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Research Fellows Directory

Claudia Loggia

Dr Claudia Loggia

Research Fellow


University of Westminster

Research summary

Around the world, informal low-income settlements (so-called slums) have been a major issue in city management and environmental sustainability. The present research seeks to develop a decision-support framework for the development of self-reliant communities, understanding the issues of vulnerability, community resilience and adaptive capacity. Upgrading informal settlements from the bottom-up is key to inform broad protocols and strategies for sustainable communities and adaptive cities. The overarching aim of this research project is to transfer knowledge to mainstream construction and inform policy making in relation to the vulnerability of low income and informal communities in South African cities. In collaboration with Dr Maria Christina Georgiadou, from Westminster University, this study seeks to investigate the feasibility of in situ participatory upgrade as an incremental strategy for upgrading informal settlements in the context of a smart city development. In fact, it is vain to design and deliver energy efficient and sustainable cities that have slums and shacks, which are not integrated in city environmental design and management, thus lacking in hazard reducing infrastructure, such as drainage, flood alleviation schemes, lack of overheating strategies. The proposed research will be participatory seeking to lay the foundation for an evidence base of self-reliant strategies in the UK construction and the extent to which they can be transferred to the African context.

Grants awarded

Building Urban Resilience for Self-Reliance in African cities (project acronym: BURSAC): Energy and environmental management systems to upgrade informal and low-income settlements in South Africa

Scheme: Newton Advanced Fellowship

Dates: Mar 2016 - Mar 2019

Value: £111,000