A network based at the University of Oxford showcasing ESRC research on cities
Sustainability and the migrant experience in the COVID-19 crisis
This Project MISTY blog, by Neil Adger, Emily Boyd, Ed Carr, Sonja Fransen, Dominique Jolivet, Anita Fabos, Maria Franco Gavonel and Caroline Zickgraf, explores the intersections between migration, urbanisation and sustainability as the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis deepen. This blog has been reposted from the Transformations to Sustainability website.
The COVID-19 pandemic is transforming the social world. It is, for example, producing substantial changes in the practices and experiences of migration and mobility. The significant opportunities and risks for people who move, and how such individual transformations affect the sustainability of societies, are being radically altered.
Research from the MISTY project shows how, when individuals move, they transform their lives and life chances, often in ways that contribute to the greater good and even to sustainability. Migrating from one place to another is a common means of personal transformation. Yet at the aggregate level, migration is intertwined with globalisation and has been an engine for urbanisation over the past few decades.
The COVID-19 pandemic is throwing up stark dilemmas for mobility and migration everywhere. There are clearly a variety of migrant situations and experiences, ranging from low-income migrants in city slums through to international hyper-mobile highly paid workers. Refugee camps, internally displaced people, and asylum seekers are themselves in highly risky situations.