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Re-imagining Inclusive Urban Futures for Transformation: An Agenda for Engaged Research and Informed Public Dialogue

Authors: Richard Friend, Nausheen Anwar, Ajaya Dixit, T. Jayaraman, Khanin Hutanuwatr, Meena Manon, J. Allister McGregor, Marcus Moench, Mark A. Pelling, Thongchai Roachanakanan, Debra Roberts, Catherine Sutherland, Pakamas Thinphanga, Shashikant Chopde, Yanyong Inmauang, Kontaros Kaomuangnoi, Shuvechha Khadka, Fawad Khan, Kenneth MacClune, Unmesh Patnaik, Buapun Promphakping, Chayan Vaddhanaphuti, Shiraz Wajih

The Re-imagining Inclusive Urban Futures for Transformation (RIUFT) partnership aims to create a new research and teaching agenda based on the experience of the global South, that is grounded in theory and methods, and that is able to influence informed public dialogue. The partnership is founded on a conviction that engaged research can influence transformative change by generating evidence, creating policy arguments and opening public dialogue space.

The role of critical social science in identifying and shaping such transformative pathways has been extremely limited. At the same time, there is increasing global attention directed to the role that cities and urbanization will play in addressing global environmental challenges, and the role in shaping a new development future. There are growing arguments for the need for fundamental change of development pathways that are in line with the constraints of planetary boundaries and the emerging threats of climate change. However, there are also critical questions around the overall purpose of such transformations—according to whose interests and for whose benefit such futures will be pursued.

The RIUFT partnership brings together academics, practitioners and citizens in Thailand, India, Nepal, Pakistan and South Africa. Each of these countries represents both contrasting and overlapping dimensions of global challenges around urbanization and climate change, with different economic status but high degrees of inequality, and shifting patterns of migration, that also oblige us to reconsider such categories as "the global South".


Citation: Friend, Richard; Anwar, Nausheen; Dixit, Ajaya; Jayaraman, T.; Hutanuwatr, Khanin; Manon, Meena; . . .  Wajih, Shiraz (2015). Re-imagining Inclusive Urban Futures for Transformation: An Agenda for Engaged Research and Informed Public Dialogue. Boulder, CO: Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-International.

Funded by: The International Social Science Council (IISC)