Urban Studies

The Research Proposal should have a scope of 350 to 500 words. It should be concise and to the point. Formulate clear sentences and well-thought-out statements. Please provide an outline of your intended small research project. Tell the reader, why you think your project is significant and worth to be examined in depth? What are important research questions you seek out to answer? What is your research set-up? What are/is (a) possible case study site(s), and why have you selected it/ them? How do they differ, or what do they have in common? What is it insightful to make a comparison? Lastly, what are your research hypotheses and what might be expected findings?

Further advice regarding the selection of a ‘good’, or ‘interesting’, or ‘relevant’ topic:

Think about how recent, novel developments like the COVID19 pandemic impacted on live in cities around the world? How it changed the ways public spaces likes parks have been used, managed, or designed? How did it change how we work, play, live in our communities, etc.?
Pick a topic that interests you personally (public park, square, public building, promenade, waterfront, gentrification, urban agriculture, social justice, etc.); to which you have a regular exposure or a deep interest
try to identify an interesting issue that you like and that is meaningful to you and research into it
There are always further facts that we can ‘read’ out or infer from our case studies, beyond its mere physical appearance: For example, who manages the space? Who uses it? What are competing claims? Conflicting uses? What interesting issues? What are difficult ethical issues?
use news paper articles, social media posts, academic texts, YouTube video, etc. to develop your argument and substantiate your claims carefully
contemporary spaces as well historical ones can be the subject of your research, physical as well as virtual ones
Below is a list with possible, broad research fields. You are free to chose your own topic as well, as far as you can demonstrate that it is a valid urban studies topic:

– Capacity building & community empowerment

– Cities & Environmental Challenges

– Global City Formation

– Fragmentation, Socio-Spatial Divisions & Homelessness

– Urban Restructuring & Social Movements

– The Right to the City, Equity & Social Inclusion

– Gentrification, Exclusion, Gated Communities

– Historical Preservation, Identity, Authenticity

– Cities and Climate Change Adaptation

– Cultural Capitals: Cities of Fashion & Art

– Transnational Migration & Parallel Societies

– Neoliberal City & Privatisation of Public Goods

– Cities & Infrastructure

– Creative Cities & Place Politics

– Cities, Surveillance & the ‘War on Terror’

– Nationstate, New Regionalism & Citizenship

– Urban Agriculture & Food

– Cities in Post-disaster Situations & Resilience