Transforming research into practices and policies: Dialogues on implementation and evaluation of the new urban agenda
A Habitat III Side Event convened by: Urban Transformations Network, United Kingdom Economic and Social Research Council (UK-ESRC)
Time: 17 October 2016, 08:00 – 09:00
Place: Room R19 @ Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana “Benjamin Carrion”
University of Oxford; Centre on Migration, Policy and Society; Oxford Program for the Future of Cities; South African Local Government Association; Prefecture of Rio de Janeiro; Slum Dwellers International
Conference catalogue brief description of side event:
This session will bring together local authorities, community leaders and researchers from Brazil, South Africa and the United Kingdom to address how comparative research findings and methods in the planning process can facilitate the implementation and monitoring of the 2030 urban agenda. City planning has increasingly included different stakeholders, but multi-level governance and dialogue have not always led to inclusive planning and outcomes. Building on Sustainable Development Goal #11, and as demonstrated by the zero draft of the New Urban Agenda, there is currently a renewed discussion on the importance of new skills in city planning for shaping equitable and sustainable cities.
In this event, participants are invited to imagine new ways for academic research to inform and be informed by planning interventions. Supported by the UK Economic and Social Research Council’s Urban Transformations Network — a premier urban research funding body working through bilateral government partnerships across global north and south to direct comparative analysis — it aims to promote lasting partnerships between researchers, community organizers and policy makers. Centrally, speakers will debate what institutional support is needed to facilitate knowledge co-production and multi-level governance, as well as identify key challenges for the communication and sharing of ideas. Making research part of urban policies and local practices is crucial for the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the New Urban Agenda post-Habitat III, and new approaches to effective synchronization between science, policy and practice are timely.
The discussions, focusing on pressing thematic areas of housing, gender inequality, urban sustainability, mobility and health, include the following speakers: Gabrielle Guimarães (Senior Adviser for Multilateral Cooperation, International Relations Department, Rio de Janeiro City Hall), Parks Tau (Former Mayor of Johannesburg), Vanssa Castán Broto (UCL-DPU – Environment), Cathy McIlwaine (Queen Mary – Gender), Ramin Keivani (Oxford Brookes – Mobility), Sophie Hadfield-Hill (University of Birmingham) and Beth Chitekwe-Biti (Slum Dwellers International, Zimbabwe). The panel will be moderated by Michael Keith (UT-ESRC, COMPAS, Oxford Future of Cities).
Detailed summary of side event:
This session will bring together local authorities, community leaders, and researchers from Brazil, South Africa and the United Kingdom to address how comparative research findings and methods on the planning process can facilitate the implementation and monitoring of the 2030 urban agenda. City planning has increasingly included different stakeholders, but multi-level governance and dialogue have not always led to inclusive planning and outcomes. Emerging from criticism on modernist cities such as Brasilia and Chandigarh, that did not correspond to the hopes of planners or the changing needs of their inhabitants, there has been scepticism about state-centred urban planning. On the other hand, building on Sustainable Development Goal #11, and as demonstrated by the zero draft of the New Urban Agenda, there is currently a renewed discussion on the importance of the planner for shaping inclusive and sustainable cities, now potentially able to benefit from and be evaluated according to a wealth of knowledge produced on cities globally.
In this event community activists, urban researchers, and policy makers are invited to network towards imagining new ways for academic research to be coordinated in parallel with planning interventions. This event leverages the UK Economic and Social Research Council’s position — a premier urban research funding body working through bilateral government partnerships across global north and south to direct comparative analysis — to promote lasting partnerships between researchers, community organizers, and policy makers. Centrally, speakers will debate what institutional support is needed to facilitate knowledge co-production and multi-level governance, as well as identify key challenges for the communication and sharing of ideas. We will explore how both ethnographic and data driven research can work together to facilitate the monitoring of inclusivity across scales in rapidly urbanising areas. Specifically, we will bring experienced researchers, community leaders and policy makers together to discuss pressing thematic areas of housing and gender inequality, urban sustainability, and healthy mobility and how research execution and communication can be best tailored to support implementation of specific corresponding New Urban Agenda goals. Making research part of urban policies and local practices is crucial for the implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of the New Urban Agenda and new approaches to effective synchronisation between science, policy, and practice are timely.
The session will follow the following order of events: first, researchers will start the debate by addressing their methods and findings on resilient cities, mobility, and housing and gender inequality. Scientific contributions will then address the question of how to transform research findings into policies and practices. This question will then be answered by mayors and community activists, and followed by researcher responses to how communication in the pre, during, and post- research can tie efforts together in the long term. Attendees will then have a chance to question speakers, followed by opening the floor to networking and conversation. Carefully documenting the discussions, organisers will produce a series of editorial newspaper articles, academic papers, blog pieces, and an edited book on best practices for the interface between research and multi-level governance.
Key Objective 1:
Establish guidelines for how research methods and findings can usefully inform the New Urban Agenda. Four themes will be addressed: sustainability, mobility, and housing and gender inequality in Brazil, South Africa, China, India and the United Kingdom.
Key Objective 2:
Form new frameworks for a clear science-policy interface, to transform research findings in urban policies and local practices. The objective is to promote strong collaboration between very different forms of expertise, specialisation, and approach (qualitative, quantitative, technical, administrative, etc.) to address urban challenges.
Key Objective 3:
Promote knowledge co-production and multi-level governance in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. Dialogues will specifically apply new research defining emerging avenues for collaboration between public, private and community interests — targeting accountability throughout project implementation — for shaping inclusive and equitable cities in the 21st century.
Relevance to the implementation of the New Urban Agenda:
The session targets challenges and opportunities for a multi-scale implementation of the New Urban Agenda. It presents on-going research and results in core Habitat 3 areas and, through dialogue between experienced community activists, policy-makers and researchers, demonstrates how research findings materialize as practices and policies. It will emphasise the importance of a clear science-community-policy interface for the implementation and monitoring of the New Urban Agenda.
Event outreach strategy:
The Brazilian Secretary of Federative Affairs, the Prefecture of Rio de Janeiro, and the South African Local Governments Association ensure attendance of respective delegations. We are networking these with investigators and stakeholders from UK ESRC projects in Brazil, South Africa, India, and China. This will be promoted in blogs, social media, and newspapers, and speakers are encouraged to invite others working on the researcher/practitioner interface at a prior reception.
Event monitoring strategy:
Principal investigators will be encouraged to write about projects (on housing, healthy mobility, energy sustainability, and violence against women) in relation to the New Urban Agenda in various publications (i.e. The Conversation, BBC Brazil, and publishing houses for an edited book). ESRC Urban Transformations will follow and monitor this advice as guidelines until 2030, as a priority for knowledge co-production and approaches to bilateral and multi-level research.
• Vanesa Castán Broto – Senior Lecturer at the Development Planning Unit at UCL and Principal Investigator of UT-ESRC project Mapping Urban Energy Landscapes (MUEL) in the Global South– speaking on environment.
• Cathy McIlwaine – Professor of Geography at Queen Mary University of London and Principal Investigator of the UT-ESRC project Healthy, Secure and Gender Just Cities: Transnational Perspectives on Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) in Rio de Janeiro and London – speaking on gender.
• Ramin Keivani – Professor of International Land Policy and Urban Development at Oxford Brookes and researcher on the UT-ESRC project Brazil – UK Health Urban Mobility – speaking on housing and mobility.
• Beth Chitekwe-Biti – Representative from Slum Dwellers International
• Parks Tau – Former Mayor of Johannesburg
• Representatives from the Prefecture of Rio de Janeiro (Awaiting confirmation)
• Michael Keith – Director of COMPAS, Co-ordinator of Urban Transformations (The ESRC portfolio of investments and research on cities), and Co-Director of the University of Oxford Future of Cities programme.
This event will emphasise the following UN Habitat Thematic Areas:
Thematic Area 2: Urban Frameworks, Thematic Area 3: Spatial Development, Thematic Area 5: Urban Ecology and Environment, Thematic Area 6: Urban Housing and Basic Services