Oxford-led project to improve urban living in developing countries awarded £7m

An Oxford-led project to improve the lives of people living in cities in developing countries has been awarded £7 million.

An international team working on The PEAK Program and led by Professor Michael Keith, Co-Director of the University of Oxford Future of Cities programme and involving researchers from all four academic divisions across Oxford including Oxford Mathematicians Peter Grindrod and Neave Clery has received the grant from the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) funded through the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

The funds will be used over five years to foster a generation of urban scholars working in the field of humanities, science and social science to enable cities to meet the needs of their future inhabitants and help manage their growth. Michael Keith said “We aim to grow a new generation of interdisciplinary urbanists and a network of smarter cities working together across Africa, China, India, Colombia and the UK.”

In particular the mathematics of urban living, with a growing wave of data becoming available, and its potential input into policy, is a critical part of any future urban planning. The PEAK grant will support Neave and three other Oxford Mathematics Postdoctoral Researchers (PDRAs) who will spend time at partner sites abroad - in turn PDRAs from abroad will visit Oxford to share learning.