Fall PhD Colloquia Series

Welcome to our Fall PhD colloquia series, where we highlight the research work of our PhD candidates. Restarting this fall, we will delve into the work of different researchers, showcasing their innovative contributions to the field of urban development. Join us as we explore a diverse range of topics and gain insight into their academic research. 

Jialong Zhu

The fourth presenter of the fall PhD colloquia series is Jialong Zhu. His reserach titled "How different can smart cities be? A typology of smart cities in China" is focused on researching the diversity of smart city development within China, aiming to create a typology of smart cities in the country.

More about his research

Jialong's research looks into the different ways smart cities develop in China. His research is concentrated on three groups of smart city projects led by the government, with specific case selection rules. His work compares Chinese smart cities to those in Europe and North America, pointing out both similarities and differences, especially in citizen participation and economic measures,

The colloquia focused on:

  • Exploring diverse characteristics and functions of smart cities in China, considering the impact of contextual factors.
  • Classifying Chinese smart cities using an Input-Throughput-Output model based on three batches of pilot projects with specific selection criteria and online policy document analysis.
  • Comparing Chinese smart cities to Europe and North America, noting commonalities in ICT and human-centric approaches, with differences in citizen participation. 
  • Identifying transitional forms in cities like Shenzhen and Zhuhai, combining top-down and bottom-up approaches in their smart city development.

Sahar Abdollahi

The third presenter of the fall PhD colloquia series is Sahar Abdollahi. Her research titled " The Impact of Urban Morphology on Social and Spatial Segregation in ancient cities of Low Countries'' aims to explore how and why medieval city centers in the Low Countries changed from 1720 to 2020.

PhD student presenting

More about her research

Sahar's research delves into the transformation of urban morphology in six medieval city centres in the Low Countries over two centuries. Her work seeks to uncover the factors and drivers behind these changes, including the impact of social and spatial segregation, institutional regimes, and historical developments. She employs a comparative approach, using Kevin Lynch's urban form analysis to assess the evolution of urban elements in these cities.

The colloquia focused on:

  • Studying how medieval city centres changed between 1720 and 2020.
  • Examining the factors that shaped these historical city centres, such as social divisions and government policies.
  • Using a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods to understand how people see cities
  • Analyzing the evolution of cities by looking at elements, e.g. paths, edges, nodes, landmarks, and districts.
  • Sahar's research method combines a long-term view and a side-by-side comparison, using old maps to explore how Dutch cities transformed over time.
Photo of Elena Marie Ensenado
Maarten Zeehandelaar

Elena Marie Enseñado

The second presenter of the fall PhD colloquia series is Elena Marie Enseñado. Her research titled “City-to-City Learning on Climate Change Policies” aims to understand how policy learning, policy transfer, policy mobility and policy diffusion can be affected by a process of mutual learning between and amongst cities and their representatives.

Elena next to the screen introducing herself and the theme of her PhD

More about her research

Elena decided to look into this topic because city-to-city learning misses key concepts, methodologies, and empirical data. Moreover, several issues arise when it comes to concepts and definitions in the field that need to be addressed. The presentation clarified these aspects and added to the original theory Elena used to improve the overall understanding and linkages between city-to-city (C2C) learning and climate change policies.

The colloquia focused on:

  • Understanding the contexts, processes, conditions and outcomes of C2C learning.
  • Describing the individual and organizational outcomes and under what conditions they come to fruition.
  • Exploring how contexts and processes differ in cities that are network-driven
  • Listing the major conditions and contexts which lead cities to engage in C2C learning.

Online survey

If you are working on climate change issues in your city, take part in Elena's online survey, which aims to examine your experience to better understand the contexts in which this learning occurs, how these processes unfold, what conditions facilitate or hamper these, and what outcomes do this lead to.

If you have any further questions or clarifications, please send an email message to Elena Marie Enseñado (ensenado@ihs.nl).

Fill in Elena's survey!
Photo of Md Shemul Sheikh
Maarten Zeehandelaar

Md Shemul Sheikh

Kicking off the fall PhD colloquia series, please welcome Md Shemul Sheikh from Bangladesh. His research titled 'Understanding the Nexus between Climate-Induced Migration and Livelihood Vulnerability in the South-west Coastal Area in Bangladesh' aims to shed light on the livelihood vulnerabilities of climate-induced migrants, including gender, as well as their adaptation strategies in Bangladesh's southwestern coastal area as a case study.

Md Shemul Sheikh presenting

More about his research

Shemul's presentation focused on understanding how public policies and programs moderate the relationship between climate-induced migration, livelihood vulnerability, gender vulnerability, and the adaptation measures adopted by migrants in Bangladesh. The research analyses this phenomenon through quantitative data collection via household surveys, focus group discussions, in-depth semi-structured interviews with stakeholders, and a detailed exploration of climate migrants’ narratives via case studies.

The research's main focuses are:

  • Pinpointing climate change and migration policy consequences by strengthening empirical evidence with scientific analysis
  • Understanding climate-induced migration and its accompanying vulnerabilities concerning livelihood and gender
  • Formulating appropriate policies and programs that ultimately will contribute to good climate governance with special attention to climate-induced migration in Bangladesh

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