Photovoice – “A picture is worth a thousand words”

There is an idiom in English that says “a picture is worth a thousand words” and yet social science research, especially ethnography, has often relied heavily on spoken and written words, with interviews, reflective writing and fieldwork notes usually comprising much of the data. In SmartUrbI, we have decided to use photographs taken by research participants as a prompt for reflection and dialogue.

‘We want to make people proud of their neighbourhood’ – First Local Lab in Copenhagen (Nord Vest)

The 7th of May 2018, on one of this years’ first sweltering summer days in Copenhagen, 15 active local people from the neighborhood of Nord Vest gathered to talk about their work. They represent a broad scope of various types of actors: some are active residents, others are entrepreneurs doing business, and some do social work in the area while others are public employees working with more strategic issues. However, common for all in the group is that they are identified as ‘smart urban intermediaries’ (SUI), meaning that they work locally to ‘make a difference’ in the neighborhood.


A Day in the Life…of a Community Organiser: Guest blog from Mahmooda Qureshi

When Mahmooda Qureshi was first contacted by HOPE not hate, she was already very active in her community, a mother and foster carer for children from challenging backgrounds. In 2007, she received an award from the City Council for her community work within the Islamic Society of Britain. Here, she explains what her life is like as a HOPE not hate community organiser.


Govan: A site of urban innovation

At the centre of our collaborative research is Govan, a former ship-building neighbourhood with a long working-class history in Glasgow. As many industrial sites, Govan was harshly hit by the process of de-industrialisation. Unemployment and the dismantling of former industrial sites are just some of the issues that Govan had to face.

City Farm Balsall Heath

Discovering Sparkbrook and Balsall Heath

Alison Gilchrist, the research fellow on the Birmingham team, describes her initial explorations of their ‘anchor neighbourhood’ just to the east of the inner-city. She shows how the combined Sparkbrook/Balsall Heath area meets the project’s criteria for somewhere that is vibrant, diverse and active in finding solutions to local challenges.

SmartUrban_Buildings and Trees-1