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 value collaboration, and all of our projects involve several disciplines and stakeholders. 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.

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And some exciting opportunities which we see emerging include:

Making the city centre sustainable – helping to meet climate challenges

Robert Rogerson will be presenting some of the latest research into the future of the city centre as part of the special day at the University of Bradford’s ‘Sustainability Day’ on March 18. His paper will be exploring how the urban core has been able to be resilient to continuing process of urbanisation, and how it could has a key role to play in the response to climate crises.


This coming November, the United Nations organised Conference of the Parties (COP) 26 will be meeting in Glasgow. Associated with this, the Institute is keen to advance discussions on net-zero futures – not only in the host city but also globally. To help stimulate debate and concrete proposals., we are looking to host workshops and seminars including:

We would welcome ideas and potential contributions to these – please get in touch if you would like to be involved.


Re-imaging a future for the city centre

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. We are interested in partners joining us in creating an international network to reimagine future(s) for the city centre – come and join us!


African cities research network

Building on our partnerships within Africa, we are keen to engage with other academic and commercial partners to help create a research network exploring African cities. The focus will be on a ‘holistic’ approach to undertaking urban research, knitting together insights from sector-focussed research on problems such as energy, pollution, or transport. Viewing the cities as ‘ecosystems’ the emphasis is on how underlying political economy factors can link together a series of problems.


Female entrepreneurship and improving informal settlements

Female entrepreneurship is contributing significantly to the economic growth and creation of jobs in developed and developing nations. Most of female entrepreneurs in developed and developing countries face obstacles and barriers when they are starting their own business including their roles within the family and household. Building on current research in Egypt on the constraining role of water provision, IFC is keen to explore how small scale, off-grid infrastructure interventions can assist to release female entrepreneurship.

Enhancing equitable urban resilience

Heat waves, floods, hurricanes and earthquakes are some of the most frequent natural or environmental disasters that kill and displace thousands of people every year and further marginalise poor population. Unlike previous attempts to measure individual aspects of resilience in a piecemeal manner we are keen to take a bottom-up approach to modelling interactions between natural and environmental risks, urban environment and population.  The results will facilitate strategic investment and policy development in Mexico City, and will become a blueprint for scaling up multidimensional approach to enhancing equitable urban resilience across other Mexican cities and beyond.

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.

For further details on collaboration with us contact:

By email:

By telephone: +44 (0)141 444 7054


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.

We are keen to learn with you and to help you learn.

You can join us in this learning, through

  • Conduct your own research with us towards a PhD, including
    •  citizen participation and smart cities
    •  energy planning and sustainability
    •  off-grid urban solutions
    •  satellite and geospatial data analysis
  • Work with us as a researcher assistant or intern on specific projects

PhD research in Future Cities

We welcome applications and inquiries from well qualified self-funded or sponsored PhD candidates who have an interest in conducting innovative and creative research relating to our current themes.

Existing 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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