Martina Manara

Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Leverhulme Early Career Fellow

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Martina Manara
Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Geography and Planning Building
Winter Street
S3 7ND

Martina holds PhD and MSc degrees in Regional and Urban Planning Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science (UK), where she studied the implementation of land tenure formalisation policies in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania). Since 2021, she has worked as a Research Officer at the LSE where she is currently an Associate of the Centre for Economic Performance. Here, her joint research evaluates the effects of urban planning and sites-and-services in Tanzania. Martina’s research has been disseminated widely, including with governments and communities. She is a coordinator of the Urbanisation and Development Study Group of the Development Studies Association (UK).

In 2023, she joined the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the University of Sheffield to conduct her research project ‘De facto regulations of informal land: Opening the black box of African cities’ (Leverhulme Award ECF-2022-193). Drawing on interdisciplinary institutional scholarship, this project proposes an innovative analytic framework and empirical methods to study urban informality, with applications in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Accra (Ghana) and Nairobi (Kenya). Martina has over 12-months of fieldwork experience and numerous partnerships. This project is developed in collaboration with key stakeholders through a series of workshops and policy impact activities.

Research interests

Martina is an interdisciplinary and mixed-methods scholar. Her current research interests include: (1) Measurement of pluralistic and hybrid regulations and their effects (2) Constitution and effects of urban planning regulation (3) Constitution and effects of de-facto land governance (4) State-community co-production of urban public goods (5) Informal land transactions via hybrid market and inheritance regimes


Journal articles