in Environment and Sustainable Development (ESD): Sustainable Infrastructure and Services in Development, and Urban Water and Sanitation, Planning and Politics.
Currently a Teaching Fellow, he also contributes to the delivery of ESD's practice module and to the research carried out with staff and students exploring the production of risk, water (in)justice and urban development in Lima, Peru.
His research has focused in the areas of urban mobility and water governance. He is particularly interested in social movements and in examining the potential of grassroots resistance, solidarity networks and alternative justice mechanisms towards environmental justice and sustainability.
Étienne has been an activist in Mexico, where he continues to work with collectives and networks. In London he is a member of the organisation Justice Mexico Now. He more recently explores the use of video in research and advocacy: www.vimeo.com/etiennista
He is also a consultant in the areas of citizenship and entrepreneurship for the empowerment of marginalised groups.
Étienne writes regularly in the magazines Desmesura and MAGIS, the latter from ITESO University in Guadalajara, on topics related to sustainability transitions and democracy.
Currently doing research on the scope for civil society in changing the paradigm of water governance - and in the defence of the territory, in Mexico.