School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape

News Item

Newcastle University receives over £125,000 from the ESRC to fund “Smart Urban Resilience” project

Professor Simin Davoudi and Dr Ruth Machen from the Global Urban Research Unit (GURU) to begin working on the two year research project.

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Mexican research council (CONACYT) have awarded the research consortium  over £550,000 to investigate the relationships between smart city technologies, disaster risk reduction (DDR) and emergency responses to determine how smart cities (and associated technologies) can enable (or disable) citizen action in planning for, and responding to disasters and emergencies. The study will focus on three medium-sized cities in Mexico; Queretaro, Puebla and Acapulco.

Natural hazards in Mexico are a significant source of human suffering and economic loss. With earthquakes, hurricanes and floods, amongst others, generating estimated annual average losses of $2.9b USD, identifying novel, integrated and shared forms of DRR and emergency response is a national priority. The project recognizes, seeks to capitalize on and find ways to strengthen the already significant role that civil society has historically played in DRR and emergency response in Mexico, through examining pathways for smart city approaches towards these.

The project is a joint initiative between Durham University (Geography Department and Institute of Hazards, Risk and Resilience-IHRR; lead UK institution), the CIDE-Consorcio CentroMet (Centro Latam Digital and CentroMet - CONACYT; lead Mexican institution), Newcastle University (Global Urban Research Unit), and the Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero in Mexico.

About the ESRC

●     The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government. For more information visit The ESRC is the UK’s largest funder of research on the social and economic questions facing us today. It supports the development and training of the UK’s future social scientists and also funds major studies that provide the infrastructure for research. ESRC-funded research informs policymakers and practitioners and helps make businesses, voluntary bodies and other organisations more effective.

●     UK Research and Innovation is a new body which works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish. We aim to maximise the contribution of each of our component parts, working individually and collectively. We work with our many partners to benefit everyone through knowledge, talent and ideas. Operating across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £6 billion, UK Research and Innovation brings together the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and a new organisation, Research England.

published on: 10 January 2019