UCL Urban Laboratory


University of Toronto hosts international gathering of urban institutes

24 October 2019

Dr Susan Moore represented UCL Urban Laboratory in Toronto, as the School of Cities drew the world's urban institutes to Canada for a global network workshop.

U of T Cities international urban institutes photo call

The event, which ran from 16-18 October, brought together 25 urban institutes from across five continents, co-hosted by the University of Toronto’s (U of T) School of Cities and U of T's Office of the Vice-President, International. 

Dr Susan Moore, Urban Lab Steering Committee member, and Associate Professor in The Bartlett School of Planning, represented UCL Urban Laboratory at the gathering, which aimed to gain deeper insights about the types of activities being carried out at urban institutes worldwide.

Prof Matti Siemiatycki, the School of Cities’ interim director and a member of the UCL Urban Laboratory International Advisory Board, highlighted how many universities worldwide have launched urban institutes with a mandate to undertake innovative and ambitious interdisciplinary research, education and community engagement initiatives.

“We’re bringing these institutes together for the first time to explore how we can work together, collaboratively, so that all of us can have an impact on a global scale,” he says.

Representatives at the workshop, which received support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, shared and discussed some of their most ambitious urban research, education and engagement projects.

“This is the first step in building an international global urban network, to help deepen global knowledge exchange and spur new inter-institutional collaborations,” says Siemiatycki. “We see potential for joint teaching initiatives, global data sets, worldwide university-city-community partnerships, in addition to research mobilization.”

“This meeting will drive collaborations and outcomes that are larger than any of us could do alone.”

UCL and University of Toronto have recently strengthened their strategic global partnership, across research, teaching and student exchange. UCL and U of T already have over 30 established academically-led collaborations, and since 2017, further collaboration has developed through a joint seed funding programme supported by both institutions.

Additional reporting by Nina Haikara.