Nabeel Hamdi qualified as an architect at the Architectural Association in London 1968. He worked for the Greater London Council between 1969 and 1978, where his award-winning housing projects established his reputation in participatory design and planning. 1981 to 1990 he was Associate Professor of Housing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he was later awarded a Ford International Career Development Professorship.
In 1997 Nabeel won the UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour for his work on Community Action Planning. He founded the Masters course in Development Practice at Oxford Brookes University in 1992 which was awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2001. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Pretoria, South Africa in 2008. He is currently Professor Emeritus of Housing and Urban Development at Oxford Brookes University and teaching fellow at The Development Planning Unit, University College, London. He has been an Arup Fellow at the University of Cape Town and is adjunct professor at the National University of Technology, Trondhiem, Norway.
Nabeel has consulted on participatory action planning and upgrading of slums in cities to all major international development agencies, and to charities and NGOs worldwide. He is the author of Small Change (Earthscan, 2004), Housing Without Houses (IT Publications, 1995), co-author ofMaking Micro Plans (IT Publications 1988) and Action Planning for Cities (John Wiley and Sons, 1997), and editor of the collected volumes Educating for Real (IT Publications 1996) and Urban Futures (IT Publications 2005).