New institute to focus on challenges facing future cities

Lancaster University in the UK and Sunway University in Malaysia have launched the Future Cities Research Initiative, which will develop collaborative urban solutions facing future cities.

The new Future Cities Research Institute (FCRI) is a joint collaboration between Lancaster University and Sunway University that will build on their existing strengths and successful track record of research collaboration. According to a press release announcing the joint initiative, the FCRI represents “a logical ‘next step’ in shaping the agenda for future city development” with its “broad research themes of Digital Cities, Sustainable Cities and Liveable Cities”.

Professor Graeme Wilkinson, Vice Chancellor of Sunway University, said: “The joint Future Cities Research Institute will focus on one of the biggest challenges facing mankind, namely how to make cities more liveable and sustainable in the future.”

With more than 80 per cent of the population in Europe and North America and more than 60 per cent of the population in Africa and Asia predicted to be living in cities by 2050, he called it “entirely fitting for us to choose the challenges of urbanization to be the focus for our first joint research institute”.

FCRI aims to develop an innovative and agile research portfolio that responds to new and emerging fields in urban sustainability, such as designing for people-based infrastructure, promoting healthy living environments and ensuring urban food security. One of its core activities will be to train PhD students specializing in relevant disciplines.

“Our efforts at Sunway are driven by our recognition that realizing the SDGs is not the sole responsibility of governments. It requires the commitment of all sectors of society – the private sector, academia, civil society, and, of course, every single individual,” said Tan Sri Dr Cheah, Malaysia’s leading urban community master planner and Founding Chairman of the Sunway Group. “We are all in this together.”

Image credit: Sunway University

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