The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Dr. Susana Neves Alves

Research Summary

My previous research focused on water and energy infrastructure, everyday urbanism and states, urban political ecology, the politics of the travels of neoliberalism and global policies, and the relationships between urban infrastructure and social identities in Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique. My current research at the DPU explores the connections between urban transitions, spatial inequalities and complex land markets in East Africa (Uganda and Somaliland). In this research, I am particularly interested in exploring the interactions between formal and informal systems, and how stateness emerges through the operations of land markets. More broadly, my research interests are in postcolonial urban theory, comparative urbanism and the geographies of everyday urbanism in African cities. I am particularly interested in developing new vocabularies to think about cities and infrastructure.


In the DPU, I am a postdoctoral research associate on the EARF funded project ‘Spatial Inequality in Times of Urban Transition: Complex Land Markets in Uganda and Somaliland’. Before joining this project, I was a Research Associate at the Urban Institute of the University of Sheffield working on different projects relating to energy infrastructure and climate change in African cities.

I completed my PhD in Urban Geography at University College London in 2017. Prior to undertaking my doctoral studies, I worked across the public and NGO sectors in housing and urban infrastructure in the UK, Portugal and Guinea-Bissau. Before that, I did an MSc in Cities, Space and Society at the LSE (awarded in 2007) and a 5-year degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Porto (awarded in 2005).


Castán Broto, V. and S. Neves Alves (in press). Intersectionality challenges for the co-production of urban services: notes for a theoretical and methodological agenda. Environment and Urbanization

Hilbrandt, H., S. Neves Alves and T. Tuvikene (2017). Writing Across Contexts: Urban Informality and the State in Tallinn, Bafatá and Berlin. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 41(6).

Tuvikene, T., S. Neves Alves and H. Hilbrandt (2017) Strategies for relating diverse cities: A multi-sited individualising comparison of informality in Bafatá, Berlin and Tallinn. Current Sociology 65(2), pp. 276-288.