Portrait of Maina Wachira

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Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning


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Maina Wachira

Maina Wachira is a PhD student in Urban and Regional Planning from Nairobi, Kenya. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Chicago and an M.S. in Applied Quantitative Methods and Social Analysis (with a concentration in Computational Social Science) from Northeastern University.

He is interested in using network science, agent-based modeling, and geospatial analytics to explore what the unique dynamics of Global South cities might contribute to urban theory and urban governance. At present, this involves emerging interests in (1) how diverse forms of urban segregation relate to unequal and unjust social, cultural, and environmental outcomes (2) how the social networks involved in understanding and governing Global South cities shape both the content and outcomes of plans.

Prior to his graduate studies Maina worked in research and analytics manager for five years, where his close contact with an interdisciplinary body of African academics seeking to translate their research into policy stimulated his own interest in climate change, governance processes, and the opportunities and challenges facing Africa’s rapidly urbanizing countries in the 21st century.