TYPCities – Call for Research Proposal

TYPCities – Call for Research Proposal

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AAPA 2022 Annual Conference – Call for Papers
UR&P Vol 15, Issue 3 Thumbnail
Urban Research & Practice – Volume 15, Issue 3

Technology and youth participation in governing intermediary cities in low- and middle-income countries (TYPCities)

Call for Research Proposals

Organiser: Fondation Botnar


Today, more than half of the world’s population live in urban settings. By 2050, that figure is expected to rise even further, to 6.5 billion people, with the vast majority being young people. Even by 2030, an estimated 60% of urban populations will be under the age of 18. It is therefore young people who are, and will be continuing to, drive the future of our cities.

Fondation Botnar, is working to improve the wellbeing of young people (between the ages of 10 - 24 years old) living in cities around the world. Responding to the need to give young people a greater say in rapidly urbanising environments by harnessing the potential of digital and data-driven technologies, Fondation Botnar is inviting applicants to submit research proposals as part of the interdisciplinary research program ‘Technology and youth participation in governing intermediary cities in LMICs’ (TYPCities).


TYPCities will generate original research analysing how technology can be used to enable youth participation in the daily governance of intermediary cities in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The program will produce empirical insights and analytical findings about the role of various digital technologies in urban governance based on multi-sited research within and across cities and countries.

Research themes:

Theme 1: Technology and youth participation – differentiating youth

Key questions:

  • How do different types of technology shape youth participation at neighbourhood - and city - level in intermediary cities?
  • Which digital innovations lend themselves to strengthening more youth inclusive urban governance and why?
  • How do differences in gender, class and literacy impact youths’ ability to adopt technology to address pressing urban challenges?
  • What is the relationship between online and offline youth mobilisation in intermediary cities?
  • Which technological solutions in urban planning are beneficial to youth and which ones are harmful?

Theme 2: Youth and urban governance – distinguishing policy domains

Key questions:

  • Which technology-enabled urban policies are particularly well suited to promote and institutionalise youth participation in intermediary cities?
  • How can increased accountability by city planners and officials to their young urban residents be achieved through digital and data-driven technologies?
  • Which technology-enabled youth initiatives or movements were successful in influencing specific urban policies – and which ones failed?
  • Are there examples of technology-enabled youth strategies that have proven effective in disrupting or improving urban policies that are harmful to young city dwellers?

Theme 3: Urban governance and technological innovation – understanding contexts

Key questions:

  • How does the digitalisation of urban governance vary across political contexts in intermediary cities in LMICs?
  • How has urban youth across different socio-cultural and political contexts reacted to state-led technologies at city level?
  • What are the impacts of the digital turn and datafication in urban governance on existing, non-technological forms of youth participation?
  • Which potentials and challenges of technology-enabled urban governance are specific to intermediary cities in LMICs as opposed to high-income countries?
  • How does technological knowledge and expertise interact with and reconfigure more popular forms of knowledge in intermediary cities?


We are inviting proposals from research consortia with a track record of academic excellence in technology, urban and youth studies, geography, anthropology, sociology, political science, and development studies.
Applicants should have proven experience in collaborative research partnerships, conducting, and supervising data collection in LMICs, publishing in high ranking academic outlets, grant management as well as research uptake to policy-makers and practitioners. Universities, think tanks, and research institutions fulfilling these criteria may partner with private sector entities including NGOs and social enterprises as part of their application.

Deadline for submission of pre-proposals: 31 August 2022, 23.59 CET
Applications to the TYPCities program will undergo two phases.
Pre-proposals must be submitted to Fondation Botnar via the email address typcities@fondationbotnar.org.
To get more information about the TYPCities research call, please visit TPYCities website page.
Download the CALL

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