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Environment and Development Research Lab

LAB Director - Dr. Liana Ricci

The Environment and Development Research Lab conducts interdisciplinary research on key theories, policies and practices in the fields of environment and international development. The Lab aims to develop research exploring the evolving concept of development and international development and cooperation policies and practices, and how they integrate environmental, climate change and sustainability challenges.

Development agendas are increasingly complex, including new actors and donors with the private and business sector now playing a key role in international development. These global transformations led to new forms of partnership and cooperation that are shaping the way the environment and human-nature interactions are governed and managed.

The Lab conducts research across different sectors including urbanisation, infrastructure development, environmental change, natural resource management, agriculture and food production, ecosystem services and biodiversity.

Key Research Areas

Global Urban challenges
  • Formal and informal urban development and affordable and equitable access to land, mobility, housing and infrastructure and services in cities of the Global South, particularly in fast-growing cities in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Rural-urban relationships to understand the hybrid rural-urban livelihoods, changing land-use patterns and the flow of resources and services within and between rural, peri-urban and urban areas
  • Urban policies and planning for climate change adaptation and mitigation and sustainable urban development, addressing both the negative impacts of climate change on urban areas and the contribution of urban processes to greenhouse gas emissions and vulnerability to climate change.
Climate Change Adaptation
  • Mainstreaming of climate change adaptation into local and global environmental policies and plans
  • Vulnerability to environmental change in urban and peri-urban areas
  • Climate-resilient infrastructure exploring how policies and plans can support the development of infrastructure to cope with the increasing climate variability and extreme events, and how to integrate climate adaptation and mitigation strategies into infrastructure development
Sustainable Food Systems:
  • Cross-scale and multi-stakeholder approach to analysing sustainable food systems
  • City-region food systems, rural-urban connections and action planning and policies
  • Sustainable food environments
Ambition and Engagement

The Lab engages with a wide network of scholars globally, and has a long-standing research collaboration with colleagues in sub-Saharan Africa.

Engaging with international academic networks, the Lab stimulates national and international academic debate and cooperation, interdisciplinary collaborative research, and contributes to capacity-building activities and public engagement to enhance academic and community awareness on environment and development challenges.

The Lab has the ambition to bring research into policy-processes, developing innovative research to inform decision-making and policy design at the global, national and local levels, to address key environmental and international development challenges.

The Lab is also keen to investigate and address asymmetries in knowledge production and development of South-North research partnerships for environmental policy and planning research and to co-produce knowledge with local communities and social movements.

Partnerships and Projects

The Lab supports the work of UCD Environmental Policy as a Partner Centre of the (opens in a new window)Environment for Development (EfD) network.

(opens in a new window)Water management through ECOhydrology for climate change ADAPTation in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania (WECOAdapt)

The Team
The Team

Contact UCD Environmental Policy

University College Dublin, Richview, Clonskeagh, D14 E099, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 2711 | E: pep@ucd.ie | Location Map(opens in a new window)