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M. Sc. Nikita John


Jun.-Prof. Transformation to Sustainable Energy Systems

Niki portrait& Urban Footprints Project


Faculty for Environment and Natural Resources

Insitute for Environmental Social Sciences and Geography

Tennenbacher Str. 4

D-79106 Freiburg

Telephone: +49 761 203 67813






Nikita John has been a part of the Urban Footprints Project as a research assistant at the Hafencity University Hamburg since February 2019. She along with her team have organised the ‘Kickoff Workshop’ in July 2019, announcing the project and garnering interest and potential contacts for the coming years. They also hosted a workshop as a part of the City Science Summit, organised in partnership with the City Science Lab and MIT.  Since late 2019, the team and her has helped setup, the new Junior Professorship for “Transformation to Sustainable Energy Systems”, with the acceptance of the Project Lead, Dr. Cathrin Zengerling, to Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg.

Her inclusion in the research project is based on her education as an architect and her master programme that focussed on resource efficiency in architecture and planning, resulting in a thesis analysing affordable housing policy in India. Nikita’s current focus is to look into the role of participation in ensuring accountability and reduced emissions in urban infrastructure provision in the Indian context.


 Research   |   Professional career   |   Studies   |    Teaching   |    Publications    |    Presentations   I    Memberships


Research areas


Within the research topic she is interested in looking into the dynamics of governance that can better address equity in ‘low-carbon development’ for India considering its ground realities. In working towards this, her current areas of research include infrastructure planning, public policy mechanisms, and, participatory planning with an increased focus on civil society as a key stakeholder.


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Professional career


03/2020 – Current  PhD Student at the

                               Albert-Ludwigs-University, Freiburg DE
10/2019 – 02/2023 Research Assistant for the Urban Footprint Project at

                               Albert-Ludwigs-University, Freiburg DE
02/2019 – 09/2019 Research Assistant for the Urban Footprint Project at

                               Hafencity University, Hamburg DE
05/2018 – 07/2018 Research Intern at

                               BORDA e.V. Bremen DE
04/2016 – 08/2016 Content Producer at the

                               HCU-HOOU, Hamburg DE
09/2013 – 09/2014 Junior Architect at

                               Archhives Ltd., New Delhi IN
09/2012 – 11/2012 Architectural Intern at

                              IDEAcentre Ltd, Kochi IN


And other internships of shorter durations.


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10/2015 – 12/2018

  • Master of Science Resource Efficiency in Architecture and Planning- Hafencity University Hamburg DE


09/2017 - 09/2018 FHH Academic Merit Scholarship for International Students

11/2016 - 11/2016 DAAD funded a week-long design project in collaboration with Cairo University


10/2011 – 02/2015

  • Bachelor of Architecture- Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur IN



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Courses in the summer term:

  • Support in "Global Sustainability Transformations in Local Contexts" (M.Sc. Renewable Energy Management, Core Module)
  • Support in "Research Skills and Ethics for Sustainable Development" (M.Sc. Renewable Energy Management, Core Module)


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Reports and Brochures:

  • Harseim, L., John, N., Zengerling, C. (Eds). (2019) Global Cities on a Low Carbon Path: Envisioning Systemic Change in Urban Metabolisms. UFP Kickoff Workshop Report. Retrieved from
  • Ababei, P., Harseim, L., John, N., Yener, D., Gaidhankar, K., Miramontes, F., …, Fraser, T. (Eds). (2017). Climate responsive urban planning in El Gamaleya, Cairo.


  • John, N. (2019). Analysing Affordable Housing Policy in India: Providing a sustainability perspective on the national policy for housing provision for the urban poor (Master Thesis). HafenCity Universität, Hamburg, DE.



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  • John, N. (2019, October 2). Urbanites Without Footprints. City Science Lab & MIT. Hafencity University. City Science Summit, Hamburg.


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  • The Indian Institute of Architects (IIA)
  • International Society for Industrial Ecology - Sustainable Urban Metabolism & Socioeconomic Metabolism Section


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