AZZA KAMAL PhD, LEED AP ND
URBANIST I RESEARCHER I EDUCATOR
Dr. Kamal is an urban planner, architect, and educator. She is the director of research at SARAH (The US Department of Housing and Urban Development's Continuum of Care in Bexar County/San Antonio, TX) and an adjunct professor of Urban & Regional Planning at TX State University. Dr. Kamal specializes in housing policy, anti-displacement strategies, equitable and resilient planning, and homeless resources. Her research is centered on location analytics to address issues of disparities , urbanization and growth management, and housing instability using the nexus of quantitative, qualitative, and participatory methods.
At SARAH, she leads the organization's research portfolio by integrating data-driven decisions into operations and impact analyses of housing programs. Prior to her current role, she worked at the City of San Antonio, where she led the $1M "Emergency Assistance Program", a combined rental/ mortgage, utilities, and services package to low and extremely low-income households. Dr. Kamal led several research and policy studies and stakeholders outreach campaigns in Texas, Maryland, Colorado, and Arizona including a Strategic housing Analysis for the Workforce Housing Demand where she developed a sustainable housing strategy for six counties impacted by Eagle Ford Shale oil/gas fracking in Southern Texas. She was also commissioned by the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB) to assess HUD's Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) in Phoenix, AR and Denver, CO. With funding from Edwards Aquifer Authority and San Antonio River Authority, she and her research team studied Low Impact Development in Bexar county, TX, and created a geospatial toolkit for selection and retrofitting water management sites, which -in turn, will enhance community resilience and ensure water quality. As an educator, Dr. Kamal extends the learning experience of her students outside the classroom by collaboration with local communities, civic leaders, and public officials to bridge the gap between academia and practice. She equips her students with the know-how to address the complexity of planning and policy issues to be capable of developing socially and environmentally-responsible interventions for urban and housing instability. In her studios and labs, she incorporates spatial analysis tools to predict successful infill housing, healthy and just neighborhoods, and resilient development. Dr. Kamal helps her students to access the competitive job market through connecting them with practitioners, local government, and nonprofit organizations, and has placed several of her former students in prestigious graduate schools including UT Austin, University of Pennsylvania, and Politecnico di Milano.
Dr. Kamal is the recipient of 2016 UTSA Faculty Award for Service to Undergraduate Research and Creative Inquiry, and her research is published in the Journal of Urban Planning and Development, International Journal of Architectural Research, ArcNews Magazine, Camino Real Journal, Computational Urban Planning and Urban Management (CUPUM) conference proceedings, and many other international publications. Dr. Kamal served on several professional and civic engagement roles. She was a reviewer for Fulbright graduate scholarship, and was an appointed commissioner for San Antonio Historic and Design Review Commission, and the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) representative for the International Association for Community Development (IACD) in Scotland. She is a reviewer for several journals, books, and international conferences. At Cairo-based Shehab Mazhar Architects, she led the design team of Phase-V of the master planned community El Gouna - in the Egyptian province of Hurghada. The community was awarded the 2014 UN Environment Program Global Human Settlements Award for global human settlement. Dr. Kamal earned a M.Sc. in architecture from Texas A&M University, a PhD in architecture & Urban Planning from Cairo University, a M.Sc. in architecture from Cairo University, and a five-year professional B.S. in architecture from the same University. She holds two graduate certificates in GIS & Geodesign from Penn State and is a LEED ND Accredited Professional.