UCL Grand Challenges


In Otto Königsberger's footsteps: more information

27 March 2018

The UCL Grand Challenges are inviting participation in workshops that aim to identify and set an agenda for future research in areas where universities & cities can work together.

The UCL Grand Challenges are inviting participation in workshops that aim to identify and set an agenda for future research in areas where universities and cities can work together. Faculty members, researchers, students, policy makers, city officials and practitioners are invited to submit rigorous academic or policy or practitioner works on topics related to 'urban transformation' that involves, or has the potential for, close collaboration between universities or academic/research institutions and cities. The collaboration is expected to extend beyond data collection to involve aspects such as programme formulation, implementation, impact evaluation and policy framing. The collaboration may involve faculty / researchers/student from universities, and one or multiple stakeholders in cities involved in urban transformation programmes (i.e. Smart Cities Mission, Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation).

Workshop Goals
  1. Provide participants a perspective in to the importance, opportunities and challenges of engaging universities in urban transformation programmes. 
  2. Delve in to how different stakeholders in cities and universities interpret urban transformation policies, the conflicts faced, and its implications on their own goals and activities. 
  3. Provide conceptual frameworks for framing urban transformation initiatives as a collaborative initiative between cities and universities, and explain implications of the same on eventual policy effectiveness.   
  4. Understand implications of the above on social learning, cultural transformation and human capital development of cities. Identify potential public engagement initiatives by the universities to achieve the above.
Who Should Attend?
  • Faculty members, researchers and senior administrators in universities, research think tanks and higher educational institutions.
  • Government officials and policy makers at national, state and city levels.
  • Private, civil society and non-governmental organizations involved in different aspects of urban transformation programmes.
  • Students with an interest in urban planning and development.
Workshop Agenda
  • Opening remarks
  • Expert talks about global practices, conceptual frameworks and key initiatives by by cities and universities. 
  • Breakout sessions and working groups.
  • Presentation by breakout groups. 
  • Closing remarks and feedback.

Submissions are invited from a variety of disciplines including management, public policy, science & technology and social sciences. Interest participants may submit research studies or projects that are either in-progress or close to completion stage. See attached flier for more details.

Last date for submission: 5:00 PM IST, Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Participants can register for either of the two venues where the workshops will be conducted. 


Register for the Workshops

Debananda (Deb) Misra

Department of Education, Practice and Society, UCL Institute of Education, University College London

Deb has research interests are in Higher education policy, Public engagement of universities, Knowledge production, Management and governance of universities. Deb comes with over seven years of working experience in higher education management. As part of his doctoral thesis, he is investigating the role of regional engagement in development of new HEIs - established in the past two decades. He applies mixed methods research techniques in his research projects. 

Rodrigo Caimanque Leverone

Development Planning Unit, Bartlett, University College London

Rodrigo's research interests are in governance, urban politics, and processes of city regeneration. In this regard, his doctoral research is focused on the conformation of different urban coalitions throughout several strategies of urban regeneration in the city of Valparaiso, Chile. The analysis is based on the role and interaction of actors at different spatial scales involved in urban decision-making, and how these relations become reflected in places as an expression of uneven development. Rodrigo also has an extensive background working in urban planning in both public and private sector.


Contact Information

Email: d.misra.14@ucl.ac.uk

Phone: +91 9177032220