The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


DPU part of team to receive GCRF funding for research project on 'gridding equitable urban futures'

24 November 2020

The project 'Gridding Equitable Urban Futures in Areas of Transition (GREAT) in Cali, Colombia and Havana, Cuba' is being led by Lancaster University alongside the DPU, with Catalina Ortiz as Co-I and Julio Davila and Caroline Moser are part of the Advisory board.


Led by Lancaster University, an international interdisciplinary team of researchers in the UK, Colombia and Cuba will seek to transform our understanding of the relationship between off-grid infrastructures and the dynamics of growth and change of informal settlements in areas of transition. Working closely with communities from two informal settlements, this 3-year UKRI-GCRF project will contribute to 'gridding' equitable urban futures in Cali, Colombia and Havana, Cuba. Award of the project was announced by UKRI amongst the international development research programme awards.

Through a series of three thematic publicLabs on policy and urban planning, transport and mobility, and waste management the project will combine: fieldwork and related research activities, participatory community workshops, seed-funded projects, and work with local policy and planning authorities as well as charitable organisations in the two cities.

The partner institutions are: in the UK, the Bartlett/Development Planning Unit, UCL; in Colombia, the Universidad del Valle; and, in Cuba, the Technological University of Havana. Several local partners including Directorates of Transport and Environmental Management, the Cali Mayor’s Office and NGOs will take part in and help shape the main outcomes of the project.

Joining the expertise of environmental scientists, transport and geomatics engineers, architects, designers and urban planners, entrepreneurs, historians and sociologists, the project will address key UN sustainable development goals by embedding the voice of settlement residents into ongoing initiatives centred on the social futures of Cali and Havana.

The DPU's Catalina Ortiz is the project's Co-I and lead the Public lab on policy and urban planning, and Julio Davila and Caroline Moser are part of the Advisory board.

Read more on the project website.