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UCL Grand Challenges

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Sustainable Cities

The UCL Grand Challenge of Sustainable Cities examines one of the most urgent issues facing the world today: increasing and relentless urbanisation.

By the end of the 21st century, the majority of the world’s population will live in cities. This is going to place inevitable pressure on urban architecture, transport, food supply, energy availability and health services. UCL’s world leading expertise in architecture and urban planning is the bedrock of this Grand Challenge, which has brought together researchers from across disciplines to plan for the future in cities around the world, starting with our home in London.

The UCL Grand Challenge of Sustainable Cities has supported 38 small research projects and counting since 2010, on a range of topics including creating healthy cities, finding solutions to urban water shortages, protecting a city’s heritage and understanding the impacts of graffiti.

Sustainable Cities is one of six UCL Grand Challenges – find out more about how the whole programme works.


Our work so far

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The UCL Grand Challenge of Sustainable Cities examines one of the most urgent issues facing the world today: increasing and relentless urbanisation. UCL’s world-leading expertise in architecture and urban planning is the bedrock of this Grand Challenge, which has brought together researchers from across disciplines to plan for the future in cities around the world, starting with our home in London. Find out more about what we have done

Get involved

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As a researcher at UCL, you can get involved with the Grand Challenge of Sustainable Cities. We can support you to make connections across the university and see your research go further, for example through Small Grants, major projects, and roundtables and workshops. Find out more about how you can get involved


Who we are

Find out more about the people behind the Grand Challenge of Sustainable Cities, including our academic leaders.

Contact us

Get in touch with the Grand Challenge of Sustainable Cities with your suggestions, questions and ideas.