Ongoing PhD thesis

Ongoing PhD thesis pursued by doctoral students at UCM who work on closely related topics to COMURES-CM:


Sara Porras Sánchez

Sara Porras Sánchez is a Professor of Sociology and researcher at the Complutense University of Madrid. She holds a degree in Political Science and Administration with a double major in Political Analysis and Latin America. She holds a Master's degree in Human Rights for developing countries from IEPALA and the UCM and is currently completing her doctoral thesis in the area of urban studies and gender.

Her director is Margarita Barañano.

Carlos Rivas Mangas

Carlos Rivas Mangas is an Assistant in the Department of Applied Sociology at the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM). He studied Sociology at the same university and Philosophy at the University of Salamanca, concluding his studies with two extraordinary prizes. He has often collaborated in processes to improve the quality of the university system and has also trained at the Institute of Economics, Geography and Demography of the CSIC (2019) and at the Centre for Sociological Research (CIS in Spanish) (2020), participating in sociological and geographical projects on youth and mobility.

Currently, he is a PhD student in Sociology and Anthropology at the UCM, researching about attachment and mobility experiences of youth in neighborhoods of Madrid.

His directors are Margarita Barañano Cid and José Antonio Santiago García.


José Ariza de la Cruz

José Ariza holds a degree in Sociology and a Master's Degree in Research Methodologies for Social Sciences from the UCM. Next to this, he is a PhD student in the Sociology and Anthropology programme from the same university since 2020.

His doctoral thesis researches the relation between daily and residential mobility, with socio-spatial segregation in the city of Madrid.

His directors are Margarita Barañano Cid and Daniel Sorando Ortín.


Paola Leenhouts González-Espejo

Paola Leenhouts holdsa Bachelors' degree in Liberal Arts with a specialisation in human geography and anthropology from University College Roosevelt (The Netherlands) and graduated from the Erasmus Mundus 4Cities Master's Degree in 2019 with a paper on sub-Saharan migrations, informal economy and urban governance in Madrid (with an excellent mark).

Her directors are Margarita Barañano Cid and José Antonio Santiago García.

External and curricular Internships

The following students have been part of COMURES' team:

Aitana Muñoz Haba

Aitana Muñoz Haba holds a degree in Sociology and in Political Science and Public Administration from the University of Valencia. She is currently studying a Master's Degree in Research Methodology in Social Sciences: Innovations and Applications at the Complutense University of Madrid. She is linked to the COMURES-CM project as a result of being a beneficiary of the Scholarship for collaboration in university departments of the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, between November 2021 and June 2022. Her research interests are spatial attachment and dettachment, well-being and care networks in contemporary urban contexts. In general, her interests include urban and territorial sociology, as well as risks, inequalities and environmental injustices within cities.


Álvaro Gallego

Álvaro Gallego has studied a double degree in Political Science and Sociology at the Carlos III University, with a Bachelors' thesis on the socioeconomic determinants in the Participatory Budgets of Madrid City's Council and another Bachelors' thesis on the phenomenon of monitoring devices arising from the narcissistic culture and the individualisation of the current conception of healthy lifestyles. He is currently completing the MUSAPS Master's Degree (University Master's Degree in Sociology Applied to Social Problems), which includes this internship from 6/9/2021 to 24/12/2021. His Master's thesis will focus on the study of the PAUs (Urban Action Programmes), trying to demonstrate the interrelation of spatial and social dimensions.  His functions in the COMURES programme are developing a mapping where all the current initiatives at the level of the municipality of Madrid are shown, as well as conducting interviews with residents of different neighbourhoods, with an emphasis on COVID-19 and the field of care.

Javier Romero

Javier Romero hstudied the Degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the UAM/UC3M/UPF, which he finished in 2020. He then went on to study a Masters' in Sociology Applied to Social Problems at the Complutense University of Madrid, which includes this internship from 6/9/2021 to 24/12/2021. He is particularly interested in political philosophy and dedicated his dissertation to the study of the theoretical evolution of the German SPD. He is also passionate about Madrid and the history and present of its neighbourhoods. His role in the COMURES programme is to support the researchers, process data and conduct and analyse interviews.


Myriam Aarab

Myriam Aarab studied a degree in Political Science and International Relations at the University of Pisa. Afterwards, she completed the Masters' in Political Analysis and in Research Methodology for Social Sciences, both at the UCM, carrying out in the latter a Masters' Thesis on social exclusion and socio-community participation, proceeding to deepen on the same issues in the doctoral thesis that is in the process of starting in the same faculty in the programme of Sociology and Anthropology. She is particularly interested in issues related to exclusion and vulnerability, social movements, social, community and citizen participation. Her duties in the COMURES project, where she has developed her extracurricular internship between 1 June and 30 September 2021, have been the organisation, development and categorisation of a map comprising community initiatives in Madrid, and participation in qualitative fieldwork.


Teaching Innnovation Projects


Incorporation of Agenda 2030 goals for the sustainable development in urban studies and a COVID-19 context: An international comparative approach of new participatory methodologies.

The project pretends to develop and evaluate teaching participatory methodologies through which the transversal and specific incorporation of the Agenda 2030 goals for the sustainable development in the urban studies field, in a COVID context, focalising attention in three of them: those relating to quality education, gender and cities.

The project intends to systematise methodologies which have been put into practice in different subjects, and several previous projects, referred to public spaces. The focus will be on how to develop learning related to changes in the use of such spaces in the current context of the pandemic, especially with regard to vulnerable areas in different Latin American cities. The fact that the project involves the participation of teachers and researchers from different cities, including Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Buenos Aires, Mexico City and Sao Paulo, who are experts in the study of cities and vulnerability, will make this objective possible. The aim is to support the proposals on participatory learning in a national and international comparison of the methodologies put into practice in different universities. It is intended that the students involved, working in groups, will be able to systematise the results in different formats, including audiovisual format. The aim is to draw up a proposal on how the study has resulted more interesting and formative for us in this regard, also developing initiatives for intervention, in accordance with the SDGs, and, more specifically, taking into account the gender perspective and the objective of achieving inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable public spaces. The task of the teaching, administrative and service staff and the researchers will be to stimulate and guide, promoting with their collaboration the composition of reflective, proactive, critical and collaborative learning communities.


José Ariza de la Cruz 

José Ariza is Research Support Staff - Technical since July 2020. His functions include: the quantitative analysis of secondary sources, including the compilation and statistical exploitation; collaboration in the drafting of the general diagnosis and proposals for social intervention, as well as in the preparation of results and their public dissemination and in the whole wide range of COMURES' activities.

Paola Leenhouts

Paola Leenhouts is Research Support Staff - Technical since July 2020. Her functions include carrying out fieldwork, including interviews, data collection and information gathering, in the European cities included in the programme of activities; assisting in the comparative analysis of quantitative and qualitative data with an international dimension.

Sara Porras

Sara Porras is Research Support Staff - Technical since July 2020. Her functions include: collaboration in the drafting of proposals for social intervention, fieldwork and qualitative analysis. Collaboration in the production of reports and presentation of results, and in the program's activities.