Prof. Dr. Kosta Mathéy,

founder and director of GLOBUS, the Global Urban Studies Research Institute at the International Academy in Berlin


Dr. Kosta Mathéy was educated as an architect and urban designer at Darmstadt University of Technology in Darmstadt, followed by housing studies program at the Architectural Association in London and a PhD thesis on self-help housing to the faculty of Applied Social Sciences at Kassel University.

His academic career started while building up the Department for Planning and Building in Developing Regions at Darmstadt University of Technology 1980-85, to which he returned as a full professor in 2002. He also was professor in Karlsruhe and Havana Technical Universities apart from lecturing widely in Latin America, Africa and Asia. 2008-11 he founded and directed the M.Sc. Program on Urban Development Planning at the Vietnamese - German University in Ho Chi Minh City. He currently lectures part time at HafenCity University Hamburg, the El Gouna campus of TU Berlin in Egypt and the Panafrican University in Algeria.

Housing and Urban Development cannot be taught in an academic bubble but must be founded on sound field experience.  Kosta Mathéy extensively worked as a housing and urban development expert for International Cooperation projects in 35 different countries of the ‘Global South’ - mostly for agencies like UNHABITAT, ILO, GIZ, KfW and DFID. The tasks included, among others, low-income housing finance, upgrading and regularization of informal settlements, participatory planning, townscape and urban heritage conservation, infrastructure improvement, climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Mathéy’s nearly 100 publications deal with housing policies and finance, self-help, ecological building; appropriate technologies; cultural identity; gender, migration, neighbourhood initiatives and community-based urban violence prevention. Dr. Mathéy is ENHR member since its beginning and co-founder of the Research Committee on Housing in Developing Countries.


title: Affordability and Social Housing in the Global South