Urban Transformations Coordination

2015 - 2019
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Urban Transformations is a network of ESRC-funded projects showcasing research on cities.

The Economic and Social Research Council have defined a portfolio of urban research investments that address the prominence of the study of the city in contemporary research, policy, and international and interdisciplinary debates. The portfolio is constituted by

  • A set of projects commissioned as part of the Urban Transformations calls for research.
  • A set of projects was commissioned through a series of calls for research collaboration on developments in the contemporary city supported by ESRC Newton funding through partnerships with research co-funders in China, Brazil, South Africa, and potentially India.
  • A retrospectively defined set of urban studies projects commissioned by the ESRC through other research calls.

Professor Michael Keith coordinates the portfolio at the University of Oxford. The urban transformations coordinator works within and between the ESRC, their partners, and those funded to do urban research in the UK and beyond.

The Urban Transformations initiative addresses how, in urban economies, new technologies and responses to environmental change are reshaping power, resources, and information distribution in cities. These transformations radically reshape social relations and the built environment in some cities, while others experience continuity or decline, seemingly unable to garner the opportunities flowing from these changes. This is why the ESRC has selected urbanisation as a central focus area for investment.

ESRC's Urban Transformations portfolio aims to critically assess and understand the impact and significance of these transformations for the welfare and well-being of urban citizens across the globe.

Principal Investigator

Professor Michael Keith


  • Igor Calzada
  • Andreza de Souza Santos
  • Peter Grant
  • Nicola Headlam (Knowledge Exchange Fellow)
  • Nicholas Simcik Arese


UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)