The British Academy announces funding for 23 research projects tackling urbanisation and well-being in the Global South

17 Dec 2019

The British Academy today announces funding for 23 new research projects exploring how formal and informal infrastructures interact to affect the well-being of people in cities across the Global South.

Through the Urban Infrastructures of Well-Being programme, which is funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy under the Global Challenges Research Fund, the British Academy seeks to support innovative interdisciplinary research with the potential to improve the lives of those living through rapid urbanisation and infrastructure development in cities of the Global South. Each project aims to produce new knowledge and engagement which could inform the development of more impactful policies and interventions in the urban areas of developing countries.

The projects funded under this programme involve collaborations between researchers based at 20 different UK universities and over 60 scholars from institutions in the Global South. It is expected that the research undertaken as part of this programme will benefit over 20 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

This new cohort of award-holders will explore a wide range of topical issues, from improving water management infrastructure in Colombia for better climate change adaptation to alleviating the impacts of Gaza’s energy crisis.

Professor Simon Goldhill, Foreign Secretary and Vice-President of the British Academy, said:

“The fastest growing cities are in developing countries of the Global South. These cities already struggle to provide adequate infrastructure and stand to be overwhelmed by future demand. In this context, well-being – which extends beyond physical health to include all dimensions of material, social and mental welfare – becomes an urgent issue necessitating creative thinking and practical solutions.

“This exciting set of new projects builds on the British Academy’s Cities & Infrastructure programme and highlights the importance of interdisciplinary research – between the social sciences and the humanities on the one hand and the engineering sciences on the other – to tackling the major global challenges facing us today. I look forward to following the research teams’ progress over the next 21 months.”

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