Collaborative projects between UK and Canada-based researchers examine what makes for a successful city

9 May 2022

The British Academy and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) have awarded funding to six research projects investigating what makes a good city.

Funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the awards follow a 2022 Knowledge Frontiers Symposium held by the British Academy and CIFAR which brought together early-career researchers across SHAPE (Social Sciences, Humanities and the Arts for People and the Economy) to explore varied understandings and experiences of what makes a good city. The funding will allow the researchers to pursue these questions further and will help strengthen ties between researchers based in the UK and Canada.

The grants serve to highlight the importance of collaborative engagement between disciplines, between nations and between communities of research, practice and policy.

Awarded projects include:

  • “Smart Energy Justice in Cities: Off-grid Renewable Energy for (re)defining Energy Access and Use in Urban Settings” Dr Kerry Bobbins, University of Exeter; and Dr Chad Walker, University of Waterloo.
  • “Network on Devolution, Local Autonomy, and the Multi-level Governance of Place in Britain and Canada” Dr Matthew Wargent, Cardiff University; and Dr Zack Taylor, University of Western Ontario.
  • “Exploring Local Engagement and Participatory Place Branding Through the Roll-out of Local Smart Grids in Cities Within the UK and Canada” Dr Gianinna Warren, Middlesex University; and Dr Chad Walker, University of Waterloo.
  • “Critically Examining the 'Good City': The Role of Interdisciplinarity for Climate Change Outcomes Under the Nature in the City Paradigm” Dr Tanvi Bhatkal, Institute for Development Studies; Dr Marielle Papin, McGill University,; Dr Kerry Bobbins, University of Exeter; Dr Kevin Manaugh, McGill University; Dr Camilo Ordonez Barona, University of Toronto Mississaugua; and Dr James Connolly, University of British Columbia,
  • “What is the Street for? Interrogating ‘Ways of Seeing’ and the Epistemic Justice of Reconfiguring Public Space” Dr Emilia Smeds, University of Westminster; Dr Kevin Manaugh, McGill University; Dr James Connolly, University of British Columbia; and Dr Matthew Wargent, Cardiff University
  • “Decolonial Cities: Pluralising ‘Goodness’ Through Sharing Theorisations and Practices” Dr Tanzil Shafique, Sheffield University; Dr Rachael Baker, Queen’s University; Dr Melanie Dennis Unrau, University of Manitoba; Dr Eray Cayli, London School of Economics; Dr Aditya Ramesh, University of Manchester; Dr Bobby Farnan, University of York; Dr Angela Becher, University of Liverpool; Dr Grace Adeniyi-Ogunyankin, Queen’s University; Dr Lakshmi Rajendran, University College London; Dr Dena Quaddumi, University of Leeds; and Dr Delacy Tedesco, University of Exeter

These activities aim to encourage and establish international engagement and collaboration between early-career researchers based in Canada and the United Kingdom from a broad range of disciplines within the humanities and social sciences, encouraging the exchange of ideas across both disciplinary and national boundaries.

Professor Simon Goldhill, the British Academy’s Foreign Secretary and Vice-President, commented:

“It is exciting to see the Academy continue its work forging and strengthening relations between research communities across the world. As well as facilitating collaboration between researchers in Canada and the UK, this funding will help generate new and important insights for questions surrounding the opportunities and challenges facing the contemporary city. From climate change to the delegation of decision-making, these projects address urgent social and political issues. We are thrilled to continue our work with CIFAR on such important topics.”

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

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