The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Staff and students leave for MSc fieldtrips

2 May 2014

MSc students are currently involvement in overseas fieldwork projects. Image: Chris Yap, 2014

Students involved in the DPU's six MSc programmes are currently engaged in their overseas fieldwork assignments for 2014. A team of DPU staff members from each programme supports student groups in each location, providing consistent guidance and counsel in developing and executing research plans. The field trips form an important part of the DPU's teaching pedagogy in bridging the gap between theory and practice. Though no two trips are the same in their focus or approach to education and research, they all provide participants with valuable practical experience working in urban and regional planning contexts in the global south. This is achieved through close collaborations with local partner institutions such as NGOs, research organisations, universities and community groups, and meetings with a wide range of key personnel involved in urban and regional decision-making.

Transformative Planning for Environmental Justice in Metropolitan Lima with a focus on Water, risk and urban development: Present outlooks, possible futures.

Conducted in partnership with the local Peruvian network 'Foro Ciudades Para la Vida' and taking place across four site, each with its particular problematic. These are Cantagallo, Barrios Altos, Jose Carlos Mariategui and Huaycan and you can follow the students' progress in these sites through their project blog.

Collaborative people-centred partnerships for slum-upgrading in Cambodia.

Undertaken in partnership with the Asian Coalition of Housing Rights (ACHR), along with the Community Architects Network (CAN). Students are focusing on the constant and rapid transformation of the urban Cambodian condition in order to identify potential strategies and tactics for spaces of opportunities, representation and wellbeing in the Cambodian society. Their fieldwork is taking place across six different sites in Phnom Penh and the regional areas of Battembang and Bantaey Meanchey. Their latest thoughts and activities are accessible through the BUDD students' blog.

A multi-faceted assessment of local poverty reduction in the context of Ethiopia’s national and metropolitan/regional development strategies.

This action learning project is a cooperation between these two DPU MSc courses and the Mekele University, Tigray, Ethiopia. 

The Role of Neighbourhood Planning in Expanding Participatory Capabilities of the Urban Poor in Kisumu, Kenya.

The research is conducted in partnership with the international NGO Practical Action, and specifically examines the role of Neighbourhood Planning Associations (NPAs) in four different wards in the city and their potential for enhancing the ‘participatory capabilities’ of the urban poor to achieve substantive citizenship through an analysis of the practices, norms and procedures of representation and how these reflect the variety of needs and aspirations of residents.

Transformation at the City-wide Scale: Collaborative, People-Centred Partnerships for Slum Upgrading and City-wide Planning in Tanzania.

The students are working closely with Tanzanian non-governmental organisation, Centre for Community Initiatives (CCI), the Tanzanian Urban Poor Federation and Ardhi University. The research is taking place across three different case study sites and is seeking to better understand the room for manoeuvre for community-led coproduction of housing, infrastructure and land development; strategies for supporting and guiding more socio-environmentally just urban development; and site-specific diagnoses and strategies which contribute to transformation at a city-wide scale.

DPU staff will be blogging from the field trips over the next few weeks, view their posts on the DPU blog.