Co-Investigator WP2, and Lead on Prosperity
Comparative Inquiry for Urban Equality
UCL Institute for Global Prosperity (IGP)
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My role in the KNOW Project falls within Work Package 2, which seeks to develop ways of comparing levels of equality across the different city partners, focusing on three key themes: Resilience, Extreme Poverty and Prosperity.
As an anthropologist, I have spent much of my career considering different definitions and measures of prosperity in diverse geographical locations. Including current work in the UK, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Lebanon, my research argues that sustainable global prosperity is founded in diverse forms of human flourishing, within planetary limits.
In this work, place-based definitions of prosperity are constructed using qualitative research methods, investigating the understandings of local people and institutions. In London, I am the Chair of the London Prosperity Board (LPB), an innovative cross-sector partnership that is re-thinking what prosperity means for communities in the capital and testing new ways of making sustainable and inclusive prosperity a reality. I am also the Director of the ESRC-funded RELIEF Centre aiming to improve levels of prosperity in Lebanon, the country with the world’s largest number of refugees per capita.
Within the KNOW Project, I plan to adapt and apply this model of work in three cities: Havana, Dar es Salaam and Colombo, developing a set of tools which can be used across the other KNOW cities in order to compare notions of what constitutes ‘the good life’ in particular places and what people need in order to move towards that life. I will also be working with my fellow Work Package 2 Co-Investigators, Colin McFarlane and Allan Lavell, to understand the relationships between prosperity, resilience, and extreme poverty when thinking about urban equality in the world’s cities.
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