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Our research focuses on vulnerable settlements in the rapidly urbanising world, mainly looking at community empowerment, participatory processes and user involvement in the production of the built environment urban place-making and place-keeping. 


This collaborative is led by Dr Harry Smith, Professor at the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society (EGIS) at Heriot-Watt University and Dr Soledad Garcia Ferrari, Professor at Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA) at the University of Edinburgh.

news & key activities

Find more about key dissemination activities related to our ongoing research projects.


The MSc in Urban Strategies & Design is jointly delivered by the Edinburgh School of Architecture & Landscape Architecture (ESALA) and the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure & Society at Heriot-Watt University. 


Access our published work, including academic papers, project summaries and other material we have developed as a result of our research projects. 


The projects that we are currently working on reflect the interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of our work as well as our interest in co-creating innovative solutions to complex issues that affect vulnerable populations across Latin America. These are some of the research projects that we are currently developing in collaboration with universities and organsations in each local context. 

Implementing Co-Developed Water
Governance and Security in puebla, mexico

The proposed project aims to deliver impact based on the insights generated by the previous research in the Upper Atoyac River Basin (UATB) by conducting a broader range of stakeholder consultations to co-develop, test, and implement policies for improved water security.

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