Mr David Mathewson

Mr David Mathewson

I have been teaching at the University of Westminster since 2012, where I am currently the Postgraduate Urban Design course leader leading the MA, Diploma and Certificate pathways (programme director), MA International Planning Spatial Planning Pathway Lead and Senior Lecturer. From 2016 to 2024 I undertook my own doctoral research part time, funded by the School of Architecture + Cities which focuses on the historic influence of planning policy around flooding on the urban form and spatial development of Jakarta, Indonesia. As part of this I have successfully won the Globally Engaged Research Scholarship for fieldwork and conference travel to Indonesia in 2016, 2021, 2022 and 2023.

My academic work and research build on more than two decades of urban design, planning and architecture professional practice undertaken in the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Southeast and East Asia, Latin America, the CIS and the USA. Most recently I have been undertaking consultancy projects in international development funded by the UK Department for International Development, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the World Bank, in partnership with organisations such as the Indonesia Infrastructure Initiative (IndII), the Effective Cities team of the Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Facility (NIAF 2), as well as the Max Lock Centre based here in the University of Westminster. I have also undertaken extensive design advisory work with the Design Council (formerly CABE: The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment), and have been a panel member of the Design Review Panel since 2015. Through my own practice I have undertaken urban design and built environment advisory work for Perkins + Will, Stitch Studio and the Design Council.

Prior to joining Westminster I worked as a senior urban designer at several international practices based in London, including Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), AECOM and PLP Architecture on a range of strategic planning, urban and estate regeneration, development framework planning, urban extensions, master planning and conservation planning projects internationally and in the UK. In the USA I worked for several years as an architectural designer on high-end residential and historic conservation projects in the Northeast, Southwest and California, while based in New York City and Dallas, Texas. 


PhD in Urban Studies, University of Westminster, London, UK (Submitted January 2024, Viva Passed April 2024, currently making minor revisions)

MA International Planning + Sustainable Development, University of Westminster, London, UK (with Merit, 2011)

MA in Housing + Urbanism, Architectural Association, London, UK (2005)

BSc in Architecture at the University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas, USA (2001)

My current research focuses on planning policies in response to flooding in Jakarta and the manner in which these decisions have influenced the spatial development of the city historically. I utilise a historical institutionalist and urban morphological methodology to understand institutional characteristics and planning culture on the urban fabric and overall built environment of Jakarta. This includes typological studies and mapping. I have also written extensively on the development and proliferation of tall buildings in London and internationally, post-industrial waterfronts and urban regeneration, as well as the re-linking of cities previously separated by walls during times of war or national crises.

Recent publications

  • Mathewson, D.W. (2020). Conserving Yangon's Colonial Heritage. Urban Design, 153 (Winter 2018), 21-23.
  • Mathewson, D.W. (2020). Jakarta: A Case Study for Flood Challenges. Urban Design, 153 (Winter 2020), 24-26.
  • Mathewson, D.W. (2020). Introduction: Southeast Asia. Urban Design, 153 (Winter 2018), 16-17.
  • Mathewson, D.W. (2019). Una finestra su - Giacarta: Giacarta e le sfide delle megalopoli nel sud del mondo [A window on Jakarta: Jakarta and the challenges of a megalopolis in the southern hemisphere. Urbanistica Informazioni [Urban Information]. 282 (November-December), 74-82.
  • Mathewson, D.W. (2018). Historic institutionalism and urban morphology in Jakarta: Moving towards building flood resiliency into the formal planning and development system. Journal of Regional and City Planning. 29 (3), 188-209. DOI: 10.5614/jrcp.2018.3.2
  • Mathewson, D.W. (2018). New York City's Comprehensive Waterfront Plan. Urban Design, 145 (Winter 2018), 17-19.
  • Mathewson, D.W. and Karaga, K. (2018). Vancouver as a Benchmark. Urban Design, 145 (winter 2018), 25-27.
  • Mathewson, D.W. (2018). Introduction: North America. Urban Design, 145 (Winter 2018), 12-13.
  • Mathewson, D.W. (2016). Whither London's Skyline? Urban Design, 139 (Summer 2016), 20-22.

  • Max Lock Centre
  • Emerging Territories