In November 2016 we had the second face-to-face RESOLUTION meeting, a project funded by the ESRC and FAPESP and part of the ESRC Urban Transformation portfolio. A blog post on our first meeting can be found here (http://www.spatialcomplexity.info/archives/2793).

Our partners from Brazil joined us for a three-day meeting at UCL to present and discuss the work developed so far and plan our next steps.

The first day of the meeting was organised as a workshop on accessibility with presentations by John Pritchard (University of Twente), Alex Hagen-Zanker and Prashant Kumar (University of Surrey) – members of the ASTRID Project – as well as by Rafael Pereira (Oxford University) and Richard Milton (CASA, UCL). The RESOLUTION Project was presented by Joana Barros, Mariana Giannotti and Duncan Smith.  RESOLUTION and ASTRID projects have a common objective which is to improve the understanding between transport distribution and social justice. Both projects work with São Paulo and London as case studies, and ASTRID has the Netherlands’ Randstad South area as a third study area. Rafael Pereira’s study on the mega-events’ transport legacy in Rio de Janeiro asks ‘who actually benefits from the transport legacy? His presentation provided great insight on the distributive issues of transport projects in Brazil and provoked discussion on methodological and representational aspects of the research which are relevant for both projects. The QUANT Model presented by Richard Milton was also very relevant to the discussion, and not only demonstrated the dynamic relationship between transport accessibility and population/jobs at a large scale but also highlighted the importance of second order effects.  The common challenges for all projects were discussed and future collaborative efforts planned.

The second and third days of the meeting were intense workshops amongst the RESOLUTION project partners around each of the project 4 work packages:  accessibility, segregation, portal and model. The meeting marked the end of the exploratory studies on accessibility for each metropolitan area and defined the metrics and maps to be produced as outputs. As part of the segregation work package, the group has reached a definition of the overall socio-economic groups to be defined for both study areas which will be also used for the accessibility and model work packages. The main challenge remaining is the integration between analyses developed for the segregation and accessibility work packages so far. In other words, our next step is to establish the relationship between the two spatial processes as well as develop an index capable of portraying both accessibility and segregation aspects for both metropolitan areas.

The outputs from both accessibility and segregation packages will be made available online through the development of a set of geoportals. A prototype portal for São Paulo is currently being developed, with a matching portal for London to follow in 2017. A system for presenting comparative maps for both metropolitan areas is currently being devised.

The meeting concluded with a discussion on the work to be developed for the model work package, due to start in January 2017. The main points of the conceptual model were defined as well as our ultimate goals for the model. Representation and technical issues were also discussed and the model  working group is due to meet in February 2017 to continue the work started.

The meeting was very intense but equally productive. As the meeting progressed, it became clear that despite the number of challenges of a comparative study and working on separate teams and across the Atlantic, the project is developing in a coherent and integrated manner. The research question all teams are pursuing remains solid and both geographical representations and socio-economic groups are coherent across the different work packages.

The first publications on the project are currently being prepared and many more are being planned. 2017 will undoubtedly be a work intensive year for the project but one all partners are committed and motivated for. Along the meeting it became very clear to all of us that RESOLUTION is only the beginning as the research being developed has both the relevance and the potential to be further extended and detailed. We hope new opportunities to work on the theme will arise so the strong partnership formed for this project will continue to develop.

A project team selfie in front of the UCL main building (left-hand side) and a tired-looking team at the end of our third day of meetings (right-hand side).

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