Marilena Mela studied architecture in Athens and Florence, and holds a Diploma in Architectural Engineering and a Postgraduate Diploma in Architectural Research from the National Technical University of Athens. As a practicing architect, she has collaborated with award-winning architecture studios in Seville and Athens, focusing on the design of cultural and urban projects. She has worked as a teaching assistant in classes of History and Theory of Architecture and studios of Urban Design in NTUA. In her postgraduate thesis, she explored the formation of Mediterranean place image and identity in the intersections of long-term geographical processes. She is currently pursuing her PhD as a Marie Curie Fellow in Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, participating in the HERILAND research project for the planning of European landscapes. Her doctoral research explores the politics of spatial planning in multiple European landscapes, building on the interweaving of official and social understandings of heritage. Her work has been presented in conferences of Urbanism, Heritage Management and Critical Geography.