Caring – with cities. BA Funding

‘Caring – with cities; enacting more careful urban approaches with community-led developments and policymakers’ is funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, The British Academy. The awarded bid was developed during a series of workshops framed around the theme ‘What is a good city?’, part of the Virtual Sandpit Follow-On Funding, in which I was selected to participate during February & March 2021.

The BA Virtual Sandpit was a great way to meet and discuss cities – an area in which I continue to explore throughout my academic career. I am pleased to bring my research angle on urban engineering and policy design expertise, along with the experience working with Lancaster City Council, Lancaster County Council, and Birmingham City Council. It became evident that during the pandemic, academics had limited chances to meet with academics from other institutions, while the urban challenges increased due to spatial restrictions. The BA Sandpit offered space to connect with everyone and discuss these great challenges in an enjoyable and exceptionally well-organised context.

Our project “Caring – with cities; enacting more careful urban approaches with community-led developments and policymakers” is part of several funded projects (Link here).  

Together with Dr Mara Ferreri, Northumbria University, Dr Claire McAndrew, University College London, Dr Cristina Cerulli, Sheffield Hallam University, Dr Eleanor Ratcliffe, University of Surrey, and me Dr Marianna Cavada, from Lancaster University, we developed ideas on care within the city, thinking beyond the institutional boundaries and towards the individual care. We believe that the interface of care into the city needs to embed care into community-led and policy-led urban development at a systemic level. We aim to achieve that using UK-based and international case studies of existing and current projects that we, as researchers have experience of and map the interdependencies and reciprocity to create the opportunities for care in the urban agenda. A systems approach is critical to the engineering care into the city systems and allows to designing of a wider spectrum of influence and decision-making within the city context. Our goal is to conceptualise and operationalise policies of care and inform visions towards the ‘good city’.

The ‘Caring with cities’ project will run for a year and we will conduct interviews, workshops with local policy officers and the wider public, and events to disseminate our findings. This means I will blog about these here!