The UPD (Urbanisation, Planning and Development) research cluster (formerly Cities Research Cluster) brings together a key group of staff in the Department of Geography & Environment with research and teaching interests relevant to understanding the contemporary city. The group is inherently interdisciplinary and actively collaborates with urban specialists located in other LSE departments through Urban@LSE (notably Anthropology, Sociology, Social Policy, International Development and Gender Institute) and with initiatives such as the Southeast Asia Centre, Latin America and Caribbean Centre, and Urban Age.

Staff have worked with or advised a range of national and international agencies including DCLG, DfID, EU, GLA, UNEP, UN-HABITAT, UNDP and the World Bank, as well as non-governmental organisations.

Staff in the cluster have undertaken a number of ambitious research projects in recent years. These have involved work on urban regeneration, gentrification, governance and sustainable development; megaprojects and the impact of the Olympics; the relation between urban competitiveness and social cohesion/inequality; gender, labour and rural-urban change in South India; state racism and biopolitical struggle in 20th century South Africa; female-headed households, gender and poverty; youth livelihoods and urban violence; ‘slums’; and on migration and migrant diasporas.

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