Over on his blog CityFragment, Colin McFarlane recently posted about an interesting new project:
The Urban Politics and Governance of Social Innovation in Austerity
I’m excited to be part of a new project investigating the connections between austerity, social innovation and urban politics in Europe. The project is led by Joe Painter as Principal Investigator, and the co-investigators are Paul Langley, Sue Lewis, Antonis Vradis, and myself (all based in Geography at Durham). It is funded through the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) Urban Transformations programme (coordinated by the University of Oxford).
In the project, we will compare whether and how austerity impacts social innovation across three
European cities that are experiencing quite different forms of austerity – Athens, Berlin and Newcastle – and will examine the implications for urban politics. We will do so by investigating alternative finance, grassroots mobilisation and community provisioning in the three cities.
Although I live near Newcastle and know one of the other two cities – Berlin – very well, this is the first time that I’ll be involved in a research project on European cities. It’s also the first sustained opportunity I’ve had to be part of a team examining the geographical impacts of austerity on cities. So being part of this is an exciting and challenging prospect!
More information is available here.
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