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Postdoc in Geoinformatics, with a focus on urban expansion and conversion of natural areas, University of Copenhagen

Postdoc in Geoinformatics, with a focus on urban expansion and conversion of natural areas, University of Copenhagen

The project

The postdoctoral position is part of the research project "Urban encroachment – untangling drivers and dynamics of land-use transitions in ecologically sensitive areas" funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark. The overarching aim of this project is to identify and promote more sustainable trajectories of urban expansion in African cities, allowing cities to accommodate rapidly growing populations, while preserving ecologically sensitive areas, benefiting from ecosystem services and building resilience to climate change. The research will entail a comparative case study of two rapidly growing cities – Accra in Ghana and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania – which are characterized by extensive informal expansion. The objectives of the research are:

  • to estimate the scale and magnitude of natural areas lost in urban expansion.
  • to gain insights into the motivations and logics of diverse actors involved in land-use conversions within ecologically sensitive areas.
  • to develop a comprehensive understanding of how urban governance arrangements shape encroachment dynamics

The project will combine analysis of satellite images and other spatial data with in-depth fieldwork among local actors within ecologically sensitive areas as well as urban planners and policymakers involved in land governance, spatial planning, and management of natural areas.

Responsibilities and tasks

The postdoc is expected to develop and conduct independent research within the project frame, in collaboration with the PI and a PhD student. The postdoc will be the main responsible for spatial analyses of urban expansion trends and associated land-use/land cover conversions within natural areas, drawing mainly on remote sensing and GIS-based methodologies. The postdoc is also expected to contribute to the discussion on policies and planning for ecologically sensitive areas and to facilitate the integration of digital spatial analysis and insights from qualitative research in order to identify natural areas at risk of future encroachment. There will be possibilities to influence the research and develop own research ideas within the project frame. The postdoc is expected to publish scientific articles in internationally recognized journals and present findings at national and international conferences. A limited contribution to supervision and teaching in relevant courses will also be expected.

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