Sussex Asia Centre

Prof Fiona Marshall

Current Research Projects in South Asia

Risks and Responses to Urban Futures: rural-urban synergies for enhanced ecosystem services and poverty alleviation. (2014-2016).

A collaborative project led by SPRU with colleagues in Life Sciences and IDS at Sussex, and in India, Sri Lanka and Nepal (at IWMI, Jawarhalal Nehru University, national and local NGOs)

Funder: ESPA programme (NERC-ESRC-DFID).


Peri-urban areas, at the interface between urban and rural, link rural livelihoods with the urban lifestyles that put multiple pressures on peri-urban ecosystems. This poses huge challenges for the health and livelihoods of an increasing number of disenfranchised, poor and marginalised citizens, and for sustainable urban development. To address these challenges, we aim to expose the hidden challenges and opportunities for sustainable urban development – by mapping and documenting flows of ecosystem services and the experiences of peri-urban communities, as well as analysing the relevant institutions, governance, policy processes and programmes. Working across the natural and social sciences, and with empirical case studies in India, we are focusing on the need to recognize peri-urban ecosystem services, to plan for city regions and to enhance peri-urban/urban synergies in order to underpin sustainable urban food systems.


Environmental Health in transitional spaces: Alternatives pathways for urban waste management in India. (2011-2015)

Funder: A STEPS Centre project funded by the ESRC


In informal spaces on the edge of cities, people can be especially exposed to pollution, diseases and occupational health risks. Through collaborative research with academics, NGOs and practitioners in India, this project examines the shortfalls in current, official pathways which seek to deal with environmental health, and explores what the alternatives might be. We have developed recommendations for rethinking urban waste management through a sustainabiltity lens (that brings together often divergent environmental, health and social justice concerns) – as part of a wider programme of research on sustainable urbanization.

Also see:

We will launch the STEPS Centre South Asia sustainability hub in January 2016 in Delhi. The launch will coincide with an international conference on Sustainable Urbanisation at Jawaharlal Nehru University. The conference will include events linked to the above two research projects in addition to many others.