Research, funding, and global partnerships: PEAK at Urban ARC 2022

The Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS), is one of the collaborative international partners on the PEAK-Urban project. It is a national education institution committed to the equitable, sustainable and efficient transformation of Indian settlements. Each year, IIHS conducts ‘Research Week’ – a convening where scholars and practitioners from leading global and domestic institutions gather for the annual PhD Workshop and the annual research conference, Urban ARC. Both these events are central to IIHS’ ethos of enabling interdisciplinary knowledge and practice and training a new generation of urban practitioners.

IIHS’ annual convening, Urban ARC, since its inception in 2017, has emerged as one space that invites and encourages multiple and diverse conversations around the urban, particularly on issues in the Global South. Over the past five years, these conversations have included discussions on transitions in the urban Global South; examining the city’s relationship with technology and the region; exploring notions of equality and equity in the Urban; and reflecting on the idea of imaginaries in the context of a rapidly urbanising world. The conference also offers a rare platform for early career researchers, especially master’s and doctoral students, to interact with senior researchers from across the world.

IIHS concluded the sixth edition of Urban ARC, held from 13 to 15 January 2022. This year, panellists from across geographies such as Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, multiple countries in Europe, Israel, South Africa, USA and the United Kingdom engaged with the theme, ‘Beyond Binaries: Towards new conceptual frameworks in the Urban’. Over 1,000 attendees from across the globe tuned in virtually through the three days of the conference for panels focussing on topics such as ecology, urban agriculture, identity, informality, governance and urban spaces. The conference also hosted two invited plenaries, ‘Developing curriculum in the Global South’ and ‘Research, funding, and partnerships: Collaboration across the North & South’, featuring global and leading academics and practitioners.

The plenary, ‘Research, funding, and partnerships: Collaboration across the North & Southfeatured PEAK researchers Michael Keith, Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford; Susan Parnell, University of Bristol; Juan C Duque, EAFIT University; Neha Sami, IIHS; and Andrew Tucker, African Centre for Cities. The panel reflected on the challenges of conducting research across the North and the South, the importance of this research, and how we can sustain long-term partnerships through genuine collaborative frameworks. The panellists drew on collective experiences of collaborating on the PEAK Urban project. If you missed the session, watch it here.  Recordings of all sessions are now available on the IIHS YouTube channel. 

Parts of this blog were originally published in the IIHS Research Monthly.