The Cities & Infrastructure Programme funds interdisciplinary research projects that address the challenge of creating and maintaining sustainable and resilient cities, with the aim of informing relevant policies and interventions in developing countries.
Strengthening Urban Engagement of Universities in Asia and Africa
This project is concerned with strengthening the urban engagement of universities and understanding how they may contribute more effectively to developing sustainable cities in the context of major social, cultural, environmental and economic challenges facing the global south.
This project uses a set of well-proven benchmarking tools as its principal method and seeks to strengthen the capacity of universities to contribute to city resilience towards natural and human-made disasters. Examples of urban engagement include supporting the development of physical infrastructure, ecological sustainability, and social inclusion, including of migrants. It calls upon contributions from science and engineering, the arts, environmental sciences, social sciences and business studies. It assesses the extent to which universities in the six countries under study can respond to demands of society, and how through dialogue with city stakeholders this can be enhanced and impact on policy; it uses a collaborative team from the UK and emerging economies.
Initial work is underway in each country to profile the engagement role of universities in the cities of Sanandaj, Duhok, Manila, Johannesburg, Dar es Salem and Harare. In parallel, the team is preparing cross-cutting thematic papers in fields concerning the contribution of HEIs systems in these cities to issues that include migration, gender, environmental resilience, energy and economic development.
The project is led by the University of Glasgow and includes international partners from Iran, Iraq, the Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
Some of the team can be seen in the photo below, taken at a preliminary planning meeting held prior to submitting the proposal in South Africa in June 2017.
Principal Investigator: Professor Michael Osborne, University of Glasgow
Co-Investigators: Dr Lavinia Hirsu, University of Glasgow; Dr Katarzyna Borkowska, University of Glasgow; Dr Muir Houston, University of Glasgow; Dr Neil Burnside, University of Glasgow
We foster international collaboration in the humanities and social sciences, and promote the sharing of international perspectives on global challenges.