Search type

Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing

Creating 'age friendly cities': Developing a New Urbanism For All Generations

A series of events relating to cities and social inclusion.

Informal Politics in the City: Migration, Informality and Urban Citizenship

A one day workshop sponsored by cities@manchester, on informal politics in the city, migration and informality. The workshop will bring together those working on urban informality and migration, with the aim of teasing out the relevance of migration for understanding urban informality and highlighting the importance of the informal context for those working on migration. We will do this by focusing on the different ways in which migrants do politics, here understood in a very broad sense as everyday politics – and in all their diversity: based on migrants’ own identity as migrants, religion, work, or neighbourhood based around issues of housing. We will explore what kinds of visions of cities these different types of strategies promote and also how they contribute to the making of cities. Papers will be based on research carried out in Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Nouakchott, Dakar, and Harare.


  • Debby Potts (Kings)
  • Diana Mitlin (Manchester)
  • Hannah Cross (Manchester)
  • Jerónimo Montero Bressán (Manchester)
  • Marina Wertheimer Becich (Sheffield)
  • Tanja Bastia (Manchester)
  • Uma Kothari (Manchester)

For further information, please contact Tanja Bastia,

Urban Forum - Manchester: Towards a Just City?

Manchester like many cities at present suffers from growing divides, poverty and inequality. The Council has cut jobs and reduced services, while the centre of the city and surrounding retail high streets are blighted with a growing number of empty store fronts. With house prices stagnant or falling and unemployment levels across Greater Manchester continuing to rise, it is unclear how housing or labour markets can improve the living conditions of the local area. Some analysts point to possibilities for job growth from the creative industries and financial services sectors, but these opportunities remain as yet unrealised. In this research forum we bring together a number of stakeholders to explore where manchester is now, the challenges it faces and what it needs to do to become more at ease with itself and more socially just.


  • Neil McInroy, Chief Executive, Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES)
  • Allison Foreman, Project Development Coordinator, Greater Manchester Pay and Employment Rights Advice Service
  • John Holden, Deputy Director of Research, New Economy Manchester
  • Clive Memmott, Chief Executive, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce
  • Chair: Adam Leaver (Manchester Business School, University of Manchester)

The Commons: in what state?

This one-day workshop specifically for PhD and early career researchers across the UK aims to explore the nature, relevance, and value of the ‘commons’ for us today. In the context of the global financial crisis spawning resistance movements to the austerity urbanism imposed in its wake a new political narrative of the ‘commons’ appears to emerge as the signifier of radical alternatives to neoliberalization. But what do we mean by the ‘commons’ and how can we make theoretical sense and political use out of the concept?

Participants will be given 15 minutes to present, followed by questions and discussion from the audience led by a panel of leading academics from the School of Environment and Development at The University of Manchester. Confirmed so far are Prof. Maria Kaika, Prof. Erik Swyngedouw, and Prof. Diana Mitlin. The focus of the workshop is on providing the space for interdisciplinary debate and engagement with the issues as well feedback for particular presentations.

North West Early Modern Seminar - Printing Cities in Early Modern Europe: Venice and Beyond

Supported by cities@manchester. Details of the speakers can be downloaded via the link below:

Symposium and Public Lecture: The future of the multi-ethnic city

May 29, 2013.

Public lecture (open to all): Professor Caroline Knowles (Goldsmiths)

'Digging Up the Urban Periphery: Reflections from Beijing on Migration, Ethnicity and Cities'

This interdisciplinary event will bring together scholars interested in race, ethnicity and the urban. It will address questions such as: What is the future of post-industrial cities in an era of renewed economic uncertainty and a creeping racialised politics of citizenship? How can scholarly work engage with questions about the future of such cities and the engendering of
new inequalities?

Supported by cities@manchester.

In the Jungle of Cities: mobs, murders, crowds, riots and crises in the modern city

30 May, 2013

The relationship between the modern city and violence has been an essential one for literature, film, television and other cultural production. ‘‘In the Jungle of Cities’: mobs, murders, crowds, riots and crises in the city’, a one day conference to be held on May 30th 2013 at Chetham's Library, will seek to interrogate the relationship between violence and urban spaces from an interdisciplinary perspective. Papers will be presented by established scholars, early career researchers, and postgraduate students. The conference will bring together researchers examining this topic from a wide range of different fields including literature, history, architecture, politics and cultural studies.

Supported by cities@manchester.

For more information please visit:

Diverse Neighbourhoods: Policy messages from University of Manchester research

31 May 2013

Neighbourhoods with a greater mix of residents from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds have been widely stigmatised, and recent political debates have associated immigration and ethnic diversity with a reduction in social cohesion. However, findings from research conducted at The University of Manchester show that it is deprivation, rather than diversity, that is the key factor. This conference aims to disseminate this research to policy, third sector, media and public audiences by discussing the following findings:

  • British neighbourhoods are very mixed, and increasingly so; 
  • An increase in neighbourhood diversity leads to higher social cohesion and reports that people in the area get on well together; 
  • It is deprivation, and not ethnic diversity, which erodes social cohesion and leads to other detrimental health and social outcomes.

This conference will bring together University of Manchester researchers with local and national policy makers, third sector organisations, non-academic users and the media on the characteristics and resources of ethnic and religious diverse neighbourhoods, counteracting common myths about these areas. Thus, the main aim of the conference is to influence how people involved in the governance of diverse neighbourhoods, broader political bodies, and the media think about diverse communities.

Supported by cities@manchester.

Brownbag - 'Social return on investment in social housing: a look at a live case study of housing retrofit in Salford'

Tim Whitley, Associate Director, Arup
9 May 2013

Tim Whitley takes a leading role in low energy design and low carbon energy advice for a variety of building types. He has over 20 years experience in the industry which is supplemented by site coordination and research experience.

As an Associate Director, Tim is part of the Arup North West leadership team and has been responsible for numerous key projects in the North West. He takes an active role in promoting low energy design and sustainability on all projects. He has presented at conferences and Universities and has been responsible for publications relating to low carbon heritage buildings, housing retrofit and museum and art gallery sustainability.

Joint cities@manchester / Manchester Urban Collaboration on Health Seminar

David Walsh, Public Health Programme Manager, Glasgow Centre for Population Health

7 May 2013

Exploring reasons for different health outcomes between Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester

Urban Forum - Creating 'age-friendly cities': developing a new urbanism for all generations

Joint event with MICRA (Manchester Interdisciplinary Collaboration for Research on Ageing).

30 April 2013

Ageing populations are an important feature of city life, with more people living into their 70s, 80s and beyond. But combining the interests of older populations with urban environments focused on attracting younger generations may result in conflict. How can the city of the future work to support all generations? What are the public spaces that need to be created to encourage a dialogue across generations? This research forum will tackle these and related questions drawing on current work in Manchester and across other European cities. The aim of the forum will be to highlight some of the challenges in bringing different age groups together but also the benefits and possibilities arising from new forms of solidarity.


  • Stefan White (Manchester School of Architecture)
  • Paul McGarry (Senior Strategy Manager, Valuing Older People Team, Manchester City Council)
  • Graeme Henderson (Research Fellow IPPR North)
  • Chair: Chris Phillipson (MICRA, University of Manchester)

Brownbag - 'Town Centres - challenges, opportunities and change in Greater Manchester'

Garreth Bruff, Policy Manager, Greater Manchester Integrated Support Team, Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA)

25 April 2013

Everyone has a view on the issues facing their local town centre, from car parking to shopping on Amazon - we all know the problems and who deserves the 'blame'. This talk looks at some of the issues and potential solutions, focussing on the principal town centres of Greater Manchester and the types of intervention available at both local and city-region scales if town centres are to successfully restructure in response to changing consumer demands.

Garreth Bruff is a Policy Manager for the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities/Greater Manchester Combined Authority, where he has managed a number of pieces of collaborative work into the future of GMs town centres. Prior to this he had the illuminating experience of working as town centre manager in his own local town, Barnsley.

Urban Forum - Feeding the City: The Politics & Promise of Urban Food

19 March 2013

Cities around the world are emerging as key locales for growing food. A variety of approaches are being piloted to enhance health and well-being, encourage local economic growth and self-sufficiency, enrich social cohesion and community development, and diversify urban greening and resilience. In this research forum, we will discuss the opportunities and barriers of urban agriculture and speculate on the future of growing food in cities.


  • Graeme Sherriff (Manchester Architecture Research Centre, University of Manchester)
  • Chris Walsh (Kindling Trust)
  • Debbie Ellen (independent researcher)
  • Liz Postlethwaite (Director - Small Things Creative Projects)
  • Chair: Carly McLachlan, Tyndall Centre and Sustainable Consumption Institute

MICRA and Cities@Manchester Joint Seminar

Population Ageing and the Future of Cities: Designing Age-Friendly Environments
26 February 2013


  • Stefan White, Senior Lecturer, Manchester School of Architecture (University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University)
  • Paul McGarry, Strategy Manager, Valuing Older People
  • Professor Liesbeth De Donder, Professor in Adult Educational Sciences, Brussels Free University 
  • Chair – Professor Chris Phillipson, Sociology and Social Gerontology, University of Manchester