International Doctoral Cluster - Cities and infrastructure in a global age

A bridge in Calgary

Infrastructure is a concept over which many disciplines claim some intellectual ownership. While for some disciplines the interest in infrastructure is long-standing, for others it is a more recent development, where there appears to have been something akin to an “infrastructural turn” (Dodson, 2015: 87).

One area in which recent years have seen insights from a number of these disciplines converge and overlap is that on infrastructure and urbanization. As cities are increasingly understood as sites through which planetary futures are being made and remade, so there appears some utility in using “infrastructure” as a means of understanding contemporary urbanization.

The Singapore skyline at nighttime

This thinking through the different ways in which infrastructure comes to be present in cities, the nature of its relationship with urbanization and how this might involve, perhaps even necessitate, a rethinking of the concept itself, is the focus for this International Doctoral Cluster (IDC). It will bring together researchers from across disciplines to fund a series of graduate projects.

The IDC will support the comparison and exchange of conceptual, empirical and methodological insights into the past, present and future work of cities and infrastructure in a global age, with the building in of a strong element of engagement, impact and outreach with private, public and third sectors users.

How to apply

A modern building in Louisville

Review the guidelines in the Project proposal call document [PDF]

Complete and submit the Project proposal call application form [Word doc]

A single, jointly prepared application should be submitted to with the email subject heading “IDC: Cities and infrastructure in a global age”.

Deadline for project proposals:  Friday, 4 December 2020 (17.00 pm Canada/22.00 pm UK)


Kevin Ward (

Director, Manchester Urban Institute

The University of Manchester