Launch of the GCRF Centre for Sustainable, Healthy and Learning Cities and Neighbourhoods (SHLC)

Published: 21 November 2017

UofG colleagues came together with international partners and sector organisation staff to celebrate the official launch of the Centre


Monday 13 November was a wet and miserable evening but not in the Senate Room of the University, as many colleagues from across the colleges came together with international academics from the Phillipines, South Africa, China Tanzania, India, and Bangladesh, to celebrate the launch of the GCRF Centre for Sustainable, Healthy and Learning Cities and Neighbourhoods (SHLC). They were also joined by representatives from DFID and the Scottish Government. 

Professor Anne Anderson, Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Social Sciences, welcomed guests and informed them how delighted and excited the University is to host such an important project. The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) would provide significant resources through Research Councils UK to fund challenge-led disciplinary and interdisciplinary research, and to strengthen capacity and build research partnerships between UK based researchers and those in low and middle income countries. The GCRF agenda also aligned closely with our own strategies and values here in Glasgow, both in terms of our interests and strength in research relevant to  key global challenges,  our strong networks of international partners, and our commitment to social justice locally and globally.  professor Anderson went on to say that SHLC builds on this ethos. It draws in expertise from many different areas of strength across the University, and builds on existing research strengths and international collaborators. 

Next to present was Centre Director, Professor Ya Ping Wang, who outlined the upcoming plans for SHLC. He explained how the focus will be on Africa and Asia with a knowledge exchange in and between countries via training, visiting research fellow programme, professional staff exchanges, events, and networking. The planned outcomes for the project include best examples of urban planning and management, a repertoire of reports, papers, and books, and a strong country and comparative knowledge base to progress global sustainable urban development. 

The final speaker of the evening was Professor Ivan Turok, Executive Director in the Economic Performance and Development Unit of the HSRC. He described how happy he was to be part of the team who will try and improve living conditions for poorer communities, and how the emphasis on international collaboration and mutual learning was particularly important in this new era of rising global tensions and uncertainties. Professor Turok stressed that this was a partnership of equals, rather than an old-style unequal and imbalanced relationship between researchers in the North and South. He was also very excited to develop the next generation of urban researchers in the social sciences. 

The Centre is currently looking for five Research Fellows. Further details about the opportunity can be found on the Centre web pages

First published: 21 November 2017

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