EPD in new initiative to improve cities and living conditions for poorer communities

Centre for Sustainable, Healthy and Learning Cities and Neighbourhoods (SHLC)

Professor Ivan Turok attended the inaugural meeting of the SHLC in Glasgow from 13 to 15 November 2017. This is a major new research programme funded by the UK Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund.

The Economic Performance and Development (EPD) unit of HSRC is a core member of the Centre.

Ivan was invited to make a speech at the public launch event, at which he said the HSRC was delighted to be part of this important new initiative and to be collaborating with a team of researchers who are passionate about their cities and improving living conditions for poorer communities. He said the emphasis on international collaboration was particularly important in this new era of rising global tensions, when there was a tendency for countries to become more insular.

The new world order is also characterised by a preoccupation with national interests, at the expense of sub-national agendas – i.e. the development of regions, cities and neighbourhoods, where most people live their everyday lives. It is vital not to ignore the disabling, hazardous environments which limit people’s life chances and undermine their well-being.

Another important feature of the research is the emphasis on useful knowledge for the public good, i.e. ensuring that we identify ways of improving urban conditions for the future through efforts by government and by communities themselves.

Ivan stressed that this was a partnership of equals, rather than an old-style imbalanced relationship between researchers in the North and South. The new research partnership was characterised by mutual respect and reciprocity among team members. The commitment to capacity strengthening were also extremely important to develop the next generation of urban researchers in the social sciences.

There was a great deal of knowledge and technical capabilities among all the members of the research team. Finally, Ivan was particularly pleased to be re-establishing a strong relationship with a group of excellent colleagues in Glasgow, where he had previously lived for many years.

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