The Urban Institute is delighted to welcome Tanzil Shafique as a new Associate Researcher. Tanzin joined the Sheffield School of Architecture as a Lecturer in 2021. He completed his Ph.D. at the Melbourne School of Design where he also taught graduate urban planning and design studios.

Tanzil’s research agenda takes urban informality as a broad territory to explore from a multidisciplinary perspective and seeks to draw out an urban theory from the empirical engagement with marginalised communities and citizen-led initiatives of urban transformation. The research is ongoing at two distinct scales:

  1. Socio-political dynamics of the so-called ‘informal’ urban transformation in the Global South.
  2. Global comparative studies of such transformations, and the insights that can be generated using the new theoretical frameworks developed from within the margins of urban theory.

Tanzin has recently been part of an international collaboration looking at a comparative analysis of 50 citizen-led settlements in 34 countries. The outcome of the project, “Atlas of Settling Informally” is due to be published as a monograph (Bloomsbury, 2022).

Tanzil’s research agenda overlaps with that of the Urban Institute, specifically in relation to interest around differentiated individuations of ‘right to city’ as a lived reality—‘arrangements’  that are enabling a multiplicity of other ways of city-making across the world, based on the capacities of citizens and communities to collectivise, to resist capitalistic processes and bring about a transformative change of their neighbourhood/city—be it in the informal settlements in Dhaka or the Banglatowns of London.