Cities & Environment
The interdisciplinary community leading this research has focused on the process and physical forms that have resulted from transformation, redevelopment and regeneration strategies in cities across Latin America.
The starting point is the premise that urban development is the result of complex socio-spatial processes. The approach to this complexity is rooted on a new political economy perspective, looking not only at how politics and economics influence each other, but also at how these are mediated by social (and cultural) institutions, and how the relations between all three evolve historically. Our interest is on crating links between academia, communities and public and private institutions in order to co-develop research agendas and contribute with knowledge to decision-making and policy development. In the context of growing innovative strategies for urban development in Latin America, we understand the danger of direct transfer of ideas and solutions. We start from the premise that places can learn from other experiences, as long as these are contextualised and re-contextualised to the specific ecosystems. This process requires working closely to communities and organisations affected by change and development with an inclusive, participatory and collaborative approach.
The work carried out by a research group led by Soledad is always carried out in coordination with local teams, a relationship that is established prior to the begining of any project. The methodology used is mostly qualitative and collaborative work with local communities, applying principles of 'co-creation' and 'knowledge dialogue'.
During this year the group is conducting three parallel investigations around Smart cities, Climate change and Hazards & risk:
- Climate-smart Resilient communities
- Mexico Co-created Smart City Solutions
- Ecuador energy and environment research agenda
- Community disaster recovery