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Affiliated Researcher Program

The Sustainable Cities International Affiliated Researchers Program (ARP) is a collaborative initiative bringing together top level international graduate students with the projects and expertise of SCI network member cities. The ARP fosters a three way exchange between researchers, individual cities, and the broader SCI network.

Aimed at graduate students researching urban sustainability, the ARP gives students access to innovative urban sustainability leaders and projects. Following a competitive selection process, successful applicants work with SCI and local project staff to plan and implement their research program. SCI provides Affiliated Researchers (ARs) with guidance and helps facilitate their research work on the ground. For their part, ARs feed their research back into the SCI network, providing analytical insights into the strengths, weaknesses, and larger context for work going on in SCI member cities.

Through the ARP, network cities themselves may also post calls for more specifically focused research partnerships to explore questions that they have identified as being of particular importance. SCI will then work with applicants to help establish a research project that meets the needs of both the researcher and the host city.

Research conducted as part of the ARP helps to build and disseminate knowledge linked to SCI's three key research areas;

  • synergies between environmental, social, and economic sustainability;
  • mainstreaming and integration of sustainability planning across municipal institutions;
  • environmental governance and the multiple relationships between state, private, and civil-society actors involved in integrated and ambitious approaches to urban sustainability.

A more detailed detailed summary of areas that are of interest to SCI and its member cities can be found in SCI's Overview of Research Areas and Objectives .

For additional information on research at SCI or the Affiliated Researchers Program please contact Dr. Alex Aylett at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  .


Current researchers


Afton Halloran, a former SCI intern, is based in the Department of Agriculture and Ecology at the University of Copenhagen. Her research focuses on urban agriculture, food security, and the barriers that hinder the recognition of urban food production as a legitimate urban activity. She is currently in the final stages of a comparative project looking at the cities of Copenhagen and in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania). Contact: aftonhalloran(at)

For more on Afton's research see her posts on the SCI blog.




Clara Ganemtore is studying regional and urban planning at the London School of Economics. Her work centres on urban resilience to environmental threats. Based on a case study of flood risk management in Dakar, Senegal, she is examining the interplay between community-driven and institutional-based practices in cities of the Global South. Her research also explores how increasing environmental resilience may be linked to meeting broader socio-economic development goals. Contact: bcgganem(at)

For more on Clara's research, see her posts on the SCI Blog.


li shenLi Shen is a PhD candidate in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Saskatchewan. Using an innovative combination of GIS techniques, statistical analysis and survey data she is creating a holistic framework for evaluating urban sustainability. The primary focus of her PhD research is the city of Saskatoon. She is particularly interested in the links that exist between objective measurements of urban sprawl and residents subjective perception of changes in their quality of life. Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more info on Li's work, see her posts on the SCI Blog.


KristensenFreya Kristensen is a PhD candidate in the department Geography at Simon Fraser University and a researcher with the SFU Centre for Sustainable Community Development. Her work examines how international municipal sustainability networks influence policy learning around sustainability. Focusing particularly on the social dimension of sustainability this research investigates if and how sustainability networks make a difference in the kinds of policies implemented by network members. Freya is also a research assistant on the Meeting the Climate Change Challenge (MC3) project, funded by Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS), which is looking at innovative climate change policies in eleven BC communities and how their experiences can be transferred elsewhere.

Contact: freya.kristensen(at)

For more on Freya's research, please see her posts on the SCI blog.


EricPorse 2Erik Porse is a Ph.D. candidate in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Davis. His research focuses on interdisciplinary approaches to analysis and modeling of innovative water management designs in cities. He is particularly interested in the integration of distributed and centralized infrastructure to improve urban ecosystems. Through SCI, he is working with IMPLAN in Los Cabos, Mexico to develop water management strategies and landscape designs that incorporate sustainable stormwater, wastewater, flood control, and recreational infrastructure. He has a Master's Degree in Public Policy with a concentration in Science and Technology Policy from George Mason University, and a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering and Music from the University of Hartford.

Contact: eporse(at)

For more info on Eric's work, please see his posts on our SCI Blog.