Why rethinking cities?

Urbanisation is one of the defining processes of our times. Our understanding of the urban, whether in theory or in practice, has reached a turning point, with cities across the world facing new, complex and challenging conditions that require resilience and adaptation to the impacts of environmental and social change.

With nearly 70% of the world’s population likely to live in cities by 2030, the quality of life experienced by this urban population will determine our global futures.

About this cluster

The Cluster for Sustainable Cities at the University of Portsmouth is an interdisciplinary university-wide research group comprising of over 35 key researchers from different faculties. Working at the interface of sustainable architecture, urban design, planning, social sciences, ICT and engineering, the Cluster contributes to the University’s priority research theme ‘Sustainability and the Environment’ and works across traditional disciplinary boundaries.

The Cluster for Sustainable Cities is committed to excellence in urban research, thinking and communication, creating inventive solutions to address the global challenges of cities in the 21st century. The Cluster seeks to stimulate and deliver the research expertise necessary to develop the new knowledge required in the practice of sustainable urban development for the necessary transformation and regeneration process of our cities. Our applied research is concerned with the development of new strategies towards the integration of sustainable technologies into a societal, urban and behavioural context, and the innovative re-thinking of urban futures – in partnership with industry, communities and government.

Research programme

With our interdisciplinary research agenda we cover the grand societal challenges in urban research, enabling our members to engage in research opportunities in urban futures. The Cluster for Sustainable Cities is structured in five broad research streams that are central to drive innovation, each coordinated by key research stream leaders:

  • Transforming communities: resilient and engaged communities – Social and cultural sustainability
  • Low carbon neighbourhoods and smart urban futures, intelligent infrastructure – Urban living
  • City policy, legislation, urban governance and finance – Transition pathways
  • Sustainable construction and new integrated technologies – Integration strategies
  • Urban disaster resilience – Environmental burden and communities at risk