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Collaboratory for Urban Resilience and Energy

Energy, society and space

Challenging established understandings of the relationship between energy flows, society and spatial formations.

With the aid of more than £5m in funding from UK research councils, the EU, as well as a wide range of companies and charitable organisations, the work of the Collaboratory for Urban Resilience and Energy (CURE) challenges established understandings of the relationship between energy flows, society and spatial formations.

We use a wide variety of research methodologies to break new ground in understanding how social inequalities, environmental problems, cultural practices and technological change shape the evolution of energy systems. Our ability to tackle these questions in a multi-disciplinary manner has been aided by the diverse composition of our group, which includes researchers from more than 10 different disciplines. This team has acted as one of the main hubs for energy and social science research at the University of Manchester more broadly.

Night time image of electric pylons

With more than 70% of the world's population projected to live in urban areas by 2050, cities are not only key sites of energy production and consumption, but also represent the main global agents of social, economic and technological change.

At Manchester, we have developed multiple strands of research that employ the ‘urban’ as a starting point for scholarship and policy with respect to questions of energy use. We wish to demonstrate that current challenges surrounding energy – involving issues of climate change, decarbonisation, sustainability, security, and equity – are deeply implicated in the functioning of cities. At the same time, future urban development is predicated on networks of energy supply and demand.