Maria Jesus Alfaro (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Project Title: Youth Happiness in the Grey City - Young people’s experiences of happiness and wellbeing in the urban environment of Lima, Peru.
Funded by the Government of Peru, CIENCIACTIVA programme; supervised by Professor Peter Kraftl and Dr Sophie Hadfield Hill.
Maria Jesus Alfaro is a Peruvian Architect with a master’s degree on construction and real estate management. Her research examines children's happiness in urban environments. It explores children and young people’s understandings and everyday experiences of happiness and wellbeing as well as their relationships with the public urban environment, addressing the possibilities of the city as an inclusive agent capable of boosting the community wellbeing and quality of life.
She uses a mixed methods approach between qualitative and quantitative data collection to discuss the importance of urban design for the child’s wellbeing through the evidence of the physical environment and the emotional attachment to it in terms of quality of built environment, public space facilities, sense of belonging, and mobility options.
The research takes place in Lima, Peru, Latin America and aims to portray understandings and perceptions of children’s happiness, and place experiences of children’s mobility related to positive wellbeing within a challenging context constantly changing by poverty, inequality, economic development, and discrimination on terms of race and sex.
Twitter: @majealfaro Webpage: www.urbanwb.com
Amy Walker (A.L.Walker.email@example.com)
Project Title: Children's Experience of Mobility in Post-Separation Families: Intimacy, Home and Journeying
Funded by the ESRC, Supervised by Professor Peter Kraftl and Dr Sophie Hadfield-Hill
Amy Walker is doctoral researcher interested in the geographies and mobilities of children and young people with separated parents. Using a combination of in-depth interviews and visual/audio methods, her research explores young people’s experiences of journeying between their parents houses. Taking journeying to encompass moments of preparing, leaving, travelling and arriving, the research will explore the varying spatial, material and temporal configurations of these journeys and their entanglements with the emotions, affects, moods, intimacies and distances produced when mobile.
It will therefore ask questions of the practices and processes established to manage these complex geographies. Whilst also exploring the ways in which this journeying shapes, and is shaped by, children's relationships with their family members, their home-making practices, and the degree and forms of agency they are able to exercise.
Stuart Bowles (SRB656@student.bham.ac.uk)
Project title: Can Alternative Currencies Support Decentralised Renewable Energy?
Funded by the ESRC, supervised by Dr Rosie Day and Dr John Round.
Stuart is researching potential relationships between alternative currency systems and a transition to sustainability. Alternative currencies include local examples; Bristol Pound, Chiemgauer and Sardex, alongside global examples; Bitcoin and Ethereum. Relationships may include using local currencies to fund energy efficiency improvements, localise supply chains or raise finance for renewable energy. The “blockchain” technology behind Bitcoin may support distributed ownership, automated grid systems and currency “backed” by energy.
Hannah Budnitz (HDB694@student.bham.ac.uk)
Project title: (Tele)commuting, Cities and Weather Conditions.
Funded by NERC and ESRC through the DREAM CDT. Supervised by Dr Emmanouil Tranos and Professor Lee Chapman.
My research project brings together the study of the changing nature of work and travel in recent years, in part due to technology, with an understanding of the increasing risks to transport infrastructure and travel arising from severe weather events and climate change. The integration of these areas of study results in my overarching research question: Do new technologies and increased flexibility in the economy result in an increased ability of commuters to respond to severe weather, risk, and disruption, thereby increasing resilience? To answer this question, I combine my knowledge and experience as a professional transport planner with data science and econometric methods to analyse a variety of data sources. My aim is to provide evidence of the combined or interacting influences of weather and technology on travel behaviour, including not travelling. Considering the potential benefits to economic and social resilience, I will also explore how such behaviours may be reinforced and replicated.
Giulia Chiara Ceresa (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Supervised by Professor Peter Kraftl and Dr Sophie Hadfield-Hill.
Giulia’s research intends to explore children's everyday use of space in a variety of alternative education sites in Italy. The core project consists in an investigation of more than ten learning spaces, which include both mainstream education – state and private – as well as a variety of alternative school environments that have emerged in recent years (Steiner schools, Montessori schools, homeschooling, care farms, forest schools). One of the particularities of the Italian education panorama resides in the fact that experimentations have also been integrated into state schools, resulting in a phenomenon of commingling of education typologies . The research project utilizes qualitative, ethnographic, participatory methodologies. Giulia is supervised by Peter Kraftl and Sophie Hadfield-Hill.
Giulia received the highest mark for her undergraduate degree in human sciences and philosophy (110/110 cum laude) and she subsequently obtained a postgraduate degree in humanities 110/110) at University of Milan. Giulia’s curriculum vitae demonstrates the interdisciplinary character of her approach, which has permitted her, for instance, to work for the Fondo Ambiente Italiano, the National Trust for Italy, and to teach geography in various schools of Milan.
Gina Hasibuan (email@example.com)
Project Title: Sustainable Affordable Housing Development in Indonesia.
Funded by the Indonesian Endowment Fund for Education scholarship (LPDP). Supervised by Dr Peter Lee and Professor Peter Kraftl.
Gina is interested in housing, collaborative planning and urban sustainability. Her research is on the housing sector in Indonesia which is in a critical condition where the majority of low-income citizens live in substandard dwellings, and the housing backlog is increasing every year. The housing problem becomes more urgent when ‘sustainability' is considered. Despite much research on sustainable housing in Indonesian context, there is a dearth of research examining the role of collaborative governance, as the current approach still shows fragmentation between stakeholders and community, and thus this research attempts to fill the gap. Her research aims to critically assess the role of governance in addressing sustainable affordable housing in Indonesia and understanding informal settlements and interventions in Indonesia rather than imposing a framework from western perspectives. Her research is expected to contribute to the existing literature on urban sustainability, sustainable housing and collaborative planning by exploring its relevance and transferability to the Indonesian context as a result of what Indonesia has missed due to its abrupt transition from a centralised to a decentralised system.
Hikmah Kamarudin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Project title: Physical access for disabled people's inclusion in Kuala Lumpur city centre.
Funded by the Government of Malaysia and supervised by Dr Rosie Day and Dr Lauren Andres.
Physical access to the city is vital in enabling disabled people to fully enjoy the services and facilities provided in urban areas, without discrimination. However, the issue of accessibility of services, facilities and infrastructure for disabled people inclusion has been long highlighted by researchers as needing more attention. In examining physical access and inclusion, cities are key spaces to be interrogated where research may examine the physical urban form such as the accessibility of streets, buildings and forms of transportation. Her background in architecture and building surveying, and her passion for working for the rights of disabled people has brought Hikmah to her current research. Hikmah investigates physical access implementation gaps that affect the inclusion of disabled people in society. She explores various stakeholders’ perspectives on the provision of physical access for disabled people in Kuala Lumpur city centre by undertaking in-depth data collection involving professional interview and go-along interview methods. The research findings are expected to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in planning and implementation for an inclusive built environment and provide insights for a better understanding of the facilitation of physical access for disabled people’s inclusion in society.
Arooj Khan (Axk734@bham.ac.uk)
Project title: Maps. Citizenship. Strategic regeneration. Young lives. Mapping the implementation of strategic regeneration within Tilbury Town.
Supervised by Professor Peter Kraftl and Dr Sophie Hadfield-Hill
Arooj is a human geographer interested in utilising creative research methods to map the multisensory changes that occur as a result of regeneration. Her research observes and analyses the ongoing regeneration of Thurrock in Essex, more specifically the nuanced changes that occur as a result of regeneration, the changing smells, new sounds, different textures etc. Her work borrows from a non-representational theory framework in order to focus on embodied experiences of change amongst the young residents; as well as an intersectional framework in order to understand the impact of various interlocking discourses of power which shape their individual experiences.
This approach is linked to the creation of a series of creative ‘sense-maps’, such as soundscapes; smell maps; focus groups; photographs and the mapping of 'affective' sites in the Thurrock area. The final pieces; the processes which contribute to the end product; and thoughts post-project will be subjected to an analysis in order to understand how changes to local physical and cultural landscapes affect the lives of young people within the vicinity.
Ultimately, through its empirical discussion, this research aims to utilise art to elicit more nuances theoretical considerations of the impact of regeneration on children and young people facing disadvantage.
Catherine Oliver (C.Oliver.email@example.com)
Project title: The changing spaces of animal rights activism.
Supervised by Dr Patricia Noxolo and Professor Dominique Moran
Catherine’s doctoral research traces the historical and contemporary animal rights and vegan movements, through engagements, entanglements, and encounters with different kinds of subjects, to imagine futures in which humans, animals and the earth can co-exist less violently. Catherine combines three methodologies to consider the entanglements of bodies, through the non-linearity of pasts, presents, and futures: (auto-)ethnography with animals; interviews and oral histories with activists; and ethnographies of and in the archives. The “beyond” is thus situated as a vital site for enacting nonviolent futures, enacted through a feminist politics of possibility and a new conception of friendship as a necessary political endeavour. This thesis is situated somewhere between non-human geographies; more-than-human geographies; and animal geographies; and the geographies of embodiment, of activism, and of consumption and representation.
Catherine is currently curating the Animal Rights Collection for the British Library’s ‘Archiving Activism’ project (forthcoming at archivingactivism.com) which traces the entangled histories of animal rights activism in the UK, through the archives of Richard D. Ryder.
Catherine’s other research includes a project entitled ‘(dis-)Belonging Bodies: negotiating outsider-ness and embodied surveillance in academic conferences’, with colleague Amelia Morris, exploring the exclusionary dynamics of academic conferences.
Tess Osborne (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Project Title: Exploring the past with the body: a biosocial investigation of heritage.
Funded by the ESRC, supervised by Dr Jessica Pykett and Dr Phil Jones.
I am a social geographer with a focus in two connecting areas: first, exploring the application of technology as a research tool and in everyday life, including biosensing, multimedia, and GIS; second, examining questions around memory, emotions, and embodiment, particularly how these relate to the built environment. Bridging these areas is an interest in the biosocial, a consideration of the biological, psychological, geographical and sociological underpinnings that influence people’s engagement with space. My research seeks to better understand how urban heritage can shape people’s emotional responses using biosensing technology. The project applies geographic and psychological theory to focus on how these psychophysiological responses are influenced by the physical, the social, and the symbolic aspects of one’s immediate surroundings and how they can influence the way that people feel about the spaces themselves.
Nurulhusna Qamaruz Zaman (email@example.com)
Project title: Sustainable Transformation of Public Places.
Funded by Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA), Malaysia. Supervised by Dr Phil Jones and Dr Sophie Hadfield-Hill.
Nurulhusnais researching the production of meaningful public spaces in the Malaysian multicultural context, particularly within the post-colonial historic core. This research examines how bottom up approaches to urban regeneration empower citizen participation and strengthen the local capacity through placemaking and collaborative planning approaches. Two methods were used, first: observation of placemaking activities conducted by the local authority and second: interviews with participants ranging from policy makers, consultants, professionals, specialists to local communities. The research will provide significant input on emotional geographies of placemaking practices from urbanisation and urbanism perspectives in the context of a multicultural country. Nurulhusna is a lecturer (on study leave) in the Center of Studies for Architecture at the Universiti Teknologi MARA, with a background in Architecture and Urban Design.
Bahtiar Rifai (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Project Title: Impact of Knowledge Flows on Innovation Performance in Southeast Asia and China.
Funded by the Ministry of Research, Education and Technology of the Republic of Indonesia. Supervised by Dr Emmanouil Tranos and Dr Zhaoya Gong
Bahtiar is economic geographer interested in regional development. Since knowledge is important for economy and development, sufficient capacity of knowledge will determine the performance of a region. In reality, not all regions have similar capacities of knowledge, leading to flows of knowledge across regions. Global North (GN) countries have been dominating in international scientific knowledge creation, meanwhile Global South (GS) countries have limitations on education and research quality. This study aims to analyse knowledge flows from GN to GS countries and identify how the structure of knowledge networks have changed over 11 years. Southeast Asia countries and China have been selected as representative of GS countries which have particular characteristic as archipelagic region which is dissimilar from other regions such as European Union, South Africa and South America. Using secondary data from the Scopus website, structure of knowledge flows is analysed through degree centrality of co-authorship papers. Panel data analysis is used to identify determinant factors of knowledge flows and the impact of knowledge flows on innovation in regions. Through empirical findings, the study contributes to work on knowledge flows from GS countries’ perspective and its impact at regional level.
Caroline Russell (CXR787@student.bham.ac.uk)
Project title: Actionable knowledge for disaster risk reduction: Collaborative governance to enhance community resilience to natural hazards.
Funded by NERC/DfID’s Science for Humanitarian Emergencies and Resilience (SHEAR) initiative. Supervised byDr Julian Clark, Professor David Hannah and Dr Fraser Sugden.
Wicked environmental problems represent some of the biggest challenges to achieving the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) through its integration into Climate Change Adaptation and International Development agendas is one such complex problem. Part of the UN approach towards wicked problems is an emphasis on inclusion of grassroots, multi-actor collaborative action. Collaborative governance has become a buzz word for global environmental actions, yet in Nepal little is known about how this international agenda is actually being implemented. My research explores collaborative governance as part of the global agenda to tackle wicked environmental problems. I use political ecology as a guiding analytic to explore power dynamics in current governance systems in the Disaster Risk Reduction/Climate Change Adaptation nexus in Western Nepal. My research aims to assess how collaborative models are being mobilised in order to contribute to current knowledge on Nepali DRR. Further, I aim to explore if collaborative governance is a useful tool for understanding human and environment interaction and how this can aid in tackling wicked environmental problems.
Yanhui Shi (email@example.com)
Project title: A cross-cultural comparative study of urban form.
Funded by the China Scholarship Council. Supervised by Dr Jeremy Whitehand and Professor Rob Mackenzie.
Yanhui is interested in the urban landscape and its evolutionary process in different cultural contexts. She aims to compare residential buildings and related aspects of urban form, taking Zhengzhou, China, and Birmingham, UK as examples. For methodology, the work of the Conzenian School based in the Urban Morphology Research Group (UMRG) in the University of Birmingham provides a solid base. Starting from the basic methods of morphogenetic analysis developed by successive members of the Group, the evolving process and form of residential buildings and city pattern of Zhengzhou and Birmingham in their industrial and post-industrial periods will be explored. The sources to be made use of include maps, town plans, surveys, remote sensing images, historical images of residential buildings, documents, and field investigation.
Faye Shortland (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Project title: ‘Living Heritage’ and living heritage: The ontology and experience of cultural landscapes in the English Lake District.
Funded by the AHRC through the M3C DTP. Supervised by Dr Steven Emery and Dr Katy Bennett (University of Leicester)
I am human geography PhD student in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham, funded by the Midlands 3 Cities Arts and Humanities Research Council DTP. My PhD explores the ontology and experience of cultural landscapes and draws conceptually from work in both geography and anthropology. My research is focused on the newly inscribed UNESCO World Heritage Site, the English Lake District. The aim of my research is to understand how different groups, involved with the management of the landscape, experience the landscape and to understand their notions of heritage. I aim to examine how these different groups represent the landscape in which they live and work and how this influences management and policy making. My wider research will facilitate stakeholder engagement around heritage, landscape, and environmental management.
Ian Slesinger (email@example.com)
Project title: Waging safer war?: technology, territory and the geopolitical management of security in Israel's conflict with Gaza 2005-2016.
Funded by the ESRC. Supervised by Dr Julian Clark and Dr Sara Fregonese.
Ian is a political geographer interested in the more-than-human implications of the military technologies used by nation-states to manage insecurity. He is conducting research that uses Israel’s ongoing conflict with Gaza to evaluate the complex relationship between technological apparatuses, the geopolitical constitution of territory and the political dynamics of the state. His work uses a materialist epistemology that borrows from actor-network-theory, assemblage theory and object-oriented-ontology to suggest that technologies have intrinsic affective capacities that can variably influence and constrain their agencies in relation to humans and other material agents. This approach is applied to three linked empirical studies that elucidate the technological co-production of the Israeli state by working through the territorial volume of Israel-Gaza: the aerial illustrates the regime of atmospheric governance produced through the Iron Dome missile defense system, the surfical considers the capricious political agencies of the ‘conventional’ weaponry used by Israeli military for urban warfare in Gaza, and the subterranean narrates the challenges faced by Israeli techno-scientific experts working to locate cross-border tunnels when confronted with the geophysical agency of the subsurface. Through its empirical discussion, this research seeks to contribute a more nuanced theoretical consideration of technological agencies in the context of geopolitical conflict.
Jillian Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Project title: Decolonising ecological knowledge: A case study in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.
Supervised by Dr Rosie Day and Dr Steven Emery.
Jillian is interested in the potential to improve social and environmental outcomes in mining restoration sites by harmonizing current scientific approaches with local Indigenous knowledge, specifically, Métis knowledge. As a Métis citizen with a background in environmental science, Jillian uses participatory research methods with Sudbury's Métis community to evaluate the social, ecological, and epistemological implications of incorporating traditional ecological knowledge into the region’s reclamation program. Though the Sudbury region has a long history of nickel mining and a legacy of denuded landscapes, it is increasingly recognized for its re-greening programs and reclamation successes. Jillian’s doctoral research seeks to add value to current environmental practices by pursuing a nuanced approach to ecological restoration rooted in the core values of community-based, Indigenous-led research.
Naeemah Yusof (email@example.com)
Project Title: Planning and developing a walkable city: identifying barriers for senior’s walkability and social participation in an urban area.
Funded by theMinistry of Higher Education (MOHE) Malaysia, Supervised by Dr Peter Lee and Dr Rosie Day.
Naeemah is interested spatial and social justice for marginalised groups, place making and social participation. Her research is about walkability for older citizens in an urban area. In the past decades, the walkable city concept in city planning has gained wide acceptance as a resilient urban form which offers environmental, psychological, and social benefits for people and the future of a city. Although many scholars have examined the provision of walkable environments in urban planning, there has been little research concerning older citizens’ rights in a walking environment. Therefore, her research aims to gain insights from different stakeholders regarding older citizens’ rights, experience and encountered barriers in an urban centre. By using the city centre of Birmingham as a case study, her research argues that there is an urgent need in planning policy to encourage older citizens’ social participation through provision of an inclusive walking environment with a long-term goal to support resilient ageing. Her research hopes to make a contribution to social and spatial justice for marginalised groups and the walkable city planning policy of Birmingham.