Mahyar Arefi has taught at the University of Texas at Arlington for four and at the University of Cincinnati for sixteen years. He also co-edits Urban Design International. In addition to his affiliations with international institutions of higher education including the UAE, Turkey and Sweden, he served as a Fulbright scholar in Turkey and peer-reviewed for the Fulbright, and the Global Innovation Initiative grant. Dr. Arefi has published extensively in academic journals including Planning Education & Research, Town Planning Review, Journal of Urban Design, Cities, Cityscape, Planning Theory and Practice, Planning Practice & Research, Social Semiotics, and specializes in the areas of urban design theory, practice, and pedagogy, place and placemaking, community and international development, and informal settlements. He published his book Asset-based Approaches to Community Development with the UN HABITAT in 2008, and his recent books include: “Learning from Informal Settlements in Iran: Models, Policies & Processes” (2018), and a co-edited volume: “The Palgrave Handbook of Bottom-Up Urbanism” (2019). His other book “Deconstructing Placemaking: Needs, Assets, and Opportunities” (2014) was the recipient of two international awards in 2015 and 2019. He currently has a book on formal-informal urban design dichotomy under contract with Manchester University Press.