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Manchester Urban Institute

Global Urban Futures

More than half the world’s population now lives in urban areas, making urbanization one of the most important global phenomena of the 21st century.

Construction of modern building in Rio de Janeiro

The most rapid urban growth is taking place in developing countries. While cities in developing countries can offer opportunities to migrants from rural areas, they also exhibit extreme income inequality and the poor tend to be disproportionately exposed to environmental hazards. Thus, cities in developing countries are both objects of scholarly analysis and strategic sites of intervention in the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

This group seeks to better understand urban transformation and the complex challenges facing cities in developing countries. Its research links critical urban theory and solution-oriented development practice, with the objective of fostering broad-based prosperity, inclusion and long-term environmental sustainability. This group is committed to working towards urban transformation that is genuinely inclusive and participatory. 

The Global Urban Futures group is interdisciplinary and its members undertake research projects in a diverse range of cities. The themes its member’s research include the following: 

  • Deindustrialisation and urban decline
  • Managing urban transformation
  • Poverty and inequality
  • Responses to climate change
  • Shelter and informality
  • Urban conflict and violence