Urban inequalities and poverty

Human migration impacts on the environment at a global, national and local level and is often the focus of intense political attention and debate. Yet, to date, research has not kept up with the pace, scale and patterns of either the voluntary movement of economic migrants, the forced migration of asylum-seekers and refugees, or the large-scale involuntary displacement of people due to climate change effects such as flooding or other natural disasters.

Such research plays an important role in advancing understanding of the causes, consequences and experiences of human movement within the context of rapid urbanization and globalisation in diverse contexts

Previous work in this area has explored the access to, and experiences of established and recent migrants to key public services including housing, planning, social care, employment and the arts. Recent work has examined the relationship between migration and poverty, and what can be done to alleviate the effects of poverty among both migrants and the majority population, including among low-paid workers, in both urban and rural contexts.

Yet another strand of work has examined the dynamics of identity construction and negotiation, and issues related to belonging, integration and exclusion at various spatial levels as well as (changing) forms of multiculturalism. Such issues continue to remain in sharp focus following the Global Financial Crisis, and within the UK, are the subject of current debates on how the nation positions itself within the EU.

Research in this area has been used as the basis for expert witness guidance and advice to the European Commission, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, the National Institute of Clinical Excellence, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Scottish Government and quasi-governmental organisations.