Delivering safely managed water supply and sanitation during rural-urban transition

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Civil Engineering


This PhD will focus on the strategic planning of water and sanitation services during rural-urban transition. The study will be interdisciplinary and involve a socio-institutional study of decision-making with a technical assessment of optimal planning pathways for investment in water and sanitation infrastructure in urban peripheries. The research will focus on small number of case study cities in South Asia.

The investigation into real-world decision making will draw on institutional and political economy approaches to unpack how decisions within and beyond the planning system shape the trajectories of development within water and sanitation systems. An emphasis will be placed on considering how decisions are affected by processes across different scales and timeframes, recognising the tension between planned and unplanned urban growth. The study into optimising planning pathways will bring together approaches from adaptive management and economic planning to examine possible pathways for managing rural-urban transition. The emphasis will be on developing an approach that can be used to assess pathways that can be optimised to different policy-making priorities such as financial efficiency, equity or the circular economy.

The overall aim will be to synthesis these elements to propose a workable methodology that city planners, engineers and other decision-makers can use to generate locally appropriate strategies for addressing these challenges in the chosen cities and more broadly.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/T517860/1 30/09/2020 29/09/2025
2655126 Studentship EP/T517860/1 01/02/2022 30/07/2025 Mahbub Ul Alam