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ESRC Strategic Network: Data and Cities as Complex Adaptive Systems (2015 – 2017)

The ESRC Strategic Network: Data and Cities as Complex Adaptive Systems (DACAS) seeks to promote a more holistic approach through the integration of a wide range of data sources. By bringing together an international group of researchers from a range of different fields, the project supports the development of an innovative and cross-disciplinary set of tools to gather and interpret emerging data sources. The findings will benefits policy-makers, academics and other actors seeking to develop evidence-based responses to urban issues through the use of open data sources.

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Bulgaria’s Forgotten Elderly: a human ecosystem approach to ageing (2015 – 2017)

How do senior citizens in Bulgaria cope under conditions of diminishing pensions, rising living costs, uncertain health care provision, dilapidating housing and truncated family ties? This project uncovers the main concerns of Bulgaria’s abandoned elderly in cities, towns and villages. It provides much-needed insights into the challenges that senior citizens face in their everyday lives.

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Sanitation and Differentiation in Urban China (2012 – 2013)

Defecation in rapidly transforming cities may serve as an axis, linking the individual and the social, private perceptions and public policy, as well as other connected yet seemingly remote dimensions of urban life. This project contributes to a better understanding of one of the most pertaining issues for growing and developing cities and their existing and future residents: appropriate urban sanitation. Findings contribute directly to knowledge in human geography, urban anthropology and social/environmental psychology; they inform policy-makers and practitioners and advance efforts toward sustainable urban development.

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Scarcity and Creativity in the Built Environment (2010 – 2013)

Scarcity and Creativity in the Built Environment (SCIBE) explores how conditions of scarcity might affect the creativity of the different actors involved in the production of architecture and urban design, and how design-led actions might improve the built environment in the future. The research is based on the analysis of processes in four European cities: London, Oslo, Reykjavik and Vienna.

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Lives on the Borderland: the sociospatial restructuring of a neighbourhood in Shanghai (2006 – 2010)

This project explores urban borderlands as the formation, negotiation, and maintenance of multiple individual and group identities under coexistence. On the example of a sociospatially fragmented district of contemporary Shanghai, the project asks how large-scale political and economic processes of urban transformation are experienced on the ground. Drawing on the literature in geography, anthropology and environmental psychology, it combines qualitative and quantitative methods for data collection and analysis. The study provides a phenomenological account on everyday life under coexistence under sociospatial transition in contemporary Shanghai.

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Future City Systems (2016)

This is a collaborative project between the Manchester School of Architecture (University of Manchester/Manchester Metropolitan University) and Architectural Association. Complexity, Planning and Urbanism (CPU) and Emergent Technologies and Design (EmTech) will work together to develop novel approaches to research- and evidence-based architectural and urban design.