Asma Mehan

Job title
Postdoc Research Fellow

The institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology, Leiden University

Asma Mehan is the current Postdoc fellow at the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus program for Port City Futures and the Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology, Leiden University. 
Trained as an architect and urban historian, Asma Mehan has studied, taught, and practiced architecture in Iran (Tehran and Isfahan) and Italy. In 2017, she completed her PhD in ‘Architecture, History, and Design’ program at the Department of Architecture and Design (DAD), Politecnico di Torino (Italy) with the thesis “The empty locus of power: production of political urbanism in modern Tehran.”
Asma completed research stays in Australia (Deakin University, Melbourne, 2016-2017) and at the EPFL University, Lausanne, Switzerland (2017), and was a researcher in resident at the ZK/U Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik, Berlin, 2019.
In 2018-2019, Asma completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Politecnico di Torino in collaboration with Torino-based Future Urban Legacy Lab (FULL). In 2019-2020, Asma was a Postdoc at the CITTA (Research Center for Territory, Transports, and Environment), University of Porto (Portugal).
Asma’s main interests include planning history and theory and transnational politics of architecture. In terms of geographic location, she conducted research in the Middle East (Tehran, Istanbul), South East Asia (Kuala Lumpur) as well as Europe (Torino, Berlin) and the US (Detroit). She is the author of “Kuala Lumpur: Community, Infrastructure, and Urban Inclusivity” (London and New York: Routledge, 2020). This book argues that elements of urban infrastructure could work as an essential mediator ‘beyond community’, allowing inclusive social structures to be built, despite cultural and religious tensions existing within the city.

Last publications
Kozlowski M., Mehan, A., Nawratek, K., 2020. Kuala Lumpur: community, infrastructure and urban inclusivity, ‘The Built Environment City Studies-Focus Series’, London: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 1st Edition, 142 pages.

Nawratek, K. Mehan, A., 2020. De-Colonising Public Spaces in Malaysia: Dating in Kuala Lumpur, Cultural Geographies 27(2), SAGE Journals ISSN: 14744740

Mehan, A., 2019. The Challenges of Comparative Urbanism in Post-Fordist Cities: The Case of Turin and Detroit, Contour Journal, (4) Special issue ‘Comparing Habitats’, published by EPFL University, pp. 1-14.   ISSN: 2297 6906   

Zamani, F., Mehan, A., 2019.” The Abstract Space and the Alienation of Political Public Space in the Middle East”, ArchNet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research / Selected for the special issue “The City (Re)Shaped: Exploring the Nexus Between Politics, Memory and Urbanism in the Built Environment” edited by Gehan Selim, 13 (3), Emerald Publishing, pp 483-493.

Mehan, A., Behzadfar, M., 2018. The Forgotten Legacy: Oil Heritage Sites in Iran, In ‘CONGRESO XVII TICCIH —CHILE (Patrimonio Industrial: Entendiendo el pasado, haciendo el futuro sostenible)’, Universidad Central de Chile, Santiago, Chile. pp. 897-900.


Asma Mehan
Phone number
+31 71 527 2727