World City Research

GaWC logo
  Gateways into GaWC

Go to: [Research Groups and Programmes] [World City Researchers]

Since world city research is intrinsically multidisciplinary covering economic, social, political and cultural issues, it is very difficult to keep abreast of the field. This Directory is a service to help facilitate cross-disciplinary research and to provide a basic 'who's who' information resource for this field of research.

Research Groups and Programmes

African Centre for Cities (ACC)
The African Centre for Cities (ACC) is an interdisciplinary research and teaching programme focussed on quality scholarship regarding the dynamics of unsustainable urbanization processes in Africa, with an eye on identifying systemic responses.
Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
AISSR unites all social science research of the UvA in thematically focused research programmes, which have an anchor in one or more of the represented disciplines (Sociology, Geography and Planning, Development Studies, Political Science, and Anthropology). Across these programmatic groups, AISSR encourages collaboration within and beyond the social sciences in multidisciplinary centres.

Beijing City Lab (BCL)
The Beijing City Lab (BCL) is a virtual research community, dedicated to studying, but not limited to, China's capital Beijing. The Lab focuses on employing interdisciplinary methods to quantify urban dynamics, generating new insights for urban planning and governance, and ultimately producing the science of cities required for sustainable urban development.
Brookings Institution - Metropolitan Policy Program
The Metropolitan Policy Program was launched in 1996 to provide decisionmakers cutting-edge research and policy analysis on the shifting realities of cities and metropolitan areas. The Program is redefining the challenges facing metropolitan America and promoting innovative solutions to help communities grow in more inclusive, competitive, and sustainable ways.
Bundesinstitut für Bau-, Stadt- und Raumforschung (BBSR)
The Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR) within the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning (BBR) is a departmental research institution under the portfolio of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). It advises the Federal Government in the political fields of spatial planning, urban development, housing and building.

Center for Global, International & Regional Studies (CGIRS)
CGIRS agenda encompasses "global, international and regional" studies, rooted in the recognition that human activities, while anchored in specific regions and locales, are also linked to other places and levels via complex political, economic, social and cultural networks of communication and action.

Center for Globalization Studies in an Urban World
The Center for Globalization Studies in an Urban World supports research and teaching on globalization — at Penn and beyond. It provides an annotated listing of current and accumulated data, projects-in-progress, and commentary, published and unpublished, accompanied by methodological and theoretical discussion.
Center for Metropolitan Studies
Center for Metropolitan Studies (CMS)
CMS is an interdisciplinary, internationally-oriented research center that attends to historical and contemporary questions on the subject of the metropolis.
Centre for Cities
Centre for Cities
The Centre for Cities is an independent urban policy research unit. Its main goal is to understand how and why economic growth and change takes place in Britain's cities, and to help cities improve their economic performance.

Centre for Metropolitan History (CMH)
CMH promotes the study and wide appreciation of London's character and development from its beginnings to the present day, and is concerned to set the history of London in the wider context provided by knowledge of other metropolises.

Centre for the Study of Cities & Regions (CSCR)
CSRC is a specialist research centre at Durham University. The Centre undertakes innovative theoretical and empirical research on urban and regional change and policies for urban and regional development.
Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation (CSGR)
CSGR is the largest research centre dealing with the study of globalisation in Europe.
Centre for Urban and Community Research (CUCR)
CUCR is an interdisciplinary research centre concerned with key issues in the constitution and social (dis)organisation of city life; it plies the intersections between the built and the social fabric of cities in the global South as well as the global North, with a strong orientation towards the cultural and the visual.
Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS)
CURDS is a multidisciplinary research centre with an international reputation for work on the economic and social development of cities and regions.
Centre for Urban History
Centre for Urban History
The Centre for Urban History at the University of Leicester is a multi-disciplinary research institute which seeks to promote scholarly work and collaboration in the field through research seminars, summer schools and workshops, projects, publications and other activities.
  Centre for Urban Policy Studies (CUPS)
CUPS was established in Manchester University in 1983 to develop research on urban and regional policy. It now has an established reputation for policy-relevant research on the evaluation of area-based urban policy initiatives, regional development, spatial planning and housing, and the measurement of neighbourhood dynamics.
Centre for Urban Research (CURB)
CURB was created in order to bring together key academics with established profiles in urban research and analysis at the University of York. Instigated at a time of major social upheaval and crisis that is already impacting upon marginal urban centres and populations globally, CURB aligns critical urban research with advanced teaching on cities. The Centre for Urban Research seeks to be a critical observatory, tracking important changes and developments in urban and regional economies, societies and environments in order to identify and examine the issues likely to become key challenges in the near future.
  Centre for Urban Studies, University of Amsterdam
The Centre for Urban Studies is one of 15 designated Research Priority Areas of the University of Amsterdam. It brings together urban scholars in sociology, geography, planning, political science, economics, development studies and other disciplines in one multidisciplinary program.
Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS)
The mission of the COMPAS is to provide a strategic, integrated approach to understanding contemporary and future migration dynamics across sending areas and receiving contexts in the UK and EU.
cities@manchester is committed to an increased understanding of the global urban condition, past, present and future. It brings together work from across the arts and humanities, the social sciences and the business school at the University of Manchester and is committed both to studying and to changing the world through engaging with a range of global, national and local stakeholders.
The Cities Group, King's College, London
The Cities Group at King's has a wide intellectual agenda that seeks to influence urban policies at both national and international levels in a variety of fields, including governance, regeneration, health and education.
The City Centre
The City Centre, Queen Mary, London
The City Centre is designed to provide a space in which academic research can be developed and communicated with those within and beyond the academy. Particular interests include new forms of urban politics; socio-economic exclusion and livelihoods; economic geographies of the city; women, planning and urban design; art, performance and representation; environmental concerns in the city; urban health; city, diaspora and migration.

The City Institute at York University (CITY)
CITY engages in leading-edge research and critical analyses of the city, in all of its parts and manifestations. In addition to contributing to the knowledge base of academics, policymakers and civil society, the Institute seeks to open new intellectual and political spaces in which counter-discourses may be created to challenge received wisdom as the city of the 21st century takes shape.

City Leadership Studio
The City Leadership Studio is designed to improve our understanding of how leadership translates into long-term strategic visions. It aims to respond to pressing concerns about the future of cities and city leadership in the 21st century.

The City of London's research programme
The aim of City of London's research programme is to provide accurate, timely and well-focused analysis to policy-makers both inside and outside the City of London to help them understand the performance trends and needs of the London economy, and in particular the financial and business services clusters based in and around the City.

Committee on Global Thought
The Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University explores global modernity from an innovative, interdisciplinary perspective, and is designed to reconceptualize the theories and methodologies required to confront the challenges stemming from globalization.
Cosmobilities Network
The Cosmobilities Network connects European scientists working in the field of mobility research.
Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH)
Founded in 1969, the Council's mission is to disseminate multi-disciplinary information on tall buildings and sustainable urban environments, to maximize the international interaction of professionals involved in creating the built environment, and to make the latest knowledge available to professionals in a useful form.

Cultures of the Suburbs International Research Network
The Network's primary aim is to further the scholarly, professional and public understanding of the cultures of the modern suburbs through international and interdisciplinary research. By adopting a comparative approach, we seek to evaluate the relationship between suburban experience and its cultural representation in diverse global communities.

European Academy of the Urban Environment (EA.UE)
EA.UE is aiming to encourage exchange of experience amongst local government decision makers in all spheres of sustainable urban development.

European Institute for Comparative Urban Research (EURICUR)
The principal objective of EURICUR is to stimulate fundamental international comparative research into matters that are of interest to cities. To that end, EURICUR coordinates, initiates and carries out studies of subjects of strategic value to urban regions today and in the future.

European Institute for Urban Affairs
The European Institute for Urban Affairs at Liverpool John Moores University is a dedicated team of consultant researchers who specialise in areas of crucial concern to urban policy-makers throughout the world.
European Spatial Planning Observatory Network (ESPON)
ESPON is set up to support policy development and to build a European scientific community in the field of territorial development. The main aim is to increase the general body of knowledge about territorial structures, trends and policy impacts in an enlarged European Union.

European Urban Research Association (EURA)
EURA aims to provide a European forum for people from different disciplines and policy backgrounds to exchange information about and findings from research on towns and cities as the basis for closer co-operation.

Fernand Braudel Center for the Study of Economies, Historical Systems, and Civilizations
The Fernand Braudel Center was founded in September 1976 to engage in the analysis of large-scale social change over long periods of historical time.

GLA Economics
GLA Economics provides expert advice and analysis on London's economy and the economic issues facing the capital. Data and analysis from GLA Economics provide a sound basis for the policy and investment decisions facing the Mayor and the GLA group. The unit was set up in May 2002 and is funded by the Greater London Authority, Transport for London and the London Development Agency.
Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC)
This is the GaWC web site. Please explore further!
Global Metropolitan Studies
The 21st century will be an urban century with more people around the world residing in metropolitan regions than in any other form of human settlement. This urbanization is taking place in both the global North and the global South. Its implications are widespread: from environmental challenges to entrenched patterns of segregation to new configurations of politics and social movements. The Global Metropolitan Studies Initiative at UC Berkeley is concerned with this urban condition.

Global Studies Association (GSA)
The Global Studies Association (GSA) is a multi-disciplinary scholarly association set up in order to address the vast social, political & economic transformations of global scope which are impacting upon the world today.

Global Suburbanisms: Governance, Land and Infrastructure in the 21st Century
Housed at the City Institute at York University (CITY), this is the first major research project to take stock of suburban developments around the world and attempt to alter the dialogue around suburban life.
Global Urban Competitiveness Project (GUCP)
GUCP is a research group at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) in Beijing that studies the competitiveness of the world's urban regions and promotes exchange between researchers, city practitioners and municipal leaders. GUCP publishes the "Global Urban Competitiveness Report" and the "Chinese Urban Competitiveness Report".
Global Urban Development
Global Urban Development is a non-profit organization devoted to research, teaching, discussion, publication, and action on the major issues related to urban development around the world. Its primary emphasis is on organizing dialogues and designing projects that generate strategic policy interventions and program innovations which can be replicated on a very large scale to improve the quality of life in urban communities worldwide.

Global Urban Observatory (GUO)
The Global Urban Observatory is a system of capacity building programmes and resources to help governments, local authorities and their partner groups to monitor progress in implementing the Habitat Agenda and to expand the base of knowledge for better urban policy.

Global Urban Research Centre (GURC)
Established in 2007, GURC is a research centre at the University of Manchester that focuses on critical urban transformations to inform urban development debates and influence policy and practice.
Global Urban Research Unit (GURU)
The Global Urban Research Unit at Newcastle University combines traditional and innovative approaches to the analysis of strategic planning and spatial policy, critically focused on a better understanding of place and its potential sustainable transformation.

Global Urban Studies Programme (GUSP)
The Global Urban Studies Program at Michigan State University will increase knowledge about processes, policies, and issues in urban areas across the world, emphasizing global processes that impact and unite urban areas. It will also endeavor to improve urban conditions though rigorous graduate education and innovative interdisciplinary research.
IGU MegaCity

International Geographical Union (IGU) - MegaCity TaskForce
The mission is to apply geographic expertise to problems of megacities and to the theory underlying the principles, knowledge, and methods employed in solving megacity problems.

IGU Urban Geography
International Geographical Union (IGU) - Urban Geography Commission
The Urban Commission is designed to encourage geographical research on new urban problems, and to further the exchange of findings among urban geographers from many countries.
International Network for Urban Research and Action (INURA)
The basic purpose of INURA is to develop and promote the interaction of social and environmental urban movements with research and theoretical analysis.

The International Society for Urban Health (ISUH)
The International Society for Urban Health (ISUH) is an association of researchers, scholars, and professionals from various disciplines and areas of the world who study the health effects of urban environments and urbanization.

LSE Cities
LSE Cities carries out research, education and outreach activities in London and abroad. Its mission is to study how people and cities interact in a rapidly urbanising world, focussing on how the design of cities impacts on society, culture and the environment.

Martin Prosperity Institute
The Lloyd & Delphine Martin Prosperity Institute is the world’s leading think-tank on the role of sub-national factors – location, place and city-regions – in global economic prosperity. We take an integrated view of prosperity, looking beyond economic measures to include the importance of quality of place and the development of people’s creative potential.
Megacities 2000 Foundation
The Megacities 2000 Foundation has been established in December 1994, following a request of UNESCO to the International Academy of Architecture. The foundation will collect, process and disseminate information on the development of big cities.
The International Metropolis Project is a set of co-ordinated activities carried out by a membership of research and policy organizations who share a vision of strengthened immigration policy by means of applied academic research.
Metropolitan Institute
Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech (MI)
The Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech conducts basic and applied research on the dynamics of metropolitan complexities, such as demographics, environment, technology, design, transportation, and governance.

metroZones - Center for Urban Affairs
metroZones was founded as an independent association in 2007 to bring together and discuss publicly different approaches to research, knowledge production, cultural practices and political intervention at the interface of art, scholarship and politics.

Migration Research Unit (MRU)
The MRU at University College London focuses its research on: labour migration, particularly the highly skilled; statistics, sources and information systems; analysis of trends and processes of international migration in Europe; UK and international migration.

The Mori Memorial Foundation (MMF)
The Mori Memorial Foundation is firmly committed to research in urban renewal and development, creating schemes and strategies for cities in order to realize the creation of a competitive yet attractive urban realm, and building a sustainable society for the future.

Network on Urban Research in the European Union (N.U.R.E.C.)
N.U.R.E.C.'s objectives are to support scientific progress in comparative urban research, to develop a basis for the comparability of city data in the EU, to enhance communication between institutions involved in urban research, and to provide policy-makers and researchers with information and data on cities.
Nordregio: Nordic Centre for Spatial Development
Nordregio is a European centre for research, education and documentation on spatial development, established by the Nordic Council of Ministers.
The Programmable City
The Programmable City project is undertaking a sustained programme of research on how software makes a difference to how social, spatial and economic life takes place, providing a comprehensive and groundbreaking interdisciplinary analysis of the two core inter-related aspects of the emerging programmable city: (a) Translation: how cities are translated into code, and (b) Transduction: how code reshapes city life.
Research Committee 21: Sociology of Urban and Regional Development (RC21)
RC21 of the International Sociological Association was established in 1970 to promote theory and research in the sociology of urban and regional development, and - in so doing - create an international community of scholars who will advance the field.

Research Network: Mobile Professionals
New research is emerging on what could be called 'mobile professionals', 'expatriates', or 'privileged migrants'. The aim of this 'research network website' is to raise awareness of these mobilities, which may be less dominant in the popular imagination, but the study of which provides a crucial complement to existing paradigms of 'who migrants are'.
RMIT Global Cities Research Institute
RMIT Global Cities Research Institute
The overall task of the RMIT Global Cities Research Institute is to research the processes of global change in the urban context, both positive and problematic, with the view to planning and projecting sustainable ways of living. This involves understanding the complexity of globalizing urban settings from provincial centres to mega-cities.

SENSEable City Lab
The real-time city is now real! The increasing deployment of sensors and hand-held electronics in recent years is allowing a new approach to the study of the built environment. The way we describe and understand cities is being radically transformed - alongside the tools we use to design them and impact on their physical structure. Studying these changes from a critical point of view and anticipating them is the goal of the SENSEable City Laboratory, a new research initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Spatial Economics Research Centre (SERC)
SERC aims to provide high quality independent research to further understanding as to why some regions, cities and communities prosper, whilst other don't. Research will focus on why there are disparities in economic prosperity at all spatial levels including regional, city-region, local and neighbourhood.

Sussex Centre for Migration Research (SCMR)
Migration is a critical issue of our times, and a major interdisciplinary field of enquiry in the social sciences; it epitomises the notion of 'global studies'. For more than a decade, SCMR has led the way in providing rigorous, evidence-based research to document the richness and diversity of the ‘migration experience'.
The Centre for Sustainable Urban and Regional Futures (SURF)
SURF is a mainly self-financing dedicated centre within the University of Salford, established in 1999 to undertake inter-disciplinary research on Sustainable Urban and Regional Futures.
UCL Urban Lab
UCL Urban Laboratory
The UCL Urban Laboratory, established in 2005, is a university wide initiative to bring together the best urban teaching and research at UCL. Its activities build on the full spectrum of work at UCL across the arts and sciences ranging from civil engineering to film studies, from urban history to the latest developments in architectural design.
UN-HABITAT: United Nations Human Settlements Programme
The mission of UN-HABITAT is to promote sustainable urbanization through policy formulation, institutional reform, capacity-building, technical cooperation and advocacy, and to monitor and improve the state of human settlements worldwide.
UNESCO Management of Social Transformations Programme (MOST)
MOST is a UNESCO programme that promotes international, comparative and policy-relevant research on contemporary social transformations and issues of global importance.
Urban Affairs Association (UAA)
The Urban Affairs Association is an international professional organisation for urban scholars, researchers, and public service providers.

Urban Geography Research Group RGS-IBG
The Urban Geography Research Group aims to foster research and scholarship in all spheres of urban geography.

Urban Geography Specialty Group AAG
The Urban Geography Specialty Group aims to facilitate communication of information and ideas among urban geographers and other urban specialists through a newsletter, meetings, correspondence and other media.
The Urban Salon
Urban Salon
The Urban Salon is a London based seminar series aimed at scholars, artists, practitioners and others who are exploring urban experiences within an international and comparative frame.

Urban Theory Lab (UTL)
Based at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the Urban Theory Lab (UTL) is a research team concerned to rethink the basic categories, methods and cartographies of urban theory in order to better understand and influence emergent forms of planetary urbanization.
World Seastems
The World Seastems project aims to map and to analyze the changing spatial pattern of the world economy across 300 years from a maritime perspective.
The Young Foundation
The Young Foundation
The Young Foundation was formed in April 2005 from the merger of the Institute of Community Studies and the Mutual Aid Centre, founded by Michael Young. It exists to improve the lives of urban communities in the UK and around the world by conducting research, encouraging the exchange of ideas and implementing innovative, practical solutions.