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Katharina Ehrhart

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Urbanisation Migration Nexus Project

Conducted on behalf of: Department for International Development (DFID)

Commenced: March 2014

Project context

Asia’s urban population is predicted to double between the years 2000 and 2030.  This presents policymakers, international development organisations and civil society with diverse and complex development challenges. Notwithstanding political differences in Asia and country-specific drivers underpinning these challenges, poverty, informal labour markets, housing, basic services and governance are often addressed in similar ways in the region as a whole. Moreover, policies and programmes, by and large, seem to address these challenges in isolation (for example, treating urbanisation and migration, housing and livelihoods as distinct and unrelated entities).

Objectives of the project

The ‘Urbanisation-Migration Nexus Project’, a new research initiative at LSE, seeks to overcome this problem by exploring new economic, political, spatial and social relationships and outcomes generated as a result of the urbanisation-migration nexus in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan. The project will also investigate how the working poor are negotiating these relationships in uncertain and potentially adverse urban environments.

The project conceptualises urbanisation and migration as a fluid dialectic: on the one hand, urban economic growth and consumption fuel a demand for labour and, on the other, declining and precarious rural livelihoods make labour vulnerable to new urban demands. It also identifies and researches a number of ‘new’ forces and forms supporting contemporary rural to urban as well as small-town to urban migration.

Research team

Dr Sunil Kumar has an inter‐disciplinary background with a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture, a Master’s degree in Housing, a Postgraduate Diploma in Housing and a PhD in Planning Studies (University of London). He is a lecturer in the Department of Social Policy at the LSE and currently also the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Dr Melissa Fernández Arrigoitia has degrees in international development, gender studies and sociology. She is a Research Officer at LSE London.

Dr Zlatko Nikoloski is a development economist and a Research Officer at LSE Health.