Congratulations to Hoai Anh Tran and Stephen Marr for winning the Riksbankens Jubileumsfond Sabbatical grant!

Adriana de La Peña Espinosa Awards & Distinctions

IUR researchers Hoai-Anh Tran and Stephen Marr won a RJ Sabbatical for 2022-2023. With this grant, researchers receive funding to complete research already at an advanced stage and to write syntheses. In addition, senior lecturers and professors can spend six to twelve months completing research that is already at an advanced stage and writing syntheses. Grants include support for a stay abroad, thus promoting international ties for Swedish research and education.


Hoai Anh Tran research project:

State-led versus people-led: synergies and tensions in Vietnam’s urban development.

The aim of the project is to complete and synthesise my collected research on urban space production in Hanoi with a focus on the synergies and tensions between state modernisation projects and bottom-up initiatives by individuals and groups, particularly those of the urban poor. My research elaborates and expands upon the notion of state-led versus people-led urbanisation proposed by McGee (2009), and highlights the role of ‘informal’ initiatives in the production of affordable housing and infrastructures, as well as in the shaping of urban and housing policies.

The project proposes 1) to investigate recent bottom-up space production initiatives at Hanoi’s urban periphery to supplement my previous research with new typologies of people-led developments 2) to synthesise my collected research with new findings in order to provide a rich chronological account of the typologies of people-led developments through different phases of Hanoi’s development from the 1980s to the present. The goal of the synthesis work is to compile material into an edited book that highlights the spatial and political agency of the urban poor, the negotiating character of the relationship between state and society, and the crucial role played by informalised processes in Vietnam’s urbanisation. The sabbatical application includes two research stays at research centers that focus on Asian research, at the City University of Hong Kong and the University of Washington, Seattle respectively.

Stephen Marr research project:

Do-It-Yourself Practices and Politics of Urban Climate Adaptation and Mitigation on the Margins: Detroit in Comparative Perspective

During the sabbatical period (August 2022 – June 2023), I seek to complete a series of articles on everyday practices and politics of climate change adaptation and mitigation in Detroit. The writings coalesce empirical findings and theoretical innovations developed through a FORMAS-funded research project, The Practice and Politics of Urban Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Efforts at the Margins (2018-2020). The proposed project explores how vulnerable urban dwellers in Detroit manage the effects of climate change amidst extreme levels of inequality and in the context of uneven state presence. The proposed articles follow two tracks. The first two articles draw on interviews, ethnographic observation, and document analysis to examine DIY infrastructure-making in Detroit in both historical and contemporary perspectives. Second, two articles emplace Detroit in comparative conversation with Lagos and Lusaka, respectively, to explore shared challenges related to sustainable urbanism and socio-economic and racial (in)justice. Collectively, the articles advocate for the need to foreground class, race, and inequality in conversations around climate change and sustainability, while highlighting the importance of including the knowledge(s) and perspectives of vulnerable citizens at all stages of the planning processes from conceptualization to implementation. The sabbatical application provides for an extended stay at Wayne State University in Detroit during the autumn of 2022.