This Symposium represents an experimental format within CITY, as the latest part of the relaunched journal’s efforts to diversify its contents and attract new readers, especially among communities of practice engaged in urban governance, policy and practice. As such, it provides rapid publication of insights intended to inform ongoing debate and crisis responses as cities everywhere grapple with the profound consequences of the pandemic and its implications for so many facets of urban ‘business as usual’.
For the final four years of its existence, Mistra Urban Futures, the leading international research centre on urban sustainability, based in Gothenburg, Sweden, pioneered the extension of its renowned transdisciplinary co-creation/co-production methods to cross-city comparative research embracing up to seven diverse cities in different world regions (Simon, Palmer, and Riise 2020). These cities are Gothenburg and Malmö in Sweden, Sheffield and Greater Manchester in the UK, Cape Town in South Africa, Kisumu in Kenya, Buenos Aires in Argentina and Shimla in northern India. Although the experimental research projects formally ended in December 2019, 2020 was a consolidation year with continuation funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) to maximise outputs and other added value through dissemination and engagement with global agendas.