The Sustainable Urban Futures Program ran from 2009-2014 at UNU-IAS. This website details the activities of the research group during that time and selected current activities of former members.
Cities, sub-national governments, local authorities and urban spaces are key components of any initiative for achieving sustainable development at the local, regional and global level. As populations concentrate in the world’s cities, the future growth of urban centres is of particular concern for planners and policy-makers in both the developed and the developing world. However, contemporary patterns of urban growth do not conform to previous experiences or expectations. Large cities in the developing world have been attracting millions of people, many of them living in sprawling slums without the most basic necessities such as housing and sanitation. People who live in the sprawling slums are more vulnerable to natural disasters. Read More
The Way We Work
The inherently interdisciplinary nature of the research members facilitate fresh thinking to be applied to pressing problems. Upon this basis tools are developed with the intention of helping cities manage the transition to a sustainable future. More on this concept can be found here.
The programme works in two main areas (climate change and biodiversity) principally through the lens of governance, to examine how local governance structures emerge and change, and how they affect the environment and development. By studying how to make global environmental policy implementation more effective at the local level through integration with other policies, we aim to develop new agendas for implementation to longstanding problems.
UNU-IAS encourages rigorous and open intellectual exchange by providing faculty and fellows with a stimulating interdisciplinary and multicultural academic environment. The Institute hosts round table discussions, seminars, and lectures by in-house and visiting faculty members and visiting academics on a range of issues within the broad spectrum of UNU-IAS’ research programme. These events are open to the public. For the full list of latest events please read more.