Smart cities and the politics of urbanization: The first strand of research aims to advance theoretical and empirical work on the ways in which new forms of city-making (seen especially in the rise of smart cities) have creating exclusionary landscapes of sustainable development in the global south. This interest began with the examination of luxury housing along the Izmir-Cesme expressway where I analysed urban elite discourses of gendered ‘natures’ and ‘sustainable’ lifestyles. Following this, I was appointed by Foresight in the UK Government Office for Science to write an expert review in their ‘Global Environmental Migration’ project. This work has so far been funded by AHRC, ESRC, ICSSR, UKIERI and WUN. I have published on this theme in Environment and Planning C, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Dialogues in Human Geography and two co-edited books (under contract) titled ‘Mega-urbanization in the global south‘ and ‘Ecological Citizenships in the Global South‘. I have also written extensively for popular media such as TheConversationUK, openDemocracy and the Guardian and quoted in several news articles. Recently I was invited to present on smart cities and social justice in the UNCTAD 19th annual session of the Commission for Science Technology and Development in Palais de Nations, Geneva.
Gender, law and urban citizenship: The second strand of my research examines gendered urban citizenship in the global south. This was funded by a British Academy research grant, based on which I completed a research monograph titled ‘The Illegal City: Space, Law and Gender in a Delhi squatter settlement’. Through the everyday struggles around water and sanitation, the politics of resident organization, and gender relations within the home The Illegal City shows that squatters’ desire to become legal urban citizens is an irony and utopia of home. I have published articles around this theme in Antipode, CITY, Derivé, Gender, Place, and Culture; Cultural Geographies and Urban Geography, and been invited to lecture in several national and international universities.
Translocal geographies of belonging: This strand of my research is concerned with connections between migrant transnationalisms, translocal identities, and material geographies of home and belonging. These interests began with a consultancy for two London and Paris based housing associations who were interested in building migrant worker housing. This then led to a LSE-STICERD funded research project titled ‘Home-building, Migration, and the City’ examining East-European male builders’ relationships with difference and otherness in London. This research has contributed to developing theoretical and empirical approaches towards situated cosmopolitanisms, affective encounters with the global city, and the material geographies of gendered home/lands; as well as using innovative methodologies of visual narratives and participant photography. In 2010, I chaired and organized a major international conference funded by the European Science Foundation titled ‘Home, Migration, and the City: New methodologies, new narratives’ in Sweden. My co-edited book titled ‘Translocal Geographies: Spaces, Places, Connections’ published in 2011 builds upon this work to propose an embodied notion of belonging to spaces and places during increased global mobility. Findings from this research have been disseminated as book chapters and in leading geography journals including Antipode, Environment and Planning A, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Urban Studies and through invited lectures in several international universities.
I am interested in supervising PhD students in the following areas
- Transnational/translocal spaces of home and belonging
- Gender, space and law in urban development
- Law, violence and justice in the geopolitics of home
- Everyday life in the city and urban cultures
- Politics and practices of city-making and mega-urbanisation
- Politics of environment, mobility and urbanization in the global south
- Use of visual and participatory methodologies to research the above issues.