A joint platform for sustainable development in Africa, Asia and Latin America

Chalmers and the University of Gothenburg have decided to establish a joint collaboration platform for research, education and utilization to contribute to sustainable development in Global South, namely countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The new platform is based on the strengths of Mistra Urban Futures and will be established as part of the Gothenburg Centre for Sustainable Development, GMV.

Mattias Goksör and Fredrik Hörstedt
Mattias Goksör, University of Gothenburg and Fredrik Hörstedt, Chalmers

At the moment there are many activities at Chalmers and the University of Gothenburg that aim to achieve sustainable development in Africa, Asia and Latin America which are often referred to as Global South. However, the activities are spread across many different institutions and are mainly run as individual initiatives. Therefore, there is a need to coordinate existing activities to strengthen them and facilitate the establishment of new initiatives and to build strong and lasting international partnerships.

“The initiative unites our focus on sustainable development and global societal challenges with our effort to increase our internationalization”, says Mattias Goksör, Pro-Vice-Chancellor at the University of Gothenburg.

Increased responsibility for sustainable development

With the new collaboration platform, Chalmers and the University of Gothenburg want to take increased responsibility for sustainable development together with universities and other partners in countries in the Global South by developing new research-based knowledge and contributing to utilizing this knowledge in collaboration with important societal actors.

The two universities have activities and competencies that complement each other. Together as well as in collaboration with other actors, they can contribute to creating the transformative solutions that are required for sustainable development in Global South in accordance with Agenda 2030 and the global goals for sustainable development.

Builds on Mistra Urban Futures strengths 

"With the new collaboration platform, we want to build on already established partnerships and especially on the experiences and strengths that have been developed within Mistra Urban Futures," says Fredrik Hörstedt, Vice President at Chalmers and Chair of the Board, Mistra Urban Futures.

The new collaboration platform will build on experiences from Mistra Urban Futures - an international centre for sustainable urban development. The centre has been run successfully since 2010 with support from Mistra, Sida and the Gothenburg Consortium consisting of University of Gothenburg, Chalmers University of Technology, the City of Gothenburg, the Gothenburg Region, the Region Västra Götaland, the County Administrative Board of Västra Götaland and IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute. The funding from Mistra to Mistra Urban Futures ends in 2019 and cannot be extended. At the end of 2019 the centre will therefore cease to exist in its current form. The Gothenburg platform within Mistra Urban Futures will continue as a separate organization with a focus on sustainable urban development with Chalmers and Gothenburg University as hosts through GMV.

The new organization will start as of January 1st 2020 and is set up as part of Chalmers and Gothenburg University's joint organization Gothenburg Centre for Sustainable Development, GMV.

“It is very welcome that Chalmers and the University of Gothenburg are now joining forces to promote sustainable development in a global perspective. This will lead to increased cooperation and exchanges between countries that have different challenges in shifting towards sustainable development according to Agenda 2030”, says Jan Pettersson, Director, Gothenburg Center for Sustainable Development.

“Although the internationally reputed urban-focused centre that Mistra Urban Futures has become will cease to exist at the end of this year, its legacy will become the urban theme within the new collaboration platform and I hope that it will be able to take forward the distinctive agenda developed thus far”, says David Simon, Director, Mistra Urban Futures. 


David Simon, Director Mistra Urban Futures, 
phone: +46(0)70 864 2780

Jan Pettersson, Director, Gothenburg Center for Sustainable Development, GMV.
phone: +46 (0)31-786 9072