Five years with Mistra Urban Futures
During the spring Mistra Urban Futures is undergoing a Mid-term Review conducted by Mistra (the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research) and Sida (the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency). If the evaluation is positive the Centre will receive continued funding for the second phase covering 2016-2019. The investments made up until then aim at establishing the basis for an independent and sustainable Centre from 2020 onwards.
The Mid-term Review is a way that research centres or research programmes are evaluated by Mistra to see how objectives have been reached, how the allocated resources have been used and if long-term strategies need to be revised in light of events or changing conditions.
“The review is an excellent opportunity for us to see how we are doing, and with the expertise of the reviewers evaluate the activities, the transdisciplinary approach and the achievement this far”, says David Simon, director of Mistra Urban Futures.
Progress since start 2010
Since the Centre was established in 2010, Mistra Urban Futures has launched a wide range of projects, organised a series of significant events, refined the methodology of knowledge co-production and published a considerable number of reports, articles and conference papers. Mistra Urban Futures’ platforms in Cape Town, Gothenburg, Kisumu and Greater Manchester have been set up and engaged widely with stakeholders and local partners. The Centre has achieved a position at the cutting edge of urban research in partner cities and beyond, and is developing into a global player for changing and challenging discourses and practices in sustainable urban development.
“The Centre has been very successful in engaging partners in a truly transdisciplinary process of co-design allowing stakeholders to identify important issues and engage in the research. Thus, the research findings have guided cities in developing paths towards sustainable urban development. Based on this solid foundation, the Centre has the ability to play a truly transformational role in the next phase”, says Thomas Rosswall, chairman of the Mistra Urban Futures Board.
Looking back and strategies for the future
In preparation for the review two main documents have been produced, a Progress Report outlining the achievements made during 2010-2014 and a Strategic Plan setting the strategic direction for the next phase, 2016-2019.
Mistra has appointed a review panel to conduct the evaluation of the Centre. The following members are part of the panel:
• Mr Illmar Reepalu, (chair), Former chair of the municipal board in Malmö, architect and professional urban planner, Sweden
• Professor Emerita Caroline Moser, The University of Manchester, United Kingdom
• Professor John Robinson, The University of British Columbia, Canada
• Dr David Dodman, Co-Head, Human Settlements Group, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), United Kingdom
• Professor Carl-Johan Engström, professional urban planner and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
Caroline Moser will visit the platforms in Cape Town, Kisumu and Greater Manchester during March and April. The panel will meet in Gothenburg 4-8 May. The final decision is expected to be announced by Mistra in June.
Gothenburg Consortium committed to continuation
The Gothenburg Consortium is the founder of the Centre, and was the applicant in the bid to Mistra which led to the creation of Mistra Urban Futures. The Consortium comprises seven partners in the Gothenburg region: Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg Region Association of Local Authorities (GR), City of Gothenburg, University of Gothenburg, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, the County Administration Board of Västra Götaland and Region Västra Götaland. The Gothenburg Consortium is committed to continuing the Centre from 2020 in a suitable form.