Naji Makarem

Founder & Managing Partner

I founded UrbanEmerge back in 2017 with Andreas Beavor (Based in China), Jonathan Wilkes (Finance Director based in London) and Emeritus Professor Allen J. Scott (based in Los Angeles). My academic and consulting research and practical engagements are driven by a deep sense of passion and commitment for transforming our economies into just, ecological and circular regional economies. 


I have over 20 years of professional experience in banking, management consultancy and entrepreneurship, and I have been an independent urban and regional development consultant for the past eight years.  Since 2013 I have conducted research projects for the World Bank, the FCDO and UNIDO as well as other private sector clients such as the GSMA and Digital Catapult. My recent consulting work for UNIDO has focused on developing a Poverty Graduation Strategy for Sindh province in Pakistan. Our proposed strategy is called Sustainable Sindh, a bottom-up (community-driven) and top-down (provincial and municipal government-enabled) strategy to develop an ecological and circular regional economy in the region.


In my academic career I am the Co-Director of the MSc. in Urban Economic Development at the Development Planning Unit (DPU) in the Bartlett School of Planning at UCL, and a lecturer in Infrastructure & Industrial Development. My co-authored book with emeritus Prof. Michael Storper, titled “The rise and fall of Urban Economies: Lessons from San Francisco and Los Angeles” identifies business, civic and political leaders' perspectives and world views as a key driver of urban and regional development.


I am passionate about eliminating the use of unsustainable resources and have been committed to plastic-free shopping (and when available, ecological and organic) since the start of 2021 (see photos on Instagram).


I am based in London. 

LinkedIn Profile

Academic profile at UCL

UrbanEmerge Instagram

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