The British Academy announces Cities & Infrastructure Programme awards

11 Sep 2017

The British Academy has announced the successful applicants to its new Cities & Infrastructure research funding programme.

The programme is part of the £1.5 billion Global Challenges Research Fund and is being delivered by the British Academy on behalf of all the national academies.

Altogether, the Academy will support seventeen interdisciplinary research projects, with awards of up to £300,000 each.

The overall aim of the programme is to ensure that the best UK research across the disciplinary spectrum takes a leading role in addressing the challenges of creating and maintaining sustainable and resilient cities in developing countries.

The research projects funded under the programme will generate evidence to inform future policies and interventions aimed at improving the lives and welfare of people in the developing world by making cities more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Professor Ash Amin, Foreign Secretary and Vice-President of the British Academy, described sustainable urbanisation as “one of the main and more pressing challenges of the contemporary world” and stressed the need for interdisciplinary research.

He said: “Creating sustainable and resilient cities, and addressing the complex problems posed by development, requires a collaborative approach across disciplines and communities of practice.

“The research projects supported by the British Academy through the Cities & Infrastructure Programme aim to enhance our understanding of the challenges facing cities today, particularly in developing countries, and contribute towards inclusive and collaborative policy interventions designed to move us closer to the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”

The 2017 awardees are:

• Dr Diane Archer, Senior Researcher, International Institute for Environment and Development – Towards Inclusive Health Systems and Infrastructure Access: Enhancing the Well-Being of Refugees in East African Cities

Dr Diana Bell, Senior Lecturer, University of East Anglia – Mexico's Megalopolis as a Model for the Key Role of Watershed Protection to Sustainable Cities

• Dr Steve Cinderby, Senior Research Leader, Stockholm Environment Institute, University of York – Implementing Creative Methodological Innovations for Inclusive Sustainable Transport Planning (I-CMIIST)

• Professor Robin Coningham, UNESCO Chair in Archaeological Ethics and Practice in Cultural Heritage, Durham University – Reducing Disaster Risk to Life and Livelihoods by Evaluating the Seismic Safety of Kathmandu's Historic Urban Infrastructure

• Dr Ayona Datta, Reader in Urban Futures, King's College London – Disconnected Infrastructures and Violence Against Women (VAW): Innovating Digital Technologies in Low-Income Neighbourhoods to Produce Safer Indian Cities

• Dr David Garbin, Senior Lecturer of Sociology, University of Kent – Religious Urbanisation and Infrastructural Lives in African Mega-Cities: Moral Economies of Development in Kinshasa and Lagos

• Professor Katherine V. Gough, Professor of Human Geography, Loughborough University – Vulnerability to Extreme Weather Events in Cities: Implications for Infrastructure and Livelihoods (VEWEC)

• Dr Charlotte Lemanski, Senior Lecturer of Geography, University of Cambridge – Energy Innovation for Low-Cost Housing in India and South Africa: Strategies for Interdisciplinary and Cross-Institutional Dialogue

• Professor Henrietta Moore, Director of the Institute for Global Prosperity, University College London – Public Services and Vulnerability in the Lebanese Context of Large-Scale Displacement

Professor Paul Nightingale, Professor of Strategy and Deputy Director of the Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex – Capability Building for Infrastructure Delivery

• Professor Michael Osborne, Professor of Adult and Lifelong Learning, University of Glasgow – Strengthening Urban Engagement of Universities in Asia and Africa (SUEUAA)

Dr Philipp Rode, Associate Professorial Research Fellow, LSE and Executive Director of LSE Cities, London School of Economics and Political Science – The Governance of Infrastructure Interfaces: Cities, technical systems and institutional connections

Dr Maria Paola Scaparra, Reader in Management Science, University of Kent – Optimal Investment Strategies to Minimize Flood Impact on Road Infrastructure in Vietnam

• Dr Harry Smith, Associate Professor, School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society, Heriot-Watt University – Co-Production of Landslide Risk Management Strategies Through Development of Community-Based Infrastructure in Latin American Cities

• Professor Jonathan Spencer, Regius Professor of South Asian Language, Culture and Society, University of Edinburgh – Rebuilding Kinship and Care after Dislocation in Urban South Asia: Colombo and Lahore Compared

• Professor John Twigg, Principal Research Fellow of Risk and Resilience, Overseas Development Institute – Safer Self-Recovery: Promoting Resilient Urban Reconstruction after Disasters

• Dr Antonis Vradis, Lecturer and Vice-Chancellor's Research Fellow of Geography, Loughborough University – NutriCities: Building Urban Resilience Through Grassroots Nutritional Infrastructures.

For further details about the research projects, please see here.

For more information on the Cities & Infrastructure Programme, visit 

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For further information contact the Press Office on [email protected]  / 07500 010 432.

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