Urban Transformations Coordination 2015 - 2019


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, 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 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.

The portfolio is coordinated by Professor Michael Keith at the University of Oxford. The urban transformations co-ordinator role is to work 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 the distribution of power, resources, and information in cities. These transformations are radically reshaping 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 major 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 wellbeing 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)




AfricaAsiaEuropeThe Americas


The work of the Urban Transformations co-ordinator covers the following areas of Knowledge Exchange and Impact-related activities;

  • Inception
  • Collaboration and gap analysis
  • Coordination and collaboration
  • Narrating the ESRC portfolio: inward and outward facing
  • Knowledge exchange and Communication
  • Maximizing impact
  • Advisory Group

A key method of communicating with projects is the web platform: http://www.urbantransformations.ox.ac.uk through which the co-ordinator curates and connects across the projects of the portfolio.