Carmelo Ignaccolo is a Ph.D. Student in City Design and Development at the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (MIT). He is a Research Affiliate of the Civic Data Design Lab and an Adj. Assistant Professor at Columbia University GSAPP, where he coordinates and teaches the core GIS class for Urban Design graduate students.
Carmelo is particularly interested in applying data-visualization and mapping techniques to reveal spatial narratives that can materialize invisible trends, systems, and phenomena in cities and broader territories. His academic research focuses on urban morphology and environmental psychology in historic cities, where collective identity and heritage have been constantly reshaped. He employs urban analytics and spatial statistics to investigate the complexity of our data-rich environment and to envision new design solutions at the different scales of the built environment.
Carmelo has professional experience in geospatial analysis, data visualization, and story-telling for urban design projects and city planning action plans. Prior to MIT, he worked as Urban Planner at the Urban Planning and Design Lab of the United Nations Habitat Programme in Nairobi. He was responsible for developing strategic recommendations about public transit networks, heritage preservation, and resilience for the future planning system of several cities in the Middle East (e.g. Jeddah, Makkah, Tabuk). Carmelo also worked as an Urban Designer at AECOM in the Urban Design Studio in New York City. His expertise in mapping and in multi-scalar territorial studies allowed him to be involved as a Research Assistant at the Center for Spatial Research at Columbia University and as a faculty member at the “Resilient Mozambique” GSAPP summer workshop – organized with the WWF and the Columbia Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes.
Carmelo received as a Fulbright Fellow a Master’s degree in Urban Design from Columbia University GSAPP, where he was awarded the GSAPP Prize for Excellence in Urban Design for the 2016/17 academic year. He completed a five-year Master’s degree program in Architecture-Engineering at the University of Catania in Italy (2015), during which he was awarded a "Beyond Frontiers" fellowship for an academic exchange at Tongji University, in Shanghai (2014).