JOSELI Macedo remembers the troubles of ordering a hamburger at McDonalds when she first moved from Brazil to the United States.
The South Perth resident and new Curtin University Head of School of Built Environment grew up in Curitiba before moving around the US.
“I moved to the US after completing my undergraduate degree and I had learnt English as a second language – one of my tutors told me that I spoke with wonderful precision but I spoke so slowly,” she said.
“The first time I went to McDonalds, I ordered a hamburger and the girl asked me something, probably asking if I wanted to upsize, but I had no idea what she was saying.”
Dr Macedo said growing up in Curitiba gave her a love of architecture and planning.
“Oh my God, it was a good life, I loved growing up there,” she said.
“Curitiba is well-known in planning circles for its sustainability through transport initiatives and its urban planning.”
Dr Macedo is no stranger to living in new places after living in Cincinnati, Arizona and Gainesville, which is the home of the University of Florida.
“When I lived in the US I would take students to Brazil to give them an idea of what it what is like to live in a non-English speaking country and when the students came back home they saw their own country through a different lens,” she said.
Arriving in Perth only two months ago, Dr Macedo is enjoying her new role and the suburb of South Perth.
“The buildings around Perth are very interesting, I like the older buildings that have been maintained,” she said.
“South Perth is a lovely neighbourhood, I like its proximity to the campus and as an urban designer I like the fact that it is self-contained with shops, cafes and restaurants.”With an academic background in architecture and urbanism, Dr Macedo joins Curtin with more than 20 years’ international higher education experience.
Her areas of expertise include sustainable cities, urban design and international development planning.
Previously, she was Chair of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning; and Director of the Center for International Design and Planning and Faculty Affiliate in both the Center for Latin American Studies and the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Florida in the United States.
Dr Macedo has conducted extensive research in urban areas in Brazil, and more recently in India, and her funded research portfolio totals more than $1.1 million.
She has authored more than 30 articles and book chapters on topics including land policy and land tenure, housing policy, city design and urban form and urban planning history.