Our approach

Mistra Urban Futures is an international research and knowledge centre addressing one of key societal challenges today. How can sustainable urbanization be achieved within the constraints of our planetary boundaries? This includes meeting global challenges such as climate change, segregation, poverty and resource constraints.

We believe that cities can contribute to tackling these wicked problems. We aspire to a world with sustainable urbanisation where cities are fair, green and accessible. Our contribution is to generate knowledge and understanding through co-creation across disciplines and between academics and practice at local and global levels in different research projects.

When politicians and decision makers have access to relevant evidence and first class research, there is a better basis for taking appropriate paths towards developing sustainable cities.

Research focus

Mistra Urban Futures international collaborative framework is called “Realising Just Cities” and has different components, all leading towards our vision “Sustainable urbanisation where cities are accessible, green and fair”. The work is focused within three Core Processes; Urban Change, Urban Knowledge and Urban Governance as well as three so-called TRACKS; Socio-ecological Transformations, Socio-spatial Transformation and Socio-cultural Transformations. More about our Research Agenda. 

Our way of working

At Mistra Urban Futures different actors from both research and practice work together to co-create knowledge. We believe that knowledge, understanding and expertise from both fields are needed to enable sustainable futures.

Because many different competences are also needed, expertise ranging from business to sociology, political science, architecture, biology, physical resource theory, law, human ecology, engineering sciences and design is involved in different research projects.

Our way of working can be described in three stages. The first step is to identify challenges and questions that need to be met and to mobilize resources. The next step is to generate knowledge and understanding through different research projects. The final step is to enable implementation of the results, working towards a sustainable urban development.

International partners

Partner research platforms in Cape Town, Gothenburg, Sheffield-Manchester, Skåne and Kisumu form the core of Mistra Urban Futures, undertaking locally relevant projects as well as some international comparative projects in order to understand principles and practices from various local contexts that may have wider applicability around the world.

Mistra Urban Futures receives funding from various organisations: Mistra – The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research; Sida, the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency; the Consortium of partners in the Gothenburg region, international partners and several funding agencies which funds specific research projects.

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