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:



In November 2021, the delayed 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.

Along with insurance group AIG, and Aberdeen-based Wood, we have formed a partnership which will support cities and businesses as they transition to zero-carbon economies while improving resilience to climate change and extreme weather.

The partners will work with cities including COP26 host Glasgow, Milan and Pittsburgh, and a range of industries from energy to telecoms to develop strategies for improved sustainability and resilience. Other cities in the Global North and Global South are expected to join the partnership.

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.

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

Institute for Future Cities
Institute for Future Cities
Institute for Future Cities
Institute for Future Cities
Institute for Future Cities
Institute for Future Cities
Institute for Future Cities
Institute for Future Cities
Institute for Future Cities
Institute for Future Cities
Institute for Future Cities
Institute for Future Cities
Institute for Future Cities