Urban Infrastructures of Well-Being

This programme aims to support interdisciplinary research that explores how formal and informal infrastructures interact to affect the well-being of people in cities across the Global South.
Start date
21 months
Programme status

The UN estimates that by 2050 68% of the world population will live in cities. 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. Also by 2050 the UN estimates that the current slum (informal) population of one billion will have grown to three billion. This places immeasurable pressure on urban infrastructure, on water supplies, the environment, health, sanitation, housing, energy, transport, public health, and on all aspects of social and community life. In this context, well-being, which includes but extends beyond physical health to incorporate all dimensions of material, social and mental welfare, becomes an urgent issue necessitating creative thinking and practical solutions. 

This programme supports interdisciplinary research across the social and engineering sciences and the humanities looking to explore how formal and informal infrastructures interact to affect the well-being of people in cities across the Global South. The projects aim to: 

  • Deliver research excellence with development impact; 
  • Strengthen the evidence base on what works at the critical junctions of formal and informal infrastructures, including what works in different contexts; 
  • Provide insights to enable new approaches to infrastructure development and innovative directions in implementation by policy makers and practitioners.

Programme highlights

Cities and Displacement

'It's now or never. We can't keep living a dream.'

Living with Extreme Heat in Low-Income Communities in Ghana

Urban Farming in Freetown Sierra Leone

Garbage, Evictions and Real Estate in Karachi

Sustainability and Indoor Air Quality in Bengaluru

Experimenting with Water in Gilgit, Pakistan

Climate Change, Well-Being and Agriculture in Indian Cities

School Hedges: Experiments in Improving Air Quality in Buenos Aires

What's in a Metre? Water and Power in Mumbai

Churches, Gangs, Water and Sanitation in Lusaka and Cape Town

Water Management on the Periphery of Medellin, Colombia

Jumping for Health in Nairobi

Navigating Nairobi

Hanoi on the Move

The Tyres, the Road, and the Vulcanizers who Keep Lagos Moving

'A better life awaits you'. Plastic recycling in Dharavi, Mumbai

Electricity and Mental Health in Gaza

Contact details

For further information, please contact [email protected] or call 020 7969 5220.


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