Help us shape the future of cities…

A consistent message we come across working in cities around the world is that in order to realise the opportunities and release the potential in cities, there is a need for more collaborative working, bringing together different specialists, practitioners and academics, city officials and citizens.

At the Institute we aim to help build capacity to co-innovate and find tangible solutions to society’s biggest challenges. Our projects involve many disciplines and stakeholders and we are keen to continue to engage with new partners globally. So if you have an idea you would like to discuss with us, a challenge which you would like to help resolve, or an opportunity which you would wish to develop, please get in touch.

IFC Map updated












And some exciting opportunities which we see emerging include:



s300_GOVUK__1_Following on from workshops held in November 2021, at the United Nations organised Conference of the Parties (COP) 26 in Glasgow, the Institute has formed a partnership with insurance group AIG, and Aberdeen-based Wood to to create a roadmap around building more sustainable infrastructure and driving down carbon emissions

Working together, the partnership will deliver insurance solutions, risk management expertise, and financial services to insure and fund resilient infrastructure and transformative renewable energy projects (AIG),  help design and construct the new and improved infrastructure required to unlock economic growth and protect critical resources (Wood) and create balanced strategies that understand the complexities and differences of cities, including their systems, challenges, and futures (IFC).

Along with the initial involvement of COP26 host Glasgow, Milan and Pittsburgh, the partnership has recently welcomed Singapore and Lilongwe to develop strategies for improved sustainability and resilience.

Expressions of interest from other cities in the Global North and Global South to help implement strategies working towards net zero targets agreed at COP26 can be made by contacting .



Join a new international network of city authorities and academics as we help to create sustainable futures for our downtowns and city centres.

In developed nations, many city centres are under pressure as shops close, commercial property is no longer in great demand, and many become ‘home’ for temporary residences for students and tourists alike. In developing nations, the demand for affordable housing, positive consumption experiences and permanent employment is similarly putting pressure of municipal governments to come up with more imaginative, innovative ways to ensure greater equality, improved wellbeing and economic growth.

Join the Future City Centre Network (FCCN) and collaborate alongside the initial partners from Newcastle and Glasgow (UK), Tshwane (South Africa), Joao Pessoa (Brazil) and Newcastle (Australia). Details can be found at or by contacting in the Institute.

Future City Centre | Institute for Future Cities



In exploring the notion of a good city, we are exploring ways to focus on how different groups of citizens are able to re-engage with the city in ways that help them to improve their quality of life AND provide opportunities to enhance their lived experiences.

  1. How can city living become more fulfilling than a mere existence, offering opportunities to repair and replenish as well as sustain and maintain health and wellbeing?
  2. What does that mean for different groups who reside in the city and whose life chances and life aspirations vary?
  3. What changes are needed in urban policy and planning to enable this transformation?

Good city planting

We are keen to collaborate with city authorities, businesses and academics to explore creating the ‘good city; including:

join us in deepening our understanding of what characterises a ‘smart neighbourhood’, what its spatial and social dimensions are, and how neighbourly resource ‘needs’ and benefits can be effectively communicated to help reduce inequalities?

measuring local community quality of life measurement by developing new ways to use big data and other digital measurement to develop tools to assess community or local quality of life.

Using digital networks to enhance public spaces – the current pandemic has altered dramatically our relationships with public spaces in cities, and has generated in turn much debate about how lasting will be such changes. What assistance and reassurance can digital networks offer to make such spaces safe sites of socialisation?

Read more Reassessing the good city – and contact to work with us.


Connecting communities: the legacy of major events

Across the world, city managers have sought to attract major events to help revitalise and regenerate areas of cities, often competing to become host to sporting, arts, conferences and festivals. Whilst these may bring economic value to the city, there is considerable critical analysis that points to the limited longer term social impact on citizens. Building on continuing analysis of the legacies of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, we are engaged with partners to understand how event volunteering can help socially to reconnect communities. We welcome collaboration with other cities and partners to widen this exploration – helping to understand how events can build social connectedness. Read more about our research and collaborations on the dedicated website –

For further details on collaboration with us contact: 



Learn With Us

Creating sustainable, desirable and liveable cities will require everyone involved in place making to keep learning, updating our skills, and helping to revitalise our imagination about to use innovative and creatively new technology and the skills of citizens.

PhD Studentships and research opportunities

We welcome talented individuals to study for PhDs with the Institute for Future Cities. You should have a strong academic background or equivalent professional experience and a driving interest in undertaking high quality research into the issues and opportunities for cities globally. You are welcome to propose a topic of research but we would particularly welcome applicants in the areas of interest:

· Sustainable and resilient development of cities in the developing world. We are open to discussing a wide range of PhD topics that have potential to contribute to the achievement of UN SDG 11 globally, and would develop the Institute’s links with developing world countries and cities.

· Sustainable cities. Holistic strategy and policy development to deliver sustainable cities (including zero carbon cities).

· Smart cities. PhDs involving use of data systems and analytics to support delivery, decision making, and policy development to create cities that are more efficient, sustainable, successful, resilient – and offer better outcomes for their citizens and the environment

In partnership with the University’s Centre for Sustainable Development, there are 50% funding for PhD studies available. Applications should be sent to IFC as soon as possible. Closing date is early February 2021.


Current and Recent PhD research in Future Cities

Existing and recent doctoral students linked with the Institute for Future Cities include:

Donagh Horgan

Ifeoluwa Garba

Thomas Schoenberger –

If you are interesting in discussing a possible PhD topic with us, please contact Robert Rogerson ()

Research assistant/intern

Many of our projects create opportunities for research assistants and interns to be involved in the research. Opportunities are published on the University vacancy webpage (see ) but if you are interested in undertaking an internship with the Institute, please contact Richard Bellingham ()

And if you would like to learn more about our projects and our activities, you can also follow us on twitter @iFutureCities

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