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Insights Urban planning in the Middle East with Purva Jamadade

As part of our #PeopleDriveResults campaign, this week we have caught up with Purva Jamadade, Senior Urban Designer based in the Middle East.

image of Purva at her desk

Tell us a little bit about your professional background?

I am an urban designer and master planner by profession with a background in architecture. I have over 13 years’ experience in the Middle East, Asia, Portugal, and US. I am largely involved in leading the design process for masterplanning projects of varied scales and typologies involving multidisciplinary teams. I manage and deliver master plans from vision to concept to detail design compliant with project opportunities and constrains, client’s vision, global best practices, and local norms. I am currently working on projects focused on preparing large scale concept and detail master plans, urban design strategies, development standards and design guidelines for new town developments mostly based in the Middle East.

What inspired you to become an urban designer? 

Growing up in a megacity like Mumbai, I was unconsciously aware of the cultural, economic, and social challenges of a developing city. It was then when I thought of contributing to the wellness of the city and architecture came as a close option. I felt it was a perfect blend of creativity and science and I didn’t have to choose either or. I was also excited about the idea of building a space which could have a long-lasting impact on people and eventually the ability to impact the socio-economic and cultural aspects of the city.

What is the coolest thing you are working on?

I am currently working on rebuilding a city in Azerbaijan which was under dispute for the last 30 years up until recently when it was handed back to its original constitution. This city was once a buzzing town and we at Atkins, a member of the AtkinsRéalis Group, aim to help the city regain its charm and attract its original inhabitants by adapting people centric urban design principles.

What do you think has had the biggest impact on your career development to date?

My experience with living and working in different geographies like India, Srilanka, US, Portugal and the Middle East has given me the chance to understand different cultures and working environments. This exposure gave me an advantage, strengthening my professional knowledge and experience, and has positively impacted my career development and the way I approach projects and people.

What is the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from?

Since I was a kid my mother had always motivated me to push myself to do better in life. One simple but effective advice from her that has stuck on to me is “If you are facing a challenging situation, have faith in yourself, work hard and give it your best. After giving it all, if things come your way then great, if they won’t then it wasn’t meant to be. Keep your feet firmly planted on the ground and move on.

What is your favorite quote and why?

"You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new." - Steve Jobs

We live in a world where people’s aspiration, needs and environmental demands are ever changing. I believe that we need to start designing for the current scenarios and future proofing by making our creations adaptive and resilient.

Tell us one fun fact about yourself.

During my school days I played national level gymnastics and football. There was a time when I was considering making sports as my first profession until I got introduced to the world of architecture and the rest is history.