MISTY Project: Migration, Transformation, Sustainability.

 While the topics of sustainability and migration are both widely discussed, there is little understanding of the connections between the two. The project MISTY migration, transformation, sustainability seeks to explore the ways that migration interacts with sustainability concerns in destination cities, with an emphasis on the unrecognised benefits that it can bring. Drawing on research in Europe, North America, Africa and Asia, this five-year research project will support the emergence of a more empathetic and evidence-based approach to migration management in cities, emphasising opportunities for urban sustainability. Led by the University of Exeter, this multidisciplinary project is a collaboration between eight institutions. It is  funded by the Belmont Forum Transformation to Sustainability programme under the UK Economic and Social Research Council. In February 2020, Dr. Sonja Fransen travelled to Ghana to participate in a consortium meeting to discuss the progress of the research project, the results from the first data that were collected in six cities (Accra, Amsterdam, Dhaka, Worcester, Brussels, and Maputo), and the planning for the coming years.

The COVID-19 outbreak has compelled MISTY to adapt its data collection plans for a comparative survey across five sites, scheduled for the end of March 2020. MISTY has postponed the comparative survey and designed three additional data collection instruments to test some of the initial hypotheses envisaged. The new instruments will also allow to explore the effect of the COVID-19 crisis in sustainable practices considering two factors. This includes how the global health crisis amplifies social inequality and new opportunities for participation in alternative citizen-led initiatives to face the COVID-19 crisis. Read more about MISTY’s innovative ways to collect data in times of COVID-19 here.