Arif Hasan is an architect and planner, activist, teacher, researcher and the author of a large number of books, research papers and monographs on urban development issues. He has been the Principal Consultant to the Orangi Pilot Project-Research and Training Institute from 1981 to 2017. He is also founder Chairperson of the Urban Resource Centre, Karachi and a founding member of the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights, Bangkok. All these projects are being replicated in a number of cities worldwide and have received international recognition. He has also taught at Pakistani and European universities, lectured worldwide, been a member of various UN committees, and his activism has led to the modification of a number of projects and policies in favour of low-income communities.
He has also been a Visiting Fellow of the International Institute for Environment and Development, UK and currently he is on the Editorial Boards of a number of international peer-reviewed journals. Also, he is Advisor to the Research Cell at the Dawood University Department of Architecture and Planning, member of the Sindh Government Heritage Committee, Board member of the Sindh Infrastructure Development Company, and member of the Architecture and Planning Board of Studies at the Karachi University, Sir Syed University, and NED University.