Nader Afzalan is vice-chair of the American Planning Association Technology Division. As a visiting assistant professor, he is collaborating with Esri on developing a master of Geodesign program at the University of Redlands.
His role includes researching Geodesign policies and techniques, developing program curriculum, piloting and teaching Geodesign studio courses, and mentoring students.
With more than 15 years of urban planning and design experience, Afzalan's research and professional work focuses on ways cities can and should function smarter using new technologies and data sources. As a researcher, technologist and entrepreneur, he guides planning organizations, universities and technology companies in designing creative solutions to handle urban and regional planning issues by more effectively using web-based planning and design tools, GIS and social media.
Prior to beginning his Ph.D. studies at the University of Colorado, Afzalan spent seven years working as a project director, urban planner and designer on projects focused on socio-economic revitalization of downtown areas, redevelopment of historical towns, and ecological planning. His collaborative approaches to land-use and environmental planning have been presented and published in the U.S. and internationally in the Middle East and Europe.