Elly's work draws on urban planning, political geography and conflict resolution in order to better understand how people and the environments they live in are affected by conflict or natural disaster, and how we can use this information in order to ‘build back better’ following times of crisis. Her doctoral research examined the case of Osh (Kyrgyzstan) and investigated how the physical reconstruction of the city following violence there in 2010 had affected the diverse communities that share the city.
At the present time Elly is carrying out research into the links between post-disaster and post-conflict reconstruction in conflict affected environments; the role of heritage and commemorative spaces in post-conflict reconstruction processes; and how heritage of conflict can support narratives of peace.
Elly is fascinated by the mutually reinforcing relationship between people and the places they live and, in particular, what happens to this relationship in times of conflict. I see the process of rebuilding following violence or natural disaster as an important opportunity to address root causes of social conflict, and my research seeks to understand how we can use this opportunity to improve the lives of vulnerable and conflict affected populations.