Dr Laura Novo de Azevedo

Master in Urban and Regional Planning, PhD in Urban Design
Senior Lecturer in Planning and Urban Design
Principal Lecturer Student Experience
Specialist in Cultural Heritage


Laura has a background in architecture, planning and urban design and has been a researcher at the JCUD since 2002 where she is currently a Senior Lecturer. Before working in the UK she worked in Brazil teaching and consulting in architecture and urbanism. With over 10 years of practice Laura has mostly been involved in urban design projects developed through community participation in southern Brazil. She is an expert in the relationship between information technology and urban design issues, with a particular interest in developing strategies for integrating computer graphics into the process of urban design. Her main research interests focus on environmental perception, behaviour and design, cultural heritage and urban conservation and design coding. She is particularly interested in researching with children and young people to achieve more inclusive urban environments.

Teaching interests

Design review and design coding for infill developments and conservation areas. Place making. Interpretation and design of cultural heritage for sustainable tourism. Graphics for urban design.

Research interests and consultancy expertise

Research interest focuses on understanding people's perceptions and behaviour for the design and management of the built environment with particular interest in children and young people; processes and techniques for developing participatory urban design; urban design codes for integrating high quality contemporary architecture and urban design in conservation areas and cross-cultural urban design. She is particularly interested in researching the topics above in the context of developing countries. Laura is interested in researching how to incorporate contemporary technology and daily experiences of the built environment into the teaching and learning of urban design. Laura is also interested in pedagogic research related to the use of electronic media to enhancing student learning.

Examples of recent projects

2015-2016 Curriculum Design - Laura is leading the development of a new undergradute programme - BA in Urban Planning, Design and Development - which draws from best practices for improving the students' learning experience. Programme level assessment, authentic assessment, research ­informed teaching and a project-based structural spine are among its key features. The design has a strong and innovative focus on developing research and academic literacy as well as employability skills across all modules.

Recent Publications and Presentations

Rocha, E., Azevedo, L. N., Allemand, D. Hypolito, B. Tomiello, F. 2017 Cross-cult: desenho urbano/urban design - Pelotas/BR & Oxford/UK. Pelotas, UFpel, 2016.

Azevedo, L, N., Rocha, E. (2016a) BrookesBUDS: impacting student learning and the development of international professional skills with real-life urban design experience in Brazil. World Planning Schools Congress 2016. 3 rd -8 th June. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Azevedo, L, N. (2016b) The experience of the city as transformative knowledge: an evaluation of the use of a mobile approach for enhancing learning and teaching in urban design. World Planning Schools Congress 2016. 3 rd -8 th June. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Azevedo, L. N.; Kurul, E.; Lim, R.; Sames, Wragg, E. (2016) Developing the ‘model office’ as an approach to interdisciplinary practice-based learning. Oxford Brookes Learning and Teaching Conference. June 2016. Oxford Brookes University, Oxford.

Azevedo, L, N. (2015) The Power of Experiential and Cross Cultural Learning for a more Responsive Practice in Urban Design. Public Lecture Series 2015-16. School of Planning and Geography at Cardiff University. 1 st December 2015. Oxford Brookes University, Oxford.

Lim, R., Azevedo, L. N. & Cooper, J. (2015): Embracing the conceptual shift on new ways of experiencing the city and learning urban design: pedagogical methods and digital technologies, Journal of Urban Design, DOI: 10.1080/13574809.2015.1071651.

Azevedo, L, N. (2015). Experiencing Professional Practice in Academia: a proposal for a student-lecturer partnership in the School of the Built Environment. Minerva Series. 15 th December 2015. Oxford Brookes University, Oxford.

Azevedo, L. N. et al. (2015) BrookesBUDS Public Exhibition. 5 th -10 th September 2015. Inquiry Centre, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford.

Azevedo, L. N. et al. (2015). Cross-cultural Urban Design: a comparison between Oxford, UK and Pelotas, Brazil. Internationalisation of the Curriculum. April 2015. Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil.

Azevedo, L. N., de, Kiddle, R., Reeve, A. & Cooper, J. (2012, Unpublished) Sustainable housing design: understanding consumers’ preferences and market provision. A scoping research using a Q-methodology on the relationship between environmentally sustainable housing design, market expectations and consumers’ preferences in the contemporary UK context.

Recognition of Excellence

2015 and 2016 Nominated for the National Teaching Fellowship Award

2014 Students' Union Teaching Awards. Finalist in the category “Most Innovative Use of Technology", Oxford Brookes University

2012 Awarded Brookes Teaching Fellowship Oxford Brookes University