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ESRC grant awarded for Urban Transformation project


ESRC grant awarded for Urban Transformation project

Tuesday 15 September 2015

We are delighted to announce that our proposal to the ESRC  (Economic and Social Research Council) for a Urban Transformation project has been successful. 

The  £3m funding package has been awarded to four studies, which aim to encourage better understanding of cities and the complex role they play in society. The four “high quality” projects that have been awarded ESRC ‘Urban Transformation’ funding will explore issues around social innovation, creative living and urban economies internationally.  They will develop understanding and bring new perspectives to the challenges and opportunities facing UK and global urban areas.      

Jam and Justice: Co-producing Urban Governance for Social Innovation is the title of the three-year project (2016-2019) led by Beth Perry, Director of UPRISE/Sustainable Urban and Regional Futures. It includes three colleagues from the School of the Built Environment – Professor Tim May, Professor Terrence Fernando and Dr Vicky Simpson.

The project seeks to bring public, voluntary and academic sectors together to innovate and experiment in new ways of governing cities.  It aims to advance both the theory and practice of co-production in addressing challenges faced by modern cities.

Beth said: “Jam is about trying to bring together different partners in the city to experiment and innovate to address shared problems. Justice is about re-connecting with those who have been disenfranchised and excluded from the search for solutions.

“The project will involve setting up an Action Research Co-operative in Greater Manchester to address complex urban governance challenges with different stakeholders.

“We hope to create a unique space for social innovation to co-produce, test and learn about ways of governing cities.”

Jam and Justice: Co-producing Urban Governance for Social Innovation also involves co-investigators at the Universities of Manchester and Birmingham and the Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisations. The project will build on links with Chicago, Paris, Melbourne and Cape Town.

The project was seeded through the Greater Manchester Local Interaction Platform part of the Mistra Urban Futures Centre, an international co-production partnership for sustainable cities with partners in Sweden, Kenya and South Africa.

From this month, Beth will be leading a new project, which has also been initiated through Mistra Urban Futures.  She will be involved in the CHIME (Cultural Heritage and Improvised Music in Europe) project, funded by JPI Heritage Plus, between 2015 and 2017.  CHIME is led by Birmingham City University and includes international partners in the Netherlands and Sweden.

This is an interdisciplinary collaboration across the arts and social sciences, including cultural organisations and local governments across Europe.  Beth will take responsibility for a strand of work on culture, heritage and sustainable urban development.