Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Professor João Porto de Albuquerque

Joao Porto de Alburquerque

Director of the Institute of Global Sustainable Development

 J dot Porto at warwick dot ac dot uk

 +44(0)24 765 72516

  R2.12, Ramphal Building, School of Cross-Faculty Studies, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL

Curriculum Vitae


João Porto de Albuquerque is Professor and Director of the Institute of Global Sustainable Development at the University of Warwick, and a research affiliate in the Human-Centric Computing group of Warwick's Department of Computer Science. 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 adopts a transdisciplinary approach to digital geographies and geographic information science, intersecting urban data science, information management and development studies. His approach is underpinned by the investigation of new methods that bridge critical and geo-computational perspectives to include marginalised voices in the generation, circulation and usage of data, with the goal of enabling transformations to urban sustainability and climate resilience. His transdisciplinary research on socio-ecological-technical urban systems not only emphasises cross-border collaboration between the (environmental) sciences, social sciences and humanities; it also goes beyond academic disciplines to engage in co-production and participatory research with non-academic societal/indigenous stakeholders.

Professor Porto de Albuquerque is currently leading a research programme centred around the empowerment of vulnerable and deprived communities with citizen-generated data to improve resilience to health and environmental risks. He has secured competitive research funds for his research in excess of £3.8m as PI (£13m as Co-I) from diverse national and international funding bodies (e.g. Global Challenges Research Fund, Leverhulme Trust, ESRC, EPSRC, Belmont Forum, NIHR, EU H2020, FAPESP, CAPES) in collaboration with academic and non-academic partners in several countries, including Australia, Brazil, Bangladesh, Colombia, Ghana, Germany, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Sweden, and the United States. His interests span wide-range research topics that include participatory GIS, spatial data science, citizen science, critical data studies, urban analytics, smart cities, crowdsourced and volunteered geographic information, decision support systems, disaster studies, and information technology for development.

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 awarded a prestigious 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). 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. From 2013-2016 he acted as a Visiting Professor in Geographic Information Science at the Institute of Geography of Heidelberg University, Germany with a fellowship funded by the DFG’s Excellence Programme. In 2016, João took up the post of Associate Professor in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies at the University of Warwick to lead the MSc in Urban Analytics and Visualisation, in which he played a pivotal role in curriculum development in partnership with Warwick's Department of Computer Science and the Centre for Urban Science and Progress in New York University. In 2019, he was appointed Professor and Director of the Institute for Global Sustainable Development, a new research institute focused on transdisciplinary research on human-environment interactions.

Professor Porto de Albuquerque's research has been sustained by a track record of third-party funded grants secured as PI (£2.5m) and Co-I (£8m) investigating sustainable development with partners of several countries around the world (Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, United States) from a wide range of funding agencies 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 Leverhulme Trust “TRANSFORM: Transformations of Human-Environment Interactions to Sustainable Development” (£1.35m, awarded Oct/2021-Sep/2026). Awarded 15 Doctoral Scholarships to create a transdisciplinary programme in Global Sustainable Development.

PI UKRI GCRF "URBE Latam: Understanding Risks and Building Enhanced Capabilities in Latin American cities" £989,192, awarded Nov/2019-Oct/2022) This is a UKRI Collective Fund Award. URBE Latam aims to rethink how environmental risk data is produced, how it is used, and how it might enable transformations that close the implementation gap in delivering equitable resilience for marginalised communities. The project will be based on two case studies focusing on specific areas of Rio Janeiro, Brazil and Medellín, Colombia. Working with partners at the British Geological Survey, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Universidad de Antioquia (Colombia), Colegio Mayor (Colombia), Brazil Geological Survey, National Disaster Monitoring and Early-Warning Centre (CEMADEN, Brazil).

Co-I EU H2020-SU-SEC-2020 “RiskPACC: Integrating Risk Perception and Action to enhance Civil protection-Citizen interaction” (€5.5m, awarded Sep/2021-Ago/2024, PI: Dr Claudia Berchtold/Fraunhofer INT).

Co-I AHRC/DfID “Data and Displacement: Assessing the Practical and Ethical Implications of Targeting Humanitarian Protection” (£393,391, awarded Jul/2020-Jun/2022, PI: Prof Vicki Squire/Warwick).

Co-PI UKRI GCRF "Integrated Deprived Area Mapping System (IDEAMAPS) Network" , £144,595 awarded May/2020-April/2021. The aim of this network is to develop and maintain an Integrated DEprived Area MAPping System (IDEAMAPS) that leverages the strengths of our current silo-ed approaches to "slum" area mapping. Working with partners in Nigeria (University of Lagos), Kenya (African Population and Health Research Centre), The Netherlands (ITC/University of Twente) and the United States (University of Chicago and George-Washington University).

PI UKRI GCRF Research Translation Award: Waterproofing Data. £327,938 awarded Oct/2019-Mar/2021. Working with partners in Brazil.

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.

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

Selected Publications:

de Albuquerque, J. P. & Almeida, A. A. de, (2020). Modes of engagement: reframing 'sensing' and data generation in citizen science for empowering relationships. In: Davies, T. and Mah, A. (2020), Toxic Truths: Environmental Justice and Citizen Science in a Post Truth Age. Manchester, England: Manchester University Press.

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.

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):

Herfort, B., Lautenbach, S., de Albuquerque, J. P., Anderson, J., & Zipf, A. (2021). The evolution of humanitarian mapping within the OpenStreetMap community. Scientific Reports, 11(1), 3037.

Coaffee J., de Albuquerque J.P., Pitidis V. (2021) Risk and Resilience Management in Co-production. In: Loeffler E., Bovaird T. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Co-Production of Public Services and Outcomes. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Ahmed SAKS, Ajisola M, Azeem K On behalf of the Improving Health in Slums Collaborative, et al Impact of the societal response to COVID-19 on access to healthcare for non-COVID-19 health issues in slum communities of Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria and Pakistan: results of pre-COVID and COVID-19 lockdown stakeholder engagements BMJ Global Health 2020;5:e003042.

de Andrade, S. C.+, Restrepo-Estrada, C., Nunes, L.H., Rodrigues, C.A.M., Estrella, J.C., Delbem, A.C.B., & de Albuquerque, J. P. (2020). A multicriteria optimization framework for the definition of the spatial granularity of urban social media analytics. International Journal of Geographical Information Science (IJGIS),

Dahlmann, F., Stubbs, W., Raven, R., de Albuquerque, J. P. (2020). The "purpose ecosystem": Emerging private sector actors in earth system governance, Earth System Governance, 2020, .

Thomson, D.R.; Kuffer, M.; Boo, G.; Hati, B.; Grippa, T.; Elsey, H.; Linard, C.; Mahabir, R.; Kyobutungi, C.; Maviti, J.; Mwaniki, D.; Ndugwa, R.; Makau, J.; Sliuzas, R.; Cheruiyot, S.; Nyambuga, K.; Mboga, N.; Kimani, N.W.; Albuquerque, J.P.; Kabaria, C. (2020) Need for an Integrated Deprived Area “Slum” Mapping System (IDEAMAPS) in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). Social Sciences, 9, 80.

Kuffer, M.; Thomson, D.R.; Boo, G.; Mahabir, R.; Grippa, T.; Vanhuysse, S.; Engstrom, R.; Ndugwa, R.; Makau, J.; Darin, E.; de Albuquerque, J.P.; Kabaria, C. (2020) The Role of Earth Observation in an Integrated Deprived Area Mapping “System” for Low-to-Middle Income Countries. Remote Sensing, 12, 982.

Houlden, V., de Albuquerque, J. P., Weich, S., & Jarvis, S. (2019). Does nature make us happier? A spatial error model of greenspace types and mental wellbeing. Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science.

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.

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

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

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 Leverhulme TRANSFORM programme. 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.

Example of completed PhD supervisions:

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

Director of the Institute for 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

Member of the UKRI Global Challenges Research Fund Strategic Advisory Group

Member of the Panel College for the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship

Past 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)