Newton Fund Workshop: Urban Dialogues

From 3rd– 6th May 2016 researcher Catherine Wilkinson attended the Newton Fund Workshop Urban Dialogues: Creating Inclusive Urban Spaces in Uncertain Global Times at the Center for Regional Development and Planning at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horitonte, Brazil.

This workshop was based around the idea that one of the major impacts of the economic crisis is the way it has deepened inequalities at a time when the state’s capacity for public intervention to tackle inequality has diminished. This workshop therefore brought researchers together from the UK and Brazil to reflect on the usefulness of previous urban development approaches and to explore the potential for alternative structures in both established (UK) and emerging (Brazil) economies. This was a highly multi-disciplinary workshop which promoted scientific excellence and international collaboration in the field of urban governance, with a view to informing future policy in a way that will enrich the lives and wellbeing of all those living in cities.

The workshop was co-ordinated by Dr Sarah Ayres (University of Bristol, UK) and Professor Clélio Campolina Diniz (Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil) and had contributions from other world leading researchers, including Professors Roberto Luís de Melo Monte-Mór and Heloísa Soares de Moura Costa (Federal University Minas Gerais, Brazil), Dr John Harrison (Loughborough University, UK) and Dr Stephen Hincks (University of Manchester, UK). The workshop was a mixture of presentations from established academics with contributions from economics, political studies, urban planning, and regional studies, and from early career researchers from a range of disciplines. On the second day of the workshop, Catherine presented the work of The Trust Map.

Sarah Ayres and John Harrison led a session on Identifying Research Links and Collaborative Themes, which asked participants to think about the contribution that each of the disciplines makes to urban governance and to explore potential synergies and emerging research themes. Other interesting sessions were a roundtable discussion on Crafting an Academic Identity (delivered by Stephen Hincks), Thinking Big: Constructing, Defending and Advertising Key Research Ideas (led by John Harrison), and How to Form International Collaborations (delivered by Professor Clélio Campolina Diniz). Presenters shared useful case study examples of engaged scholarship, and the workshop concluded on Day 4 with a speed-networking session where participants were given a maximum of 5 minutes to discuss possibilities for collaborative research ideas with workshop participants.

This was an excellent workshop which provided a great opportunity to share ideas surrounding The Trust Map with scholars at various stages of their careers.

Leave a Reply