Professor Joao Porto de Albuquerque
- Professor in Urban Analytics (Urban Studies)
Professor João Porto de Albuquerque is Professor in Urban Analytics at Urban Studies in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Glasgow and Deputy Director of the Urban Big Data Centre (UBDC), where he leads the theme on "Urban Sustainability and Participation". He is also an associate member of the Centre for Research & Development in Adult and Lifelong Learning (CR&DALL) at the School of Education.
Professor Porto de Albuquerque is a geographer and computer scientist with an interdisciplinary background. His research adopts a transdisciplinary approach to participatory urban analytics, intersecting urban studies, digital geographies, geographic information science/GIS, human-centric computing, social data science, information systems and sustainable development studies. His approach is underpinned by the investigation of new methods that bridge critical, participatory and geo-computational methods to include a plurality of voices in urban data analytics, with the goal of enabling transformations to urban sustainability and climate resilience.
Professor Porto de Albuquerque is leading a research programme centred around the empowerment of vulnerable and deprived communities with citizen-generated data to improve resilience to health and environmental risks. His transdisciplinary research on socio-ecological-technical urban systems not only emphasises cross-border collaboration between the (environmental) sciences, social sciences and humanities; it also goes beyond academic disciplines to engage in co-production and participatory research with non-academic societal/indigenous stakeholders.
He has secured competitive research funds for his research in excess of £5.5m as a lead investigator (£17m+ as co-investigator) from diverse national and international funding bodies (e.g. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Global Challenges Research Fund, Leverhulme Trust, AHRC, ESRC, EPSRC, Belmont Forum, NIHR, EU H2020, FAPESP, CAPES) in collaboration with academic and non-academic partners in several countries, including Australia, Brazil, Bangladesh, Colombia, Ghana, Germany, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Sweden, and the United States. Before coming to Glasgow, Prof Porto de Albuquerque worked at the University of Warwick as Professor and Director of the Institute for Global Sustainable Development, which he has established as a transdisciplinary cross-faculty hub, and Co-Director of the Warwick I for the Science of Cities. He has also set up the Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships Programme “TRANSFORM: Transformations of Human-Environment Interactions to Sustainable Development” aimed at training the next generation of sustainability scientists in collaboration with colleagues from different disciplines including computer science, ecology, urban geography, media studies and environmental humanities.
After studying Computer Science, Social Sciences and Philosophy at the University of Campinas, Brazil, Prof Porto de Albuquerque did a PhD in Computer Science at the University of Campinas and at the Technical University of Dortmund, Germany (2006). He was awarded a prestigious fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2006-2008) to conduct post-doctoral research in social studies of information systems at the University of Hamburg, Germany, with a stay at the Information Systems Group of the London School of Economics and Politics (LSE). He worked as Assistant Professor at the School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities of the University of São Paulo (2008-2010) and at the Department of Computer Systems of the Institute of Mathematical and Computing Sciences of the University of São Paulo (2010-2015), Brazil. From 2013-2016 he acted as a Visiting Professor in Geographic Information Science at the Institute of Geography of Heidelberg University, Germany with a fellowship funded by the DFG’s Excellence Programme. In 2016, João took up the post of Associate Professor in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies at the University of Warwick to lead the MSc in Urban Analytics and Visualisation, in which he played a pivotal role in curriculum development in partnership with Warwick's Department of Computer Science. He was also Co-Director of the Warwick Institute for the Science of Cities and Warwick Director of the Centre for Urban Science and Progress London (CUSP London) in partnership with King's College London and New York University. Between January 2019 and September 2021, he was Professor and Director of the Institute for Global Sustainable Development at the University of Warwick.
- Participatory urban analytics.
- Climate action and adaptation in cities.
- Urban resilience and sustainable development.
- Disasters studies and resilience to natural hazards.
- Informal settlements, slums and deprived neighbourhood regeneration.
- Digital geography and critical data studies.
- Social media analytics and urban data science.
- Participatory mapping and participatory action research.
- Citizen science, community science and volunteered/crowdsourced geographic information.
- Responsible and participatory Artificial Intelligence (AI).
- Spatial data analysis of urban resilience and health.
PI Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation IDEAMAPS: A participatory data-modelling ecosystem for deprived area map production in LMIC cities ($1.6m, awarded Oct/2022-Sep/2025). The aim of this network is to develop and maintain an Integrated DEprived Area MAPping System (IDEAMAPS). Working with partners in Nigeria (University of Lagos), Kenya (African Population and Health Research Centre), The Netherlands (ITC/University of Twente), the United States (George Washington University) and the UK (University of York).
Co-I UKRI ESRC Teaching for Digital Citizenship: Digital ethics in the classroom and beyond (£600K, awarded Dec 2022-Nov 2024, PI: David Lundie).
Past grants (selection)
PI UKRI Collective Fund, Global Challenges Research Fund “URBE Latam: Understanding Risks and Enhancing Capabilities in Latin American Cities”, (£989,192, awarded Nov/2019-Oct/2022), with Federal University of Rio de Janeiro/UFRJ, Brazil and University of Antioquia, Colombia. Grant ES/T003294/1.
PI (Main Applicant) Belmont Forum/Norface/ESRC Global Challenges Research Fund/FAPESP/BMBF “Waterproofing Data: engaging stakeholders in sustainable flood risk governance for urban resilience”, (€1m, awarded Oct/2018-June/2022).
Co-PI UKRI Collective Fund, GCRF Global Research Translation Awards, “Translating Waterproofing Data”, (£370K, awarded Oct/2019-Dec/2021) with the National Disaster Monitoring and Early-Warning Centre/Cemaden and Fundacao Getulio Vargas, Brazil. Grant EP/T015683/1.
Co-I EU H2020-SU-SEC-2020 “RiskPACC: Integrating Risk Perception and Action to enhance Civil protection-Citizen interaction” (€5.5m, awarded Sep/2021-Ago/2024, PI: Dr Claudia Berchtold/Fraunhofer INT).
Co-I AHRC/DfID “Data and Displacement: Assessing the Practical and Ethical Implications of Targeting Humanitarian Protection” (£393,391, awarded Jul/2020-Jun/2022, PI: Prof Vicki Squire/Warwick). Grant AH/T007516/1.
PI Leverhulme Trust “TRANSFORM: Transformations of Human-Environment Interactions to Sustainable Development” (£1.35m, awarded Oct/2021-Sep/2026). Awarded 15 Doctoral Scholarships to create a transdisciplinary programme in Global Sustainable Development.
Co-I/UK PI, JPI Urban Europe SUGI: “Creating Interfaces: Building capacity for integrated governance at the Food-Water-Energy-nexus in cities on the water”, (€1.2 m, overall PI Dr Jochen Wendel/European Institute for Energy Research, Germany), JPI Sustainable Urbanisation Global Initiative - Food-Water-Energy Nexus (SUGI-FWE Nexus), Belmont Forum.
Co-PI UKRI GCRF "Integrated Deprived Area Mapping System (IDEAMAPS) Network" (£144,595, awarded May/2020-April/2021).
Co-I: NIHR Global Health Unit on Improving Health in Slums at the University of Warwick (PI Richard Lilford/Warwick Medical School, £5.6m, my managed budget £600K). National Institute for Health Research, awarded Jun 2017-Mar 2021. Leading WP1: Geo-spatial mapping of health services in slums and working with partners in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria and Pakistan.
I'm interested in supervising PhD students in urban analytics and would particularly welcome methodological interests in combining participatory/action research and urban data science/spatial data analysis, including citizen-generated data/open collaborative mapping platforms (e.g. OpenStreetMap) and how they can be used to empower marginalised groups and to address inequalities in society and in data. Thematically, I'm interested in urban regeneration, climate and disaster resilience, and urban sustainability in cities across the global North and global South.
- Sarim, Mohd
Analytical strategies for improving Third Sector employability services in the post COVID-19 recovery
Some previous supervised PhD projects:
- Philipp Ulbrich (Warwick CDT Urban Science, with Jon Coaffee): “Resilience-Thinking in Critical Urban Infrastructure Governance”, primary supervisor, concluded March 2021.
- John Rahilly (Warwick CDT Urban Science, with Stephen Jarvis): “A Green and Pleasant Land? Investigating the Relationship between Planning Policy and Urban Green Infrastructure”, primary supervisor, concluded in December 2020.
- Sidgley Camargo de Andrade (Computer Science, University of São Paulo, with Alexandre Delbem, now Assistant Professor at the Technical University of Paraná, Brazil): “Mining of rainfall patterns from social media for supporting flood risk management”, primary supervisor, concluded in June 2020.
- Vikki Houlden (Warwick EPSRC CDT Urban Science, with Scott Weich and Stephen Jarvis; now Lecturer in GIS at the University of Leeds): “The Relationship Between Mental Wellbeing and Greenspace Characteristics in the Urban Environment”, primary supervisor, successfully concluded in February 2019.
- Lívia Castro Degrossi (Computer Science, University of São Paulo, with Renata Fortes), “A Methodological Approach for Obtaining High-quality Volunteered Geographic Information applied to Flood Risk Management”, primary supervisor, successfully concluded in August 2019. Scholarship from CAPES.
- Flávio Eduardo Aoki Horita (now Assistant Professor at the Federal University of ABC, Brazil), “An Approach based on Volunteered Geographic Information and Spatial Decision Support Systems for Improving Decision-Making in Disaster Risk Management”, primary supervisor, successfully concluded in 2017, Department of Computer Systems, University of Sao Paulo. CAPES Scholarship.
Professional activities & recognition
Prizes, awards & distinctions
- 2023: Honourable mention, Mobilising Research for Impact, Real Impact Awards (Waterproofing Data project) (Emerald Publishing)
- 2022: Shortlisted for Project of the Year in Social Sciences and Humanities (Waterproofing Data Project) (Times Higher Education)
- 2018 - 2021: Turing Fellowship, Alan Turing Institute
- 2014 - 2017: Visiting Professor Fellowship, Heidelberg University within the DFG Excellence Initiative Programme
- 2016 - 2016: Fellowship Joint Excellence in Science and Humanities Programme, Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW)
- 2006 - 2008: Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellowship
- 2003 - 2005: DAAD Research Stay Fellowship
Grant committees & research advisory boards
- 2023: UKRI, International Advisory Board
- 2020: UKRI, Future Leaders Fellow Peer Review College
- 2020 - 2022: UKRI, Global Challenges Research Fund Strategic Advisory Group
- 2020 - 2020: WWTF/Vienna Science and Technology Fund, Environmental Systems Programme
- 2016 - 2016: NERC, Highlight Topic 2016 Panel Member
- 2019: Editorial Board, Canadian Journal of Regional Science
- 2018: Brazilian Administration Review
Professional & learned societies
- 2018: Fellow, Royal Geographical Society
- 2011: Member, International Association for Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management
Selected international presentations
- 2023: Keynote at GIScience Conference (Leeds, UK)