WASHINGTON, DC, MARCH 6, 2017- IHC Global and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) held an urban research roundtable to discuss challenges and opportunities of urban field-based research, as part of IHC Global's priority to increase policy and practice focus on urban, housing and land issues. The roundtable was designed to engage young scholars and practitioners in an active discussion on research in the urban space.
Dr. Robin Rajack of the IDB kicked off a discussion on the current gaps in urban research, noting the importance of expanding the conception of 'urban' to include peri-urban areas, and of recognizing that often one urban metropolis represents multiple municipalities.
Dr. Rashmi Sadana of George Mason University then led the group into a discussion about the greatest challenges inherent in planning and conducting field research projects, urging young scholars to balance having a strong focus and specific research goals with remaining open to the flexibility that field work demands.
Dr. Tazreena Sajjad of American University opened a discussion on the applicability of field research, reminding of the importance of asking not just the "how" questions but the "why" questions, and recognizing that the goals of research often extend beyond having an immediate impact, to helping to change ways of thinking.
The roundtable was an important reminder of the multi-faceted nature of urban-based research and the importance of multi-disciplinary approaches.