Skip to main content
Global Urban History Project

Meet Other Members

Luna Khirfan
Basic Information
School of Planning, University of Waterloo
Associate Professor
Faculty of Environment

200 University Avenue West

Waterloo, ON  
N2L 3G1

Additional Information
About My Work
My research underscores the past and present of cities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). I am interested in these cities’ historic evolution and their historic and contemporary planning. Over the years, I have conducted research on Alexandria in Egypt, Acre in Israel, Aleppo in Syria, Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, and in several cities in Jordan, including the capital Amman.
The focus of my research has evolved from urban morphology to an understanding of the flow of planning ideas from the "developing world" into MENA cities and, more recently, to issues of urban governance especially the interplay between state authoritarianism and civil society’s activism.
1. Luna Khirfan (2014). World Heritage, Urban Design and Tourism: Three Cities in the Middle East. Routledge : London
2. Luna Khirfan (editor, June 2017). The Middle East’s New Urban Landscape: Urban Governance and Participatory Planning. McGill-Queens University Press: Montreal

Book Chapters
1. Luna Khirfan (in press). Planning and unplanning Amman: Between formal planning and non-traditional agency. In After the Planners: Agency and Shaping the City edited by Konrad Kickert and Mahyar Arefi. Palgrave
2. Luna Khirfan (2017). Introduction to The Middle East's New Urban Landscape: Urban Governance and Participatory Planning. Edited by Luna Khirfan. McGill-Queens University Press: Montreal. PP: 3-31
3. Luna Khirfan and Bessma Momani (2017). Tracing Participatory Planning In Amman. In The Middle East's New Urban Landscape: Urban Governance and Participatory Planning. Edited by Luna Khirfan. McGill-Queens University Press: Montreal. PP: 79-102
4. Luna Khirfan (2015). Place experience and place making in World Heritage Cities. Chapter 12 in World Heritage, Tourism and Identity: Inscription and Co-production, edited by Laurent Bourdeau, Maria Gravari-Barbas, and Mike Robinson. Ashgate Publishing Co. P: 157-171
5. Luna Khirfan (2014). Learning from Petra. Essay in: Ecotourism, Nature Conservation and Development: Re-imagining Jordan's Shobak Arid Region. Edited by Aziza Chaouni. Birkhauser: Basel. P: 28-31
6. Luna Khirfan (2014). Documentation and Policy Making: Preserving the Built Heritage or the Life Within? Chapter 11 in: World Heritage and National Registers: Stewardship in Perspective, edited by Celeste Guichard and Thomas Gensheimer. Transaction Publications, a branch of Rutgers University Press. P: 123-137

Journal articles (selected)
1. Luna Khirfan and Zahra Jaffer (2014). Sustainable Urbanism in Abu Dhabi: Transferring the Vancouver Model. Journal of Urban Affairs. Volume 36, Issue 3, pages 482-502
2. Luna Khirfan, Bessma Momani, and Zahra Jaffer (2013). Whose authority? Exporting Canadian urban planning expertise to Jordan and Abu Dhabi. Geoforum. Volume 50, pages 1-9
3. Bessma Momani and Luna Khirfan (2013). Explaining the Use of Consultants in Ontario Cities. Canadian Public Administration. Volume 56, Issue 3, pages 391-413
4. Khirfan, Luna and Bessma Momani (2013). (Re)Branding Amman: the values, the image and the making of place. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy. Volume 9, pages 49-65
5. Luna Khirfan (2013). Ornamented Facades and Panoramic Views: The Impact of Tourism Development on al-Salt's Historic Urban Landscape. The International Journal of Islamic Architecture. Volume 2, No. 2, pages 307-324.
6. Luna Khirfan and Zahra Jaffer (2012). Canadian Planning Knowledge in the Middle East: Transferring Toronto to Amman and Vancouver to Abu Dhabi. The Canadian Journal of Urban Research, special issue on Canadian Planning and Policy, pages 1-28
7. Luna Khirfan (2011). From Toronto to Amman: the cross-national transfer of planning knowledge. The Journal of Planning Theory and Practice. Volume 12, Issue 4, pages 525-547
8. Luna Khirfan (2011). GIS, town plan analysis, and historical archival research: understanding the links between inherited built forms and contemporary urban design. Urban Morphology. Volume 5, Issue 1, pages 39-53
9. Luna Khirfan (2010). Traces on the palimpsest: Heritage and the urban forms of Athens and Alexandria. Cities. Volume 27, Issue 5, pages 315-325
10. Luna Khirfan (2010). From Documentation to Policy Making: Management of Built Heritage in Old Aleppo and Old Acre. Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review. Volume 21, Issue 2, pages 35-54
Professional Associations
Middle East Studies Association's annual meeting