Dr Deljana Iossifova

Senior Lecturer in Urban Studies

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Research interests

Iossifova is interested in urban transformations and the complex interplay between urbanisation processes, the fabrication of inequality and the human experience of change. Theoretical work focuses on the development of a larger research agenda around cities as complex adaptive systems.

Her current research explores the links between urban transformations and everyday life, for instance on the example of urban development and everyday sanitation in China, India and Brazil; the transformation of small urban spaces and changing drinking cultures between the Tokyo Olympics of 1964 and 2020 in Japan; or urban shrinkage and the lives of the elderly in post-socialist Bulgaria.

Previous work examined the relationship between scarcity (contextual and procedural) and the creativity of professional and non-professional actors involved in the production of architecture and the built environment in the UK; the links between cities and biodiversity; and the emerging urban condition of coexistence in China’s urban borderlands.

Research funding

  • Royal Society Resilient Futures Challenge-Led Grant (£440,582). International Lead and Principal Investigator. 'Towards Sustainable Sanitation in India and Brasil (TOSSIB)' (2019-2021)

  • NERC Towards a Sustainable Earth (£323,768). International Lead and Principal Investigator. 'A Systems Approach to Sustainable Sanitation Challenges in Urbanising China (SASSI)' (2019-2021)

  • Hallsworth Conference Fund (£20,000), University of Manchester. Principal Convenor. 'Urbanisation, Infrastructures and Everyday Life in East Asia' (2018-2019)

  • ESRC Impact Acceleration Award (£20,128). Principal Investigator. ‘Harmonica Alley, Yokohama: Tracing Urban Change between the Tokyo Olympics’ (2017)

  • Social Responsibility Research Stimulation Fund (£1,646), University of Manchester. Principal Investigator ‘Bulgaria’s Abandoned Elderly: a human ecosystem approach’ (2017)

  • ESRC Strategic Network (£100,799). Principal Investigator, ‘Strategic Network: Data and Cities as Complex Adaptive Systems’ (2015-2017)

  • Research and Impact Stimulation Fund, University of Manchester (£5,000). Principal Investigator, ‘Bulgaria’s Abandoned Elderly: Ageing alone in shrinking villages and cities’ (2015/2016)    

  • Higher Education Innovation Fund, Eco-Innovation Voucher (£3,000). Principal Investigator, ‘Future City Systems’ (2015/2016)

  • Public Engagement Fund, University of Manchester (£3,500). Exhibition, ‘Harmonica Alley, Yokohama: a visual ethnography’ (2015/2016)

  • Daiwa Foundation Award (£7,000). Principal Investigator, ‘Harmonica Alley, Yokohama: a visual ethnography’ (2015)

  • Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation (£3,000). Principal Investigator, ‘Harmonica Alley, Yokohama: a visual ethnography’ (2015)

  • Collaborative Development Award, British Council & British Higher Commission Singapore (£2,000). Principal Investigator, ‘Changing Cities: theoretical challenges and practical tools’ (2015)

  • Workshop and Conference Support, IDPM, University of Manchester (£1,240). International workshop ‘Defining the Urban’ (2015)        

  • Research Stimulation Fund, University of Manchester (£4,198). Principal Investigator ‘Sanitation and Differentiation in Urban China’ (2013)

  • UNU-IAS PhD/Postdoctoral Fellowship (app. £17,000).United Nations University – Institute of Advanced Studies (2009/2010)

  • MEXT Doctoral Scholarship (app. £49,000). Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology (2006-2009)


Research and projects