Why we need to reveal the hidden connections at the heart of cities

By Fiona Marshall and Ritu Priya, STEPS Urbanisation theme Urban areas are intense meeting points of people and cultures, but they’re also places where more or less visible interactions happen: between the infrastructures and systems of water, energy, food and other resources. These connections pose a big challenge for how researchers understand cities – but…

What would a sustainable city look like?

On Thursday, India announced the first 20 cities to receive funding to become ‘Smart Cities’. It’s a high profile mission to modernise and transform urban infrastructure, especially using digital technologies like sensor networks and data centres. Smart cities are one response to the huge challenges facing urban India. The conference on pathways to sustainable urbanisation,…

How the Water-Energy-Food ‘Nexus’ in Asia affects real lives

By Carl Middleton, Center for Social Development Studies, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University In Asia and globally, the water-energy-food nexus has received growing attention from policy makers, researchers, and practitioners. A key premise of ‘the nexus’ is that water use is interdependent with energy and food production. Thus, from a nexus viewpoint, the relationship between…

Global land grabbing: new papers & special issues

This week 200 delegates assemble in Chiang Mai in Thailand for a major conference on land grabbing, conflict and agrarian-environment transformations in southeast Asia. It is co-organised by the Land Deal Politics Initiative (LDPI), a research network co-founded by the Future Agricultures Consortium. The conference marks the next step in this work, aiming to locate…

Jeremy Allouche on BBC’s ‘Today’ Programme: Taiwan and global water reserves

STEPS member and IDS fellow Jeremy Allouche discussed global water reserves on this morning’s Today Programme on BBC Radio 4. The discussion comes in the context of Taiwan’s planned restrictions on water supplies to two of its cities. From the Today website: “The public’s water supply in two northern Taiwan cities will be stopped two…

Stairways to the sky: sustainability & rice in the Philippines

The rice terraces of central Luzon’s Cordillera mountain range in the Philippines climb up the steep valley-sides like bleachers designed for an audience of giants. This remarkable human-made landscape was inscribed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage monuments in 1995. The neat ranks of flat-topped pond-fields have also been called ‘a stairway to the…

‘Innovation histories’: capturing legacy & learning from long-term programmes

By Annie Wilkinson, post doctorate researcher, Institute of Development Studies (This post is part of a series of reflections emerging from a workshop on complex adaptive systems research methods held in Baltimore in June 2014.) At the recent workshop on methods for complex adaptive systems (CAS) research in Baltimore, jointly organised by the STEPS Centre and Future Health Systems (FHS),…

India’s risks: forging a new multidisciplinary debate

by Raphaelle Moor A prospective superpower, India is grappling with a host of risks that threaten to hamper its progress towards becoming a more economically successful, egalitarian, safe and harmonious society. India’s population routinely deals with the risks from HIV/AIDS, earthquakes, floods, industrial accidents and environmental disasters, and more recently the risks and uncertainties brought…

Urban Futures: Case studies and comparator sites

This page is about case studies and locations in the project ‘Risks and Responses to Urban Futures’. For an overview, see the project homepage. The project is working in two sites to the south and east of Delhi: Karhera Village in Ghaziabad District, and Yamuna Pushta, a flood plain on the banks of the river…

NEW AVIAN FLU PUBLICATIONS FOCUS ON SE ASIA

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member As participants gather for the major international meeting in Winnipeg Canada this week to discuss ways forward on the One World, One Health initiative, a series of new papers have been published, documenting country-level experiences of HPAI responses in Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia (papers and presentations. Photo credit:…