While studying Human Geography and Sociology at the University of Toronto, my professors nurtured my interest in examining social inequality and segregation in urban space. I was inspired to contemplate justice-oriented visions of city building and analyze uneven development and political fragmentation within cities which are more pronounced now than ever. At Cambridge, my research will consider how citizen-led development can be employed as a tool for empowering the urban poor in the context of housing inequality and forced evictions from informal settlements in Pakistan. Specifically, I will investigate how cross-class alliances can enhance marginalized groups’ political claims-making abilities and help them assert their status as legitimate urban citizens. Urban theories and policies are largely based on the experiences of a select few cities in the Global North. In response, my scholarly aim is to highlight diverse Southern urban experiences, which will reveal important socio-political particularities about life in cities of the Global South. By inspiring policymakers and researchers, I hope to achieve a future where cities are not divided or fragmented but rather inclusive spaces of collaboration between residents. I am grateful and excited, and humbled most of all, to be joining a community of students who share a strong commitment to changing the world for the better.
University of Toronto Geography 2019
University of Toronto Human Geography, Sociology, Writing & Rhetoric 2018