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Alessandro Busà

Alessandro Busà is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the SGGE of the University of Leicester, UK.


His current MSCA project "SUSTEUS” explores the socioeconomic impact of environmentally sustainable redevelopment plans on communities housed in social housing estates in EU and US cities. The project is coordinated by University of Leicester and supervised by Prof. Loretta Lees

Alessandro holds a PhD in Theory of Urban Planning from the Technical University of Berlin. He has been a fellow at the TGK Transatlantic Graduate Research Program Berlin – New York of the Center for Metropolitan Studies, and a visiting scholar at GSAPP of Columbia University.

His book titled “The Creative Destruction of New York City” was published by Oxford University Press in 2017.

His recent research focuses on speculative geographies of green investment and on the uneven impacts of finance-mediated greening initiatives in cities and urban regions.

Alessandro Busà

Education and research 

2020-2023, University of Leicester
EU Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Global Fellowship (Principal Investigator, 2020-2023, €271.732) Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Geography, Geology and the Environment. Title of the research project "SUSTES: Assessing the socio-economic impact of environmentally sustainable redevelopment plans on communities housed in social housing estates in EU and US cities".

2014, Technical University of Berlin and Columbia University, New York
Doctoral Degree (Dr.-Ing.) in Theory of Urban Planning. Dissertation: “City Producers, City Consumers. The rezoning and branding of New York City under the administration of Michael R. Bloomberg (2002-2013).” DNB: 1058562789

2008-2010, Technical University of Berlin
DFG (German Research Foundation) Doctoral Fellowship, Center for Metropolitan Studies Berlin, Transatlantic Graduate Research Program Berlin/New York

2006-2007 and 2008-2009, Columbia University of New York
Visiting Scholar at the Graduate School of Architecture, Plan
ning and Preservation (GSAPP), Department of Urban Planning, New York City, USA.


Busà, A. (2017). The Creative Destruction of New York City: Engineering the City for the Elite. Oxford University Press.


Book chapters

Busà, A. (2022). Urban Greening and Green Gentrification. In: The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Urban and Regional Futures. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-51812-7_163-1

Busà, A. (2012). Rezoning Coney Island: A History of decline and revival, of heroes and villains at the “People’s Playground. In: De Sena, Judith and Shortell, Tim eds.,The World In Brooklyn: Gentrification, Immigration, and Ethnic Politics in a Global City. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 147-185. Part of ISBN: 0739166700

Busà, A. (2010). New York City, New York. In: Robbins, Paul, Cohen, Nevin and Golson, J. Geoffrey eds., Green Cities. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishers.
DOI: 10.4135/9781412973816.n105

Busà, A. (2009). City of Memory. In: Ray Hutchinson ed., Sage Encyclopedia of Urban Studies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishers, 158-161.
DOI: 10.4135/9781412971973.n58

Busà, A. (2009). The New York World's Fair (1939/40). In: Ray Hutchinson ed., Sage Enclyclopedia of Urban Studies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishers, 561-562.
DOI: 10.4135/9781412971973.n202

Busà, A. (2009). The City Beautiful Movement. In: Ray Hutchinson ed., Sage Encyclopedia of Urban Studies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishers, 2009, 152-156.
DOI: 10.4135/9781412971973.n55

Busà, A. (2008). The City Re-Invented: Confronting Urban Strategies in the Entrepreneurial Era. In: 11th Planet Congress Warsaw 2007 ed., Top Down/ Bottom Up, 43-36.

Busà, A. (2006).  Vita e Morte delle Gallerie Commerciali Italiane. In: Giandomenico Amendola ed., La Città Vetrina. Milano: Liguori Edizioni, 38-56. ISBN: 8820740052

Busà, A. (2005). Der Weg zu einer modernen Architektur in einem Land, das von einer fortschrittlicher Pädagogik geprägt ist. In: Wüstenrot Stiftung ed., Bauen für Kinder. Stuttgart, Zurich: Karl Krämer Verlag, 200-242. ISBN 3-7828-1521-1



Busà, A. (2014). After the 125th Street Rezoning: The Gentrification of Harlem’s Main Street in the Bloomberg Years. Urbanities, Vol. 4. No.2, 51-68. ISSN: 2239-5725

Busà, A. (2014). Manhattan’s "Dirty Urban Landscapes". Streetnotes, 22. doi:10.5070/s5221019881

Busà, A. (2013). The unsustainable cost of sustainability: PlaNYC 2030 and the future of New York City. Critical Planning Journal, 20, 193–217. e-ISSN: 1522-9807

Busà, A. (2008). Renaissance der Mitte – Zentrumsumbau in London und Berlin. Urbanistica, Vol. 136, 122-123. ISSN: 0392-5005

Other publications (selection)

Busà, A. (2011). Rezoning Coney Island: The crisis of routine‐development and the struggles over the people’s Playground. In: Hunter College Department for Urban Affairs and Planning Depository

Busà, A. (2009). A Manifesto for Coney Island” ABSTRACT – Magazine of the GSAPP of Columbia University, (2008/2009): 261

Busà, A. (2009). Gli Ultimi Giorni di Firenze. FFF: Florence Fast Forward, 1: 11-19.

Busà, A. (2008). Palimpseststadt - City of Layers. (Magazine for Urban Documentation, Opinion, Theory), 8: 26-30.

Busà, A. (2008). XX Secolo: Firenze. D'Architettura, 36: 182-190.

Busà, A. (2007). Celebrations of Urbanity. The Urban Reinventors, 2:07 (2007).

Busà, A. (2007). Confronting Strategies of Urban Reinvention. The Urban Reinventors, 1:07 (2007).

Busà, A. (2007). Vita, Morte e Reinvenzione del Passage Italiano. ARCH'IT-Rivista Digitale di Architettura

Busà, A. (2006). La Reinvenzione della Memoria: un’Archeologia Berlinese tra Politiche di Rimozione e Strategie di Ricostruzione ideale della Memoria. Gomorra – Territori e culture della Metropoli Contemporanea, 10/06: 112-120

Busà, A. (2005). Le Ricostruzioni di Alexanderplatz. L’Architettura Cronache e Storia, 573: 534-538

Busà, A. (2005). Metamorfosi di un Mito lungo un Secolo: l’ex Tacheles Areal a Berlin Mitte da Spazio di Sopravvivenza della Cultura Off a Luogo del Consumo della Nuova Urban Class”  Gomorra – Territori e culture della Metropoli Contemporanea, 08/05: 110-119.

Selected conference talks and public talks 


(2022) Discussant, “Crime, Inequality, and Resistance in New York City: A Multiple Political Orders Perspective” book discussion with author Timothy Weaver, Initiative on Cities, Boston University (December 1)


(2022) “ The value of green in a self-financing model of housing estate regeneration - Tales from Woodberry Down and the Woodberry Wetlands”, at BCNUEJ - Barcelona Lab for Urban Environmental Justice and Sustainability (ICTA/UAB) (November 15)


(2022) “From Plattenbausiedlung to Garden City: Sustainable Social Housing Renewal in Drewitz, Germany”. Regional Studies Association (RSA) Regions in Recovery Second Edition 2022 conference / Energy transitions, environmental sustainability, and designing future cities and regions (March 29).


(2021) “Green Policy Imperatives and Financial Geographies of Greening: Challenges for Urban Gentrification Research”. Authoritarian Urbanism Session Series, Arnold-Bergstraesser-Institut für kulturwissenschaftliche Forschung (January 19).

(2020) “Greening as a Blueprint for the Gentrification of New York City?” One-day Symposium on Cross-Disciplinary Responses to Gentrification, Keele University (June 9).


(2017) Keynote speech. “Smart, Green and Pricey: New York and the Quest for Sustainability.” IQ/The Economist Forum Innovative City. Klaipeda, Lithuania (May 24).


(2017) “The Creative Destruction of New York City.” Development in the Face of Global Inequalities Conference, Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals, Barcelona (May 11-13).

(2016) Keynote speech. “The Producers and Consumers of New York City”. 1st International Conference on Urban Planning - ICUP 2016, Niš, Serbia (November 18-19).


(2013) Guest lecture: “The Rezoning and Branding of New York City under the Mayoralty of Michael R. Bloomberg (2002-2013).”  Forschungskolloquium, Institut für Stadt- und Regionalplanung (ISR), TU Berlin (December 9).


(2012) Guest lecture: “The New Coney Island Between Development and Historic Preservation.” History Department, Fordham University, New York City (April 26).

(2010)  “Where Utopia was born, and died: The Struggle for Coney Island and the Death of Utopia.” The Utopia of Tradition”, 12th Conference of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments (IASTE), Beirut (December 15-18)

(2010) Chair, “Discourses and Practices in Regeneration Policies and Anti Gentrification Efforts In London and New York City.” With Loretta Lees (King’s College London) and Tom Angotti (Hunter College, New York). Center for Metropolitan Studies, Technische Universität Berlin (July 6).

(2010) Guest seminar, “Urban Studies and Open Access Publishing”. Pratt Institute, Center for Planning and the Environment, Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment. New York (May 18).

(2009) “New York’s City Producers, the Global Crisis, and the Green Way Out.” Confronting the Challenges of the Post-Crisis Global Economy and Environment, RGS-IBG Royal Geographical Society-Institute of British Geographers Annual International Conference, Manchester (August 26-28).

(2009) “Rezoning Coney Island: the Crisis of Routine-Development and the Struggles over the People's Playground.” Revitalising Built Environment - International Symposium IAPS CSB Housing Network. Istanbul (October 12-16)  

(2009) “Visions for Florence.” Visions 9th International Conference for Architecture and Media. Florence (July 9)

(2009) Chair, “Responses to Environmental Catastrophes in Urban Settings.” The City and The State of Exception - 5th Annual Conference of the Transatlantic Graduate Research Program Berlin-New York. Berlin (June 4-6)  

(2009) “City Producers, City Consumers and the Representation of the City in Bloomberg's New York.” Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG). Las Vegas (March 22-27)

(2009)  “Rezoning New York City: Stadt-Produktion und Stadt-Konsum in Bloomberg's New York.” Forschungstag des Institut für Architektur (IfA), Berlin (May 27)

(2008)  “The Production and Consumption of Urbanity in Bloomberg's New York: The Rezoning Plan for 125th Street in Harlem.” Mid-Atlantic Popular American Culture Association Conference. Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada (October 20-26)

(2008) Guest Lecture, Rediscussing Urbanity. Fall Session 2008. Fordham University Law School. New York City.

(2008) “Urbanity Sells, and Comes from Above: Rezoning, Rebranding and Auctioning Harlem's Main Street.” 4th Annual Conference of the Transatlantic Graduate Research Program Berlin/New York, In Search of the Postfordist City:  Concepts and the Meaning of Urban Space and Society, New York (September 25 -27)

(2007)  “The City Re-Invented: Confronting Urban Strategies in the Entrepreneurial Era.” Top Down/ Bottom Up, 11th PlaNet Congress. Warsaw (September 24)​

Organization of seminars and conferences


(2021) Organizer, Reading Sessions of the Urban Climate Finance Network 2021-2022 Masterclass:

           Session 1: Financialisation and Climate Urbanism, with Prof. Joshua Long (Southwestern University)
           Session 2: Alternatives to Market Finance for Urban Climate Action, with Dr. Enora Robin (University of Sheffield), 

           Session 3: Green Bonds, with Prof. Hanna Hilbrandt (University of Zurich) and Dr. Nate Millington (University of      Manchester) 
           Session 4: Climate Risk and Reinsurance, with Dr. Zac Taylor (TU Delft) and Savannah Cox (University of California, Berkeley) 
           Session 5: Impacts of Climate Finance on Urban Property Markets – Geographies of De- and Revaluation, with Prof. Sarah                       Knuth (Durham University), Dr. Zac Taylor (TU Delft) and Patrick Bigger (Lancaster University) 

(2010) Organizer, One-Day Seminar “Discourses and Practices in Regeneration Policies and Anti Gentrification Efforts in London and               New York City”, invitees Loretta Lees (King’s College London) and Tom Angotti (Hunter College, New York). Center for                           Metropolitan Studies, Technical University of Berlin (July 6)

(2009) Member of the organizing committee, The City and The State of Exception - 5th Annual Conference of the Transatlantic                         Graduate Research Program Berlin-New York. Technical University of Berlin (June 4-6).

(2008) Member of the organising committee, In Search of the Post-Fordist City: Concepts and the Meaning of Urban Space and       

           Society - 4th Annual Conference of the Transatlantic Graduate Research Program Berlin. Fordham University, New York City       

           (September 26-28).


​Media appearances, interviews, book readings 

(2017)  Radio Interview, Leonard Lopate Show, interviewed by DW Gibson, WNYC Radio, New York City, Sept.     



(2017) New York Public Library Author Talks: "The Creative Destruction of New York," Alessandro Busà in conversation with Jerome 

           Krase. New York Public Library, New York City, Wednesday, 20 September.  

(2017) Book presentation, “Building Down, Tearing Up: Construction and Destruction in NYC Today”, presentation of The Creative

           Destruction of New York City: Engineering the City for the Elite, in conversation with Jeremiah Moss, Brooklyn Book Festival     

           Book Event, 14 September.


(2017) Newspaper interview, “Kad sėkmė netaptų miesto prakeiksmu Skaitykite” (“When a City's Success Becomes its Curse”), IQ-The

           Economist Lithuania, July 16, 2017

(2012) Documentary film interview, “Berlino, la Mutante”, RAI Storia, Chiavi delle


(2011) Newspaper interview, “Is Trendy East Berlin losing its Edge?” Interview on CNN International, February


(2009) Newspaper interview, “Le Nuove Mura che Dividono. Ritorna il Castello degli Hohenzollern,” Liberal,  April 24th

(2008)  Newspaper interview, “The Urban Reinventors: Reinventare la Città,” Il Giornale dell'Architettura 61


(2007)  Newspaper interview, “Pochi gli stranieri nel Cantiere Milano” Il Sole 24 Ore, December 2

(2007)  Newspaper interview, “Un'Archeologia Berlinese”  Liberazione, June 22

Film screenings

Book and direction of the documentary film "Ein Berliner Haus – Der letzte macht das Licht aus"
(English version: “Last Summer in Berlin Mitte”). Berlin, VISTA Visualisierungsstudio für
Stadtplanung GmbH Berlin and Condor Digital Media (2008).  

2014 The CityPossible III Festival, Singapore, November 6, 2014


2012 Yıldız Teknik Üniversitesi Mimarlık Fakültesi, Istanbul, Turkey, September 12, 2012​

2010 Exhibiting Capitals: Berlin and Beyond, 41st Anniversay Convention NeMLA, Montreal,
Quebec, April 7-11, 2010

2009 Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften, TU Berlin, June 13, 2009

2009 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG). Las Vegas, March
22-27, 2009

2009 "Lumpen-City: Discourses of Marginality | Marginalizing Discourses", Interdisciplinary
Conference at York University. Toronto, March 12-13, 2009

2009 Conference " Diversity in Place: Making Documentaries on the Multicultural City",
Globalization Research Center, Dept. of Urban and Regional Planning. Honolulu, Hawaii,
April 24, 2009

2009 "Warsaw-Berlin Cities in Transition", theatrical event, Urbanophil - Netzwerk für urbane
Kultur. Berlin, July 5, 2009

2009 Conference "The City from Below". Baltimore, US, March 27-29, 2009

2008 Panel Discussion, Haus der Demokratie und Menschenrechte. Berlin, July 4, 2008​

2008 Conference "BUKO31: Globale Ausschlüsse, Soziale Kämpfe, Utopien". Dortmund
(Germany), May 9-12, 2008

2008 Conference “The Right to the City: Soziale Kämpfe in der Neoliberalen Stadt”, BUKO
(Bundeskoordination Internationalimus). Berlin, April 11-13, 2008

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