The Institute for Future Cities is active across the world working with academic and other partners to help improve the lives of citizens. Each week we connect with those sharing a desire to improve future city living.

Some of our activity includes:

Richard Bellingham is chairing a debate organised by Holyrood on Reimagining Scotland’s Cities, reflecting on how they will contribute to a post-Covid recovery.

Robert Rogerson is joining the Urban Links Africa programme discussions with the academic steering group to offer advice and support for the 7 sustainability projects taking place in Kenya and South Africa

Donagh Horgan is working on the SMARTDEST project, seeking to generate insights on overtourism and the impact on inclusive growth based in Strathclyde Business School’s Department of Work, Employment & Organisation.

Robert is participating in the Scottish Power/WWF Scotland COP26 Climate Collaboration Challenge: energy system workshop exploring innovative ways of working together to accelerate climate action and adaption.


You can read about some of our recent work through the journal papers and other academic output from the Institute. Recent publications include:

Energy poverty: Estimating the impact of solid cooking fuels on GDP per Capita in developing countries – case of sub-sahara Africa – published in Energy.  Written by Ife Garba and Richard Bellingham, the paper analyses data from African nations to make the case that more research in the area of cooking and/or heating fuels (particularly underlying barriers to access) in developing countries is necessary. Read the paper here

Compacting the city centre – densification in two Newcastles – This paper investigates different approaches to the use of urban densification as part of strategies for the regeneration of the city centre, drawing on two case studies – Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK and Newcastle New South Wales in Australia. Read the paper Compacting the city centre – densification in two Newcastles

The future of the city centre: Urbanisation, transformation and resilience – a tale of two Newcastle cities – published in Urban Studies. Drawing on the examples of two city centres, and placing them in the context of the recent debates of urban agglomeration theory, this article seeks to initiate deeper analysis and dialogue about the future of the urban core, including how it is being articulated and by whom. You can read this paper here.

Placemaking – International Encyclopedia of Human Geography – Donagh Horgan chronicles the emergence of this increasingly popular philosophy of urban design, with reference to key protagonists—Jane Jacobs and Jan Gehl. Read the article here

Social Innovation in the Built Environment: The Challenges Presented by the Politics of Space – published in Urban Science.  This paper by Donagh Horgan and Branka Dimitrijevic reports on social innovation systems for building resilient communities within different social and political contexts across four continents.


In the last few weeks we have been engaged with a number of key international partners, including:

  • Richard Bellingham has been giving expert evidence to the Senate of the Philippines to support their deliberations at a hearing on 26 passing a new Sustainable Cities and Communities Act that will enshrine UN Sustainable Development Goal 11 in law.  – aimed at delivering sustainable and resilient futures for Philippine cities.  Richard said “This a positive and ambitious move by the Philippine Senate.  The Bill takes an appropriately broad view of urban development needs in the Philippines  – covering environmental, societal, and resilience issues.  Key to successful delivery will be a joined-up strategic approach that balances different development needs, supported by adequate resourcing and governance mechanisms.
  • Joined an expert panel discussion on “Future Cities and Updating our Aging Infrastructure” where Robert Rogerson will be in conversation with Glasgow University’s FemEng student society –
  • Led a training session on the “Future of Cities after Covid-19″ as part of the Princes Education Trust CPD course for Geography –
  • Robert Rogerson along with Bob Giddings at Northumbria University published their latest paper in Urban Studies as part of the AHRC project on the Future of the City Centre
  • IFC published a set of thought pieces on the impact of Covid-19 will have on urban futures
  • Robert Rogerson has been invited to join an academic steering committee assisting the future development of the Urban Links Africa programme coordinated by the Connected Places Catapault.
  • Robert Rogerson led a session on “Beyond smart cities X.0″ at the virtual Tallinn Forum conference on Advances in SEA and Strategic Planning on 11 September.

With restricted access to the University Campus, our City Observatory remains unavailable for use at present. However, we are taking the opportunity to discuss ways in which the facility can be enhanced, including making it more accessible for bookings. Further details will be announced as the plans progress.

If you are interested in working with us or meeting with us, please contact us