Our staff and students aim to develop collaborations that address international challenges and adopt comparative perspectives.
For more information about international collaboration opportunities, please contact Tally Katz-Gerro.
Profs. Igor Nikolic and Jaco Quist will visit from TU Delft in the Netherlands to present about the use of visioning and agent-based modeling. They discuss how these interesting new research methods, both individually and together, can offer entirely new ways to explore transitions to sustainability, policies for socio-technical change and stakeholder engagement.
Dr. Andrew Bollinger will visit from the Urban Energy Systems Laboratory (UESL) at Empa in Switzerland to present about his work on energy flexibility, energy demand modeling and local-scale renewable integration. He will discuss how the technical and economic dimensions that he usually focuses on need to be elaborated with social, psychological, ethical and legal dimensions in order to address the increasingly urgent problems arising as digital technologies reshape urban and energy systems.
Wouter Spekkink is currently participating in the project ‘Network Uncertainties and Intergovernmental Collaborations in Environmental Governance in Urban Agglomerations’, led by Dr. Rui Mui from the Faculty of Public Administration at Dalian University of Technology, and funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China.
The main background to the project is the recent effort of the Chinese state government to stimulate cities to collaborate on environmental issues within Urban Agglomerations, hoping to realise a shift from the metropolitan level to the agglomeration level as the main locus of environmental governance of Chinese cities.
Against this background, the project revolves around the following main research questions:
- To what extent and how do Chinese local governments in urban agglomerations succeed in establishing collaborative governance in environmental planning and management?
- What factors promote or prevent this collaboration?
The project makes use of Event Sequence Analysis (ESA), a set of methods and techniques for longitudinal analysis of social processes, in order to create a processual understanding of the emergence and development of collaboration on environmental governance between Chinese cities. Wouter’s role in the project is to provide support and guidance in the application of ESA.
- Professor Martin de Jong of Delft University of Technology visited the SCI to discuss overlapping research interests and opportunities for collaboration. Martin specialises in urban and infrastructure development in China, and has a special interest in eco city/low carbon city development. We were also joined by Dr. Li Sun, Lecturer in Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds. Her research focuses on various issues related to urbanisation in the Global South. Professor de Jong presented his research on city branding, with a particular focus on the relationships between branding and policy, and on brands that are related to various understandings of sustainability. Martin’s presentation was the basis for a lively discussion among the visitors and members of the SCI staff, in which we discovered several areas of overlapping interests. This discussion is certainly not over yet, and we will think about a possible follow-up for it in the near future.
- Tally Katz-Gerro presented a paper titled 'Experiencing aesthetico-cultural cosmopolitanism: a comparison of youth in Paris, Sao Paulo and Seoul' at an international conference - Cosmopolitanism revisited: comparative perspectives on urban diversity from the Gulf and beyond, organised by Institut Nationales de Langues et Civilisations Orientales, Paris.
- Tally Katz-Gerro joined an international group of scholars from 19 research institutions, led by Carsten Stage from Denmark, who has submitted a COST Action network application titled 'Democratic participation in cultural institutions: reassembling expertise, affect and connective engagement' (DePart).
Three EU-collaborative grant proposals have been submitted to the Open Research Area programme:
- Alistair Ulph - Carbon footprint reduction and country of origin of goods;
- Luke Yates (PI), Alan Warde and Dale Southerton - FOODTRACKS: Tracking food practices across Europe: Linking eating habits and food governance trajectories;
- Tally Katz Gerro - Cultural border crossing and the politicisation of social difference for youth in increasingly divided societies.