The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


DPU students and staff embark on overseas fieldwork 2017

3 May 2017

ESD fieldwork Lima

Students involved in the DPU's six MSc programmes are currently engaged in their overseas fieldwork assignments for 2017. 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.

Transformation in a Time of Transition

The aim of the 2017 Field Trip Project in Yangon is to research collaborative people-centred partnerships for slum upgrading in Myanmar. The BUDD field trip, an embodied experience for knowledge co-production, is building on a long-term partnership with the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights (ACHR). This partnership involves directly the Community Architects Network (CAN), a programme funded by ACHR that operates in the region, and a local anchor organization, Women for the World (WFW). BUDD students will be also working with Yangon Technological University (YTU), the Association of Myanmar Architects (AMA), and the Yangon Heritage Trust (YHT), grasping the complexities and contradictions of urban development of poor settlements and to enable a critical reflection on the agency of design and space, while questioning the role of the practitioner in the whole process. 

Development intervention strategies: How development intervention is planned and implemented in a development organisation based in Kampala, Uganda

Our central focus this year is examining how a development intervention is planned and implemented in Kampala, Uganda. This year, we are working with 8 partners. They are as follows: Community Integrated Development Initiatives (CIDI), ACTogether, Community Development Resource Network (CDRN), Children's Rights and Lobby Mission CALM Africa, Living Earth, Uganda, Kasubi Parish local Community Development Initiative (KALOCODE), Action for Community Development - Uganda (ACODEV- U) .

The students are divided into 7 groups with each working with one partner. The 8th partner, Shelter and Settlement Alternatives (SSA), will be taking all the students to their field project.

Co-Learning for Action: From risk-mitigation to transformative action to disrupt urban risk traps in metropolitan Lima

Building upon previous years' research, this 5th and final year of collaborative work in Lima by the MSc ESD led by Adriana Allen and Rita Lambert, focuses on initiatives that tackle directly or indirectly the risk traps that affect the most vulnerable social groups in the city. The objective is to contribute mainly in three ways:

1. To develop an analytical framework for assessing what transformative action to disrupt urban risk traps means in practice

2. To assess the transformative capacity of various initiatives undertaken to disrupt risk accumulation cycle traps from a specific and strategic thematic entry point

3. To expand the network of allies for transformative change and contribute to the strengthening of their synergies and relations

The fieldwork will culminate in a presentation of key messages in the Congress of the Republic of Peru on the 8th May 2017

Collective practices and the right to the city in Salvador, Brazil

Students from the MSc Social Development Practice will take part on an action research assignment based in Salvador, Brazil, where we will be partnering with the research group ‘Lugar Comum’ from the Faculty of Architecture of the Universidade Federal da Bahia (FAUFBA).  The collaboration focuses on the documentation of collective practices claiming for rights to the city in Salvador. Building on last year's research that explored collective practices of resistance and documented existing mechanisms within which universities and civil society groups collaborate, this year, students will advance on the documentation, development and reflections about these methodologies, defined as 'Instruments for Collective Action’.

Transformation at the City-wide Scale: Strategies to increase socio-environmental justice in Dar es Salaam through the use of people-centred, collaborative planning.

The aim of the field trip is to explore socio-environmental justice in Dar es Salaam through the use of people-centred collaborative planning.

In the field, the DPU will be partnered with the Centre for Community Initiatives (CCI), the communities with whom they work, the Tanzanian Urban Poor Federation (TUPF), and Ardhi University.

The field work will explore and respond to three key city challenges identified by CCI – housing, solid waste management and flooding.

MSc Urban Economic Development: Tarapoto, Peru.

Inclusive and sustainable urban development in the Amazon jungle

Tarapoto is a growing medium-sized city in the heart of the Amazon jungle in Northern Peru. Steering urban development towards a more ecologically sustainable and socially inclusive trajectory while increasing per capita income is a major regional challenge. The fieldwork investigates the region’s current economic trajectory and envisions ways in which people, civil society, the private sector and the government can collaborate towards high-road socio-economic development. We focus on four sectors of the economy: Cocoa & coffee, agricultural production & its higher-value chains, eco-tourism & artisanal production, and alternative energy. Students will investigate these inter-related aspects of the regional economy, focusing on the critical role played by the city of Tarapoto and its institutions.

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