SIRCUS - Salford Interdisciplinary Research Connecting Urban Society

The relationships between universities and cities are complex and multi-faceted, resulting in multiple challenges and tensions. Institutional conditions, cultures and contexts can inhibit the development of productive relationships between researchers and policy-makers.

Whilst policy-makers are concerned to access a fragmented academic knowledge base to inform policy, researchers point to the challenge of balancing between critique and engagement, avoiding the pitfalls of producing ‘policy-based evidence’.

SIRCUS takes this critique as its starting point and seeks to understand alternative ways of organising knowledge to enable more positive transformations for urban communities to develop more sustainable futures.  The process is to engage with five collaborative activities – at different scales - to reflect on mechanisms for bringing interdisciplinary research and practice together:

1.    An international workshop on ‘Universities and urban transformations’, held in September 2014;

2.    Cross-regional collaboration with Northern Universities on ‘The Future of the North’;

3.    Engagement and support for GM Low Carbon Economy Research Forum;

4.    Peer-to-peer learning groups;

5.    Development of an interdisciplinary community of urban research and practice within the University.


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Photo: Baresi Franco / Wikimedia Commons

Project members

  • Beth Perry

    Professor Beth Perry is the Director of the Sheffield Manchester Local Interaction Platform for Mistra Urban Futures.

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  • Tim May

    Tim May is Professor in the Methods Institute, University of Sheffield and International Methodological Advisor to the SMLIP, having been involved in MUF from its beginnings. 

    Tim has written and edited sixteen books; edited an international book series, special journal editions and over 180 articles, chapters, reports and policy briefings.

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  • Mark E Atherton

    Mark Atherton joined AGMA, Association of Greater Manchester Authorities, in May 2012 as Director of Environment for Greater Manchester.  In this role, Mark provides strategic support to the Greater Manchester Low Carbon Hub by leading the development and delivery of business plans and investment frameworks, plus research and public policy development.

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