Transitions in cities manifest through deep and radical changes in ways of living, organising, doing and ways of acquiring knowledge, planning and changing routines and institutions and urban infrastructures’ use and make up. Australian cities are also in transition, growing and developing into diverse places to live and work. It becomes challenging how to balance not only social needs and expectations across diverse demographic groups but also across a diverse population in terms of culture, ethnicity and age. 

In this context, ensuring that cities are offering accessibility to services, infrastructures, amenities, work and welfare to all in a just way is a sustainability challenge that requires not only critical examination and exploration but also a new scientific paradigm that co-creates knowledge with citizens, cities and industry to feasible and knowledge-based planning solutions.

Socio-economic drivers like biotechnology, automation, digital fabrication and digitalisation of government services, and artificial intelligence together with the pressing decarbonisation of the economy create a new landscape of disruption and opportunities. Decarbonisation, population growth and renewal of urban infrastructures requires actionable knowledge to aid economic innovation, adapt service provision, and reform or deconstruct barriers to participation, recognition and equitability of diverse communities and cultures.

Current projects

TRANSFORM is a global research project that will examine the role of sustainable SMEs in accelerating urban transformations. Building from a vibrant global network of researchers and practitioners in Canada, United States, Australia, Germany and Sweden, the project will work with SMEs to design sustainability experiments, build capacity and accelerate innovation leading to more resilient, inclusive, low-carbon urban and peri-urban communities. 

Find out more here.

NATURA is a global action network and research capacity building project with the aim to establish a global network of networks for nature-based solutions research and practice, with the mission to advance the science and mainstream nature-based solutions. Specifically, NATURA links 26 networks in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, North and Latin America to build connectivity between researchers and practitioners working in urban sustainability.

NATURA will present a great opportunity to connect and grow the nature-based solutions network as a key thematic area for the Urban KAN, including research-practice interactions, network exchanges, information sharing and communication.

Find out more here.

Our other research programs

Contact the Centre for Urban Transitions

There are many ways to engage with us. If your organisation is dealing with a complex problem, get in touch to discuss how we can work together to provide solutions. Call us on +61 3 9214 5286 or email  

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