Research for policy and practice

ESRC-DFID research for policy and practice: urban community resilience

Photo: © Martin Roemers/Panos Pictures

Cities have the potential to be great drivers of improvements in human wellbeing. And yet, poverty is an unrelenting feature of urban life. Addressing urban poverty and inequality is as much an infrastructure challenge as it is a challenge requiring political and social transformation. This collection of ESRC-DFID-funded research interrogates what makes cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable in times when migration and urbanisation processes are intensifying globally.

The studies from Bangladesh, Cape Verde, Nepal, Nigeria, South Sudan, and Timor-Leste articulate that the everyday lived realities of the most marginalised or least resourced urban residents matter, and are relevant to different scales of development and governance from hyper-local issues to global advocacy around urban sustainability through the New Urban Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Focus projects: 

Traffic jam, Dhaka, Bangladesh
This project seeks to incorporate migrant perspectives and sources of innovation into urban planning to build safer and more sustainable cities, addressing environmental sustainability, poverty, and conflict and security.
Examining the energy practices of very poor women, men and young people living in informal settlements in peri-urban situations in Nigeria, South Sudan, Nepal and Bangladesh and how these are changing, drawing comparative lessons.
Investigating the role of sport, cultural and educational programmes in sustainable development among young people in low-income countries, tackling poverty, conflict in fragile states, environmental sustainability, and gender inequality.
Unrest in Nigeria. Charred vehicle remains after a bomb blast at Terminus market in Jos.
This mixed-methods research aims to bring together key development concerns related to sustainable livelihoods, social vulnerability, and poverty to build an alternative account of 'insecurity and crime' in African cities.