Newton Fund Researcher Links Workshop: Managing complex social housing urban redevelopment through improved project management and value generation

Project: Research

Description

There is significant evidence that urban redevelopment programmes for social housing are often inappropriate for users’ needs and fail to deliver the expected socio-economic benefits. Issues in managing such complex programmes set back economic development and directly affect the most vulnerable in society. Causes include inadequate planning; limited collaboration and excessive focus on low initial cost solutions. Improvement strategies are needed to enable better housing, infrastructure, safety and job opportunities. Better platforms for knowledge sharing will enable stakeholders to collectively understand these challenges, to improve integration between different projects, and to reflect on existing experiences.

The 5-day workshop aimed to build research capacity, bringing together leading academics and early career researchers from the UK and Brazil. There were 31 participants - 14 from the UK and 18 from Brazil. The workshop included:
• Keynote presentations by leading academics and by practitioners
• Early career researcher presentations on current and emerging research themes and projects
• Synergistic group work and activities aimed at sharing knowledge and promoting multi-disciplinary research and
• Site visit to social housing developments

A research roadmap has been developed for integrated social urban development programmes. The themes of the roadmap include: (a) integrated system for capturing and managing urban development requirements to support stakeholders engagement; (b) innovative construction systems for social housing; (c) understanding the vision for wellbeing by elderly residents in established social housing programmes; (d) Risk assessment and involvement of the community; (e) community preparedness for disasters; and (f) Spatial segregation in terms of land occupation and housing policies.

The workshop enabled strategic partnerships with the mission to play a leading role in shaping strategies to deliver benefits to communities.

Key findings

The workshop provided an opportunity for knowledge sharing across researchers from a number of institutions, as it included researchers from a total of 7 UK based institutions and 11 Brazilian institutions. The activities developed in the workshop provided opportunities for sharing best practices in terms of research and career development. New international links were crystalized throughout the workshop, as researchers working on areas related to complex urban redevelopment projects and social housing met and learnt about each other’s areas of work, identifying specific overlaps as well as new areas for multidisciplinary collaboration. The participants worked in groups to develop the research roadmap, which was very useful in helping specific researchers to share knowledge from their own experiences and also look forward into developing joint work in the future. In fact, 6 potential research projects were identified as a result of the process of building up the research roadmap, which is very positive and is also serving as a means to ensure communications are maintained post workshop.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/08/1531/07/16