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Planning and Environmental Management

Rethinking the 'green' city: Contributions to environmental and sociocultural interpretations of urban development

We are pleased to announce that The University of Manchester and the University of Brasilia have been awarded funding from the Newton Fund to host the Rethinking the 'green city' researcher links workshop in Brasilia on 23-26 April 2019.

Composite image of event logo and logos of the Newton Fund and Universidade de Brasilia
This event is funded by the Newton Fund and will be hosted in partnership with Universidade de BrasilĂ­a

We are now inviting Early Career Researchers (ECRs) from the UK and Brazil to apply to attend this workshop. Travel and accommodation expenses will be covered via funding from the Newton Fund Researcher Links program.

The deadline for applications is Friday 8 February 2019 (5pm UK time). Applicants will be informed whether they have been selected on 15 February 2019. 


This initiative is a partnership between the Department of Planning and Environmental Management at The University of Manchester and the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of the University of Brasilia. Approximately 40 academics from the UK and Brazil, most of whom will be early-stage researchers, will participate in this four-day workshop.

The workshop aims to explore the different approaches taken to help rethink how we plan for and green our cities using alternative concepts, planning tools, design, innovative research methodologies to find solutions to key urban planning. There is a growing interest in the application of such ideas supporting a developing consensus that sustainable urbanization can help address multiple global social challenges and generate benefits. This includes the role of design, development and management in improving people's health and well-being, ecosystem equilibrium, economic development and preserving their services with results increasing resilience to climate change.

The challenge is to implement the necessary changes in consolidated urban paradigms.

The workshop will bring together Early Career Researchers (ECRs) working across the fields of landscape, planning, urban design, ecology, engineering, water management and additional disciplines for a four-day event considering how we plan, design and manage our changing urban environments.

Applicants are encouraged to apply for the workshop if they are working on research in any of these areas. Moreover, although the workshop has environmental focus applications are encouraged from ECRs working in complementary research areas. The aim of the workshop is to generate a conversation between researchers, to share research experiences and to foster future collaborations between academics and practitioners in the UK and Brazil. 


  • Promote academic collaborations in between the UK and Brazil researchers and institutions;
  • To act as a forum for the transnational synthesis of knowledge on theories, methods and strategies for the rethinking of planned, green and sustainable cities, taking into account different socioeconomic and environmental scenarios;
  • Identify strategies capable of informing the national debates surrounding the theme of Green cities and their relationship with water, urban climate change, urban design and socio-cultural interpretations of urban areas;
  • Contribute to the qualification of early-stage researchers (ECRs) in related fields. 

Expected results

The workshop will enable researchers to learn from best practices, critically analyze the benefits and pitfalls of case studies, and advance current theoretical and empirical knowledge. It will also provide valuable information on how academics, planners, and policymakers can apply this knowledge to their cities and regions.

As a result, we want to build partnerships around a set of solutions that can be used by urban planners, government technicians and NGOs to facilitate how to deal with climate issues, urban environmental problems and socio-economic demands.

In addition, the workshop will also provide opportunities to engage with debates concerning academic publishing, applying for and managing funding, and establishing effective collaborations.

The workshop also proposes to develop a set of academic and practitioner outputs drawing on participant experience and expertise.   

Tentative programme

The proposed activities are participatory and include a series of lectures, field visits and participatory research sessions when the ECRs will present and discuss their work. Additional sessions will focus on publications, research methods, networking and opportunities for UK-Brazil research collaborations. Synthesis and implementation activities will continue to involve a variety of stakeholders.  

Eligibility criteria

  • Participants should be Early Career Researchers: Early Career Researchers are defined as having a PhD (or having equivalent research experience) and having up to 10 years of experience in postdoctoral research. They are equivalent to the categories "Recognized Researcher" and sometimes "Experienced Researcher" within the EU framework for researchers' careers.
  • PhD students who are at least in the third year may be eligible if there are vacancies available.
  • Participants must have an academic or research position (a permanent position, research contract or scholarship) at a recognized research institution in the United Kingdom or Brazil.
  • Participants should have results, surveys or projects, to present that focus on or discuss aspects of rethinking the planned and green city. This contribution may be in terms of methods, concepts, interventions or the policy-practice interface. Contributions on the topic of urban water, resilience to climate change, socio-cultural understandings of urban landscapes and the interaction of design, development and functionality are welcome.

Please note that participants will be required to attend all workshop sessions.


To apply for a place at the workshop, please submit an application form.  Deadline for applications is at 5pm GMT on 8 February 2019.

Once the deadline has passed, applications will be assessed by the workshop organisers for appropriateness. Applicants will be selected based on their research and potential contribution to the workshop. There are 17 places available for UK based ECRs.

All enquiries regarding the workshop and applications should be sent to Dr Ian Mell (UK workshop leader) via email (