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Cities and International Development

The Cities and International Development (CID) theme focuses on the housing, urban planning, environment and poverty issues facing the rapidly growing cities of the Global South.  Recent topics of research have explored the challenges facing low income majorities and the poorest segments of society, the strategies they employ, and effective policy responses

Our empirical work in a broad range of developing countries focuses on some of the most vulnerable in society and has explored:

  • the way homes and settlements are produced;
  • the nature, extent and causes of homelessness;
  • how and why residents of public housing transform their dwellings;
  • pro-poor approaches to settlement upgrading;
  • how home-based enterprises operate and their effect on the neighbourhood, the use of the home and the livelihoods of the residents;
  • the challenges facing people with disabilities, especially in informal settlements.

We are closely involved in policy making, both through drawing policy implications from our empirical work and through working with, and influencing, national and municipal governments and international organisations such as UN-Habitat.  For example, CID members have recently been involved in producing a report on “The State of Iraqi Cities 2006/2007” for the Iraqi Government and UN-Habitat, to help establish an empirically-based planning context for the reconstruction of urban Iraq.  Currently members are working on developing housing policies for Iraq and Malawi.

The CID theme contributes significantly to the broader research, teaching and learning  within the School.  CID members are also influential in bringing a broader context to other research themes within GURU.  CID members take a leading role in supervising doctoral candidates within the School. Because of our extensive travel and research experience in developing countries, we bring both local and international insight to our supervision. Currently CID members are supervising more than 20 PhD candidates from China, Colombia, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Thailand. Current CID members have supervised 42 PhDs to successful completions.  CID members also deliver a taught postgraduate module on “Planning for Developing Countries”

Our links with many countries provide contexts for students to find bases for research overseas. In recent years we have made it possible for Masters students from Architecture and Planning to carry out research in many countries including China, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, Peru, Indonesia and India.  They have been involved in studies on a variety of topics including disabled Habitat for Humanity’s activities in Kenya, the role of the church in housing provision, transformations and household formation in South Africa, urban villages in China and sustainable development in India.