Degree completed in 2016.

The commons in a compound: morality, ownership, and legality in Cairo's squatted gated community

  • Supervisors: Professor Craig Jeffrey; Michael Keith (COMPAS, Oxford Programme for the Future of Cities);
  • Member:


Academic Profile

Nicholas holds BA degrees in Political Economy and in Architecture (Hons) from the University of California, Berkeley, a MSc in Contemporary Urbanism with distinction from the London School of Economics, and an AADiploma/RIBA Part 2 from the Architectural Association. He is currently a DPhil student in the School of Geography and the Environment and a Postgraduate Associate at the Oxford Programme for the Future of Cities. His interests fall at the intersection of socio-cultural, legal, architectural and linguistic practices in the production and appropriation of the city, with particular attention to poverty and migration. He has experience working for UN-Habitat and for various non-governmental organisations and architecture offices. Nicholas is fluent in English, Italian, Spanish and French and is proficient in Arabic and Russian.

Selected Awards:

  • 2012: Brockhues Graduate Award, St Edmund Hall, Oxford
  • 2012: Santander Graduate Award

Current Research

Nicholas' doctoral research explores conceptions of property and narratives of the commons by Cairo's urban poor and youth during political transition. He is comparing emerging forms of cooperativism and customary tenure in the occupation of gated affordable housing schemes and in encroachments on military land at the urban periphery, towards implications for youth-committee local governance initiatives. Nicholas is currently based in Cairo and conducting a year-long ethnography.