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Professor João Porto de Albuquerque: Director

Professor João Porto de Albuquerque is Director of the Institute of Global Sustainable Development. He is Turing Fellow at The Alan Turing Institute, and co-directs the Warwick Institute for the Science of Cities, for which he acts as Warwick lead of the Centre for Urban Science and Progress London, a partnership with King's College London in cooperation with the Centre for Urban Science and Progress in New York University.

Professor Porto de Albuquerque is a geographer and computer scientist with an interdisciplinary background. His research is situated within an interdisciplinary problem space that intersects urban geography, data science, information management, and science & technology studies. He works in the fields of Geographic Information Science and Global Sustainable Development, and is also active in the international scientific community of Information Systems Management. He develops innovative transdisciplinary research methods to improve our understanding of sociotechnical urban environments, particularly in the global South, with a view to produce transformations to sustainable development.

His trandisciplinary research approach draws on social research, geospatial data science and geocomputational methods alongside methodological innovations to enable research co-production with non-academic stakeholders. It spans wide-range research topics that include citizen digital participation, urban analytics, smart cities, crowdsourced and volunteered geographic information, decision support systems, disaster management, urban resilience, and information technology for development.

Academic Profile

After studying Computer Science, Social Sciences and Philosophy at the University of Campinas, Brazil, Prof Porto de Albuquerque did a PhD in Computer Science at the University of Campinas and in the Technical University of Dortmund, Germany (2006). He was been awarded a prestigious research fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2006-2008) to conduct post-doctoral research in social studies of information systems at the University of Hamburg, Germany, and at the Information Systems Group of the London School of Economics and Politics (LSE). From 2013-2015 he acted as a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Geography of Heidelberg University, Germany with a fellowship funded by the DFG’s Excellence Programme. Previously, he worked at the School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities of the University of São Paulo (2008-2010) and at the Department of Computer Systems of the Institute of Mathematical and Computing Sciences of the University of São Paulo (2010-2015), Brazil, with which he still maintains an honorary affiliation.

Research Projects

Professor Porto de Albuquerque's research has been sustained by a track record of third-party funded grants secured as PI (£1m) and Co-I (£6m) from a wide range of funding agencies in three different countries (UK, Germany and Brazil) including the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), Economics and Social Science Research Council (ESRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Horizon 2020, Belmont Forum/Norface, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), LUBW/Environment Agency of the State of Baden-Württemberg (Germany), CAPES and FAPESP (Brazil).

Current Projects:

PI (Main Applicant) Belmont Forum/ESRC/FAPESP/BMBF “Waterproofing Data: engaging stakeholders in sustainable flood risk governance for urban resilience”, (€1m, awarded Oct/2018-Sep/2021). Funding under the “Transformations for Sustainability” programme of Belmont Forum and Norface delivered in the UK by the ESRC under the Global Challenges Research Fund. Working with partners in Brazil and Germany and doing fieldwork in the cities of Rio Branco and São Paulo (Brazil).

Co-I: NIHR Global Health Unit on Improving Health in Slums at the University of Warwick (PI Richard Lilford/Warwick Medical School, £5.6m, managed budget £600K). National Institute for Health Research, awarded Jun 2017-Mar 2021. Leading WP1: Geo-spatial mapping of health services in slums and working with partners in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria and Pakistan. Press release, Global Health Unit summary.

Co-I/UK PI: Creating Interfaces: Building capacity for integrated governance at the Food-Water-Energy-nexus in cities on the water, Sustainable Urbanisation Global Initiative - Food-Water-Energy Nexus SUGI-FWE Nexus (PI Jochen Wendel/European Institute for Energy Research, Germany, €1.2 m, managed budget: €209K). Belmont Forum (UK funding from ESRC/AHRC/Innovate UK) awarded Apr 2018-Mar 2021. Leading WP5: Citizen-science-policy interfaces: Activating nexus interfaces through visualization, with fieldwork in Poland, Romania, and the United States.

Past Projects (selection):

PI, Warwick ESRC IAA NGO Data Fund: “Making sense of humanitarian geospatial data” (£7K), awarded September 2018-March 2019. A grant from the Impact Acceleration Account to discuss geospatial data and methodologies of making sense of them in partnership with Médicins-sans-Frontiers/Doctors without Borders (MSF UK), the British Red Cross, and the Bangladesh Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Operations Team.

Co-PI: AGORA – A Geospatial Open collaboRative Architecture for building resilience against disasters and extreme events. CAPES (Foundation of the Brazilian Ministry of Education), April 2015-March 2018 (R$ 899K total, managed budget R$ 110K). Part of the“Alerts and the Centre for Research on Disasters at the University of São Paulo (ALERTA-CEPED-USP)”. PI: Carlos Rodriguez (University of São Paulo).

PI: Towards a UK-Brazil Interdisciplinary Research Network on Urban Resilience Data. Warwick Brazil Partnership Fund Santander Universities (£18.7K) awarded Aug/2016-Jul/2018. Co-I: Dr Nathaniel Tkacz (Warwick).

PI: UK-Brazil Collaboration on Leveraging Crowdsourced and Sensor Data to Support Decision-Making towards Urban Resilience. EPSRC Global Challenges Research Fund Institutional Award (£50K), June/2016-March/2017, project partners: British Geological Survey, National Disaster Monitoring and Early-Warning Centre (CEMADEN), Brazil Geological Survey (CPRM), University of São Paulo, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Co-I: Dr Nathaniel Tkacz.

PI: Open Flood Risk Map: A decision-support system based on user-generated spatial data for communities in support of emergency response planning in flood management (at Heidelberg University). LUBW (Environmental Agency of the State of Baden-Württemberg, Germany) (EUR 110K), awarded 2014-2016.

Recent Publications

For a complete list of my publications see my CV or my profile on Google Scholar.

Selected Publications:

Restrepo-Estrada, C., de Andrade, S. C., Abe, N., Fava, M. C., Mendiondo, E. M., & de Albuquerque, J. P. (2017). Geo-social media as a proxy for hydrometeorological data for streamflow estimation and to improve flood monitoring. Computers & Geosciences, 11, 148-158.

Horita, F. E. A., de Albuquerque, J. P., Marchezini, V., & Mendiondo, E. M. (2017). Bridging the gap between decision-making and emerging big data sources: An application of a model-based framework to disaster management in Brazil. Decision Support Systems, 97, 12–22.

de Albuquerque, J. P., Herfort, B., & Eckle, M. (2016). The Tasks of the Crowd: A Typology of Tasks in Geographic Information Crowdsourcing and a Case Study in Humanitarian Mapping. Remote Sensing 2016, Vol. 8, Page 859, 8(10), 859.

de Albuquerque, J. P., & Christ, M. (2015). The tension between business process modelling and flexibility: Revealing multiple dimensions with a sociomaterial approach. The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 24(3), 189–202. Winner of the JSIS Best Paper Award as “Best Runner Up”. doi:10.1016/j.jsis.2015.08.003. 2015

Horita, F. E. A., de Albuquerque, J. P., Degrossi, L. C., Mendiondo, E. M., & Ueyama, J. (2015). Development of a spatial decision support system for flood risk management in Brazil that combines volunteered geographic information with wireless sensor networks. Computers & Geosciences, 80, 84–94. doi:10.1016/j.cageo.2015.04.001

de Albuquerque, J. P., Herfort, B., Brenning, A., & Zipf, A. (2015). A geographic approach for combining social media and authoritative data towards identifying useful information for disaster management. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 29(4), 667–689. doi:10.1080/13658816.2014.996567

Other recent publications (for a complete list please see my CV):

Houlden, V., de Albuquerque, J. P., Weich, S., & Jarvis, S. (2019). A spatial analysis of proximate greenspace and mental wellbeing in London. Applied Geography, 109, 102036.

Albuquerque, J. P. de & Almeida, A. A. de, (2019). Modes of engagement: constitutive tensions in citizen sensing and volunteered geographic information. In: Mah, A. and Davies, T. (forthcoming), Environmental Justice and Citizen Science in a Post Truth Age. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press.

Improving Health in Slums Collaborative (2019). A protocol for a multi-site, spatially-referenced household survey in slum settings: methods for access, sampling frame construction, sampling, and field data collection. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 19:109.

Albuquerque, J.P., Yeboah, G., Ulbrich, P.+, & Pitidis, V. (2019) Towards a participatory methodology for community data generation to analyse urban health inequalities: a multi-country case study. Proceedings of the 52nd Hawaiian Conference on System Sciences (HICSS 2019).

Lilford, R., Kyobutungi, C., Ndgwa, R., .., Albuquerque, J.P. de, Ezeh, A. (2019). Because space matters: conceptual framework to help distinguish slum from non-slum urban areas.

Ulbrich, P. , Albuquerque, J.P., Coaffee, J. (2019). The Impact of Urban Inequalities on Monitoring Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals: Methodological Considerations. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, 8(1), 6.

Pitidis, V., Tapete, D., Coaffee, J., Kapetas, L., & Albuquerque, J. P. de. (2018). Understanding the Implementation Challenges of Urban Resilience Policies: Investigating the Influence of Urban Geological Risk in Thessaloniki, Greece. Sustainability, 10, 3573.

Houlden, V., Weich, S., de Albuquerque, J. P., Jarvis, S., & Rees, K. (2018). The relationship between greenspace and the mental wellbeing of adults: A systematic review. PLOS ONE, 13(9), e0203000.

Degrossi, L. C., de Albuquerque, J. P., Santos Rocha, R. dos, & Zipf, A. (2018). A taxonomy of quality assessment methods for volunteered and crowdsourced geographic information. Transactions in GIS, 22(2), 542–560.

Lilford, R., Taiwo, O. J., & de Albuquerque, J. P. (2018). Characterisation of urban spaces from space: going beyond the urban versus rural dichotomy. The Lancet Public Health, 3(2), e61–e62.

Horita, F. E. A., de Albuquerque, J. P., & Marchezini, V. (2018). Understanding the decision-making process in disaster risk monitoring and early-warning: a case study within a control room in Brazil. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. (Online first)

Przeybilovicz, E., Cunha, M. A., Macaya, J. F. M., & de Albuquerque, J. P. (2018). A Tale of two “Smart Cities”: investigating the echoes of new public management and Governance discourses in Smart City projects in Brazil. In Proceedings of the 51st Hawaiian Conference on System Sciences (HICSS 2018) (pp. 2486–2495). IEEE Digital Library.

de Andrade, S. C., Restrepo-Estrada, C., Delbem, A. C. B., Mendiondo, E. M., & de Albuquerque, J. P. (2017). Mining Rainfall Spatio-Temporal Patterns in Twitter: A Temporal Approach. In A. Bregt, T. Sarjakoski, R. van Lammeren, & F. Rip (Eds.), Societal Geo-innovation. GIScience 2017. Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography (pp. 19–37). Heidelberg: Springer Berlin / Heidelberg.

de Albuquerque, J. P., Horita, F. E. A., Degrossi, L. C., Rocha, R. dos S., Camargo de Andrade, S., Restrepo-Estrada, C., & Leyh, W. (2017). Leveraging Volunteered Geographic Information to Improve Disaster Resilience: Lessons Learned From AGORA and Future Research Directions. In C. E. C. Campelo, M. Bertolotto, & P. Corcoran (Eds.), Volunteered Geographic Information and the Future of Geospatial Data (pp. 158–184). Hershey, PA, USA: IGI Global.

de Albuquerque, J. P., Herfort, B., Eckle, M., & Zipf, A. (2016). Crowdsourcing geographic information for disaster management and improving urban resilience: an overview of recent developments and lessons learned. In C. Capineri, M. Haklay, H. Huang, V. Antoniou, J. Kettunen, F. Ostermann, & R. Purves (Eds.), European handbook on crowdsourced geographic information (pp. 309–321). London: Ubiquity Press.

Steiger, E., Resch, B., de Albuquerque, J. P., & Zipf, A. (2016). Mining and correlating traffic events from human sensor observations with official transport data using self-organizing-maps. Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies, 73, 91–104.

Klonner, C., Marx, S., Usón, T., de Albuquerque, J. P., & Höfle, B. (2016). Volunteered Geographic Information in Natural Hazard Analysis: A Systematic Literature Review of Current Approaches with a Focus on Preparedness and Mitigation. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information 2016, Vol. 5, Page 103, 5(7), 103.

Assis, L. F. F. G. de, de Albuquerque, J. P., Herfort, B., Steiger, E., & Horita, F. E. A. (2016). Geographical Prioritization of Social Network Messages in Near Real-time Using Sensor Data Streams: An Application to Floods. Brazilian Journal of Cartography, 68(16), 1231–1240.

de Albuquerque, J. P., Diniz, E. H., & Cernev, A. K. (2016). Mobile payments: a scoping study of the literature and issues for future research. Information Development, 32(3), 527–553.

Steiger, E., de Albuquerque, J. P., & Zipf, A. (2015). An Advanced Systematic Literature Review on Spatiotemporal Analyses of Twitter Data. Transactions in GIS, 19(6), 809–834. doi:10.1111/tgis.12132

Modules Taught

IM913 - Spatial Methods and Practice in Urban Science

IM928 - Urban Resilience, Disasters and Data

Research Supervised

I'm currently interested in supervising students motivated to work on urban data studies and global sustainable development from an interdisciplinary perspective. My supervised students can receive PhD scholarships from the Warwick Institute for the Science of Cities (Centre for Doctoral Training in Urban Science & Progress) and from The Alan Turing Institute. Furthermore, I'm a fellow alumnus of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and can host postdoctoral fellows with funding from the Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship.

PhD students as primary supervisor:

  • Sidgley Camargo de Andrade (University of São Paulo, with Alexandre Delbem): An approach to high-granulation event detection and monitoring through social media streams and sensor data streams: an application in the area of flash flooding.
  • John Rahilly (Warwick CDT Urban Science, with Stephen Jarvis): A Green and Pleasant Land? Investigating the Relationship between Planning Policy and 'Urban Green Infrastructure.
  • Philipp Ulbrich (Warwick CDT Urban Science, with Jon Coaffee): Resilience-Thinking in Critical Urban Infrastructure Governance.

PhD students as co-supervisor:

  • Vangelis Pitidis (Warwick CDT Urban Science, with Jon Coaffee): The geological dimension of urban resilience: Impact of geo-hazards in resilient urban design and policy.
  • Kamaran Sheik (Warwick Business School, with João Baptista), “An integrated view of digital and physical spaces of work in modern technology organisations”.
  • Corinne Muir (Warwick CDT Urban Science, with Greg McInerny and Rosemary Collier): “Data-driven analysis of park management practices in the UK”.


Director of the Institute of Global Sustainable Development

Director of the Centre for Urban Science and Progress London

Co-Director of the Warwick Institute for the Science of Cities

Editorial/Professional Service and Associations

President of the Special Interest Group on “Organizational Systems Research Association” (SIG-OSRA) of the Association of Information Systems (2015-2017)

Panel member for NERC Highlight Topics 2016 - "Innovative application of big data techniques to natural hazard prediction and risk mitigation"

Editorial Board Member: Journal Open Geospatial Data, Software and Standards/Springer (since 2015)

Professional Association Memberships: Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS), Member of the International Association for Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM), Member of the Brazilian Computing Society (SBC), Founding member of the Brazilian Association for Science, Technology and Society Studies (ESOCITE.BR)

Joao Porto de Alburquerque


Institute for Global Sustainable Development
Ramphal Building room R2.12

School of Cross-Faculty Studies
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL


Tel: +44(0)24 765 72516

Office hours: Mondays 10am-12noon (please confirm via email)

Current CV

Publication repository at Warwick (WRAP)

Google Scholar Profile

Researchgate Profile

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