Brock Hicks

Brock is a PlanAdapt Fellow based in Nairobi, Kenya.

Brock is an urban planner and researcher working at the intersection of climate and urbanization. He has 12+ years of experience in East Africa, Latin America, and the US. He excels at managing complex research projects and development programs, building strategic partnerships and connecting the dots from the big picture to the details.

Three common threads tie his interests together: (1) rapid urbanization, displacement, migration, and inclusive climate action; (2) cities as frontline actors confronting spatial inequalities and climate change; and (3) the opportunity for cities to serve as centers for collaboration and innovation in governance and the co-production of knowledge and policy by local governments, civil society, academia, and grassroots social movements. See greater detail on his website.

Brock led research in 2022 to learn from the groundbreaking Mukuru Special Planning Area (in Nairobi), an initiative that pioneered new approaches in informal settlement upgrading — in particular, partnerships between government and communities for locally-led adaptation and multisectoral planning to upgrade at scale. The resulting guides, methodologies and videos are being used to support locally-led adaptation in cities across Africa.

He has diverse experience in urban planning and climate change, most prominently as a planner at UrbanFootprint where he developed and managed geospatial models for estimating the effects of different urban development patterns on a suite of resource consumption, land use, climate and accessibility metrics. He also helped develop nationwide community vulnerability indices for Covid-19 response and recovery work to allocate limited resources and advocate for federal relief resources.

Brock has a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs (in the US) where he focused on informal urbanization in the global South. For his master’s thesis, he developed longitudinal and spatial models to measure the relationship between charter school growth and neighborhood change in Los Angeles. In collaboration with a former professor, he refined the geospatial models, leading to publication in the journal Education and Urban Society.

For more, see Brock’s website and LinkedIn profile.