World City Research

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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, Programmes and Networks

African Centre for Cities (ACC)
ACC is an interdisciplinary research and teaching programme focused on quality scholarship regarding the dynamics of unsustainable urbanisation processes in Africa, with an eye on identifying systemic responses.
Beijing City Lab (BCL)
BCL is a research community, dedicated to (but not limited to) studying 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.
Bundesinstitut für Bau-, Stadt- und Raumforschung (BBSR)
The Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR) is a departmental research institution that advises the German Federal Government with sectoral scientific consultation in the political fields of spatial planning, urban development, housing and building.
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. The center currently focuses on the topics of metropolis and mobility, suburbanization and urban renewal, cultural economies and cultural innovation processes.
Center for Spatial Research

Center for Spatial Research (CSR)
CSR was established at Columbia University in 2015 as a hub for urban research that links design, architecture, urbanism, the humanities and data science. It sponsors research and curricular activities built around new technologies of mapping, data visualization, data collection, and data analysis.
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 London
Centre for London
Centre for London is the capitalís dedicated think tank. Its mission is to develop new solutions to Londonís critical challenges and advocate for a fair and prosperous global city.
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 Globalisation and Regionalisation (CSGR)
CSGR at the University of Warwick was founded to advance research and analysis of the changing dynamics of global order.
Centre for Urban and Community Research (CUCR)
CUCR is an interdisciplinary research centre at Goldsmiths 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 at Newcastle University with an international reputation for work on the economic and social development of cities and regions.
Centre for Urban History
Centre for Urban History (CUH)
CUH 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 Research (CURB)
CURB brings together key academics with established profiles in urban research and analysis at the University of York. It seeks to be a critical observatory, tracking important changes and developments in urban and regional economies, societies and environments.
Centre for Urban Studies (CUS)
CUS is one of 20 designated Research Priority Areas of the University of Amsterdam. It brings together urban scholars in human geography, planning, sociology, political science, international development studies, facilitating interdisciplinary research in urban studies.
Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS)
The mission of the University of Oxford's COMPAS is to conduct high quality research in order to develop theory and knowledge, inform policy-making and public debate, and engage users of research within the field of migration.
The City Centre
The City Centre, Queen Mary, London
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)
The mandate of the City Institute, since it inauguration in 2006, has been to facilitate critical, diverse, interdisciplinary and collaborative research on a wide range of urban matters and to promote dialogue on Canada’s urban agenda at York and beyond.
The City of London

The City of London's research programme
The City of London's economic research programme provides timely, robust and independent analysis of issues and trends affecting the City of London and the wider UK economy.

City Region Economic and Development Institute (City REDI)
Based at the University of Birmingham, City REDI is a research institute focused on developing an academic understanding of major city regions across the globe to develop practical policy which better informs and influences regional and national economic growth policies.
City-Region Studies Centre

City-Region Studies Centre (CRSC)
CRSC at the University of Alberta is an innovative research and community engagement centre dedicated to sparking meaningful conversation and action in city-region planning, community development, governance and placemaking.

Committee on Global Thought (CGT)
CGT 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.

Cosmopolis Centre for Urban Research
Cosmopolis is a research centre within the Department of Geography of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and is dedicated to research and teaching in geography, spatial planning and urban design.
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.

European Institute for Comparative Urban Research (EURICUR)
The core mission of Euricur is to stimulate and develop international, comparative research and education into globally relevant urban issues.

European Institute for Urban Affairs (EIUA)
EIUA informs national and international urban policy, acting as a valuable resource for policy-makers and communities within the UK.
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 at Binghamton University was founded in September 1976 to engage in the analysis of large-scale social change over long periods of historical time.

Future Cities Laboratory (FCL)
FCL is the first programme of the Singapore-ETH Centre, established by ETH Zurich and Singapore's National Research Foundation. FCL seeks to shape sustainable future cities through science, by design, and in place, with an Asian perspective.

GLA Economics
GLA Economics provides expert advice and analysis on Londonís economy and the economic issues facing the capital. Data and analysis from GLA Economics form a basis for the policy and investment decisions facing the Mayor of London and the GLA group. See also GLA Economics publications.
Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC)
This is the GaWC web site. Please explore further!
Global Metropolitan Studies (GMS)
GMS is a community of scholars across disciplines at Berkeley that investigates the new challenges and politics of the new urban century.

Global Studies Association (GSA)
The 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.

Global Urban Observatory (GUO)
The GUO unit is a specialized statistical unit in charge of global monitoring of the Habitat agenda and other agendas with an urban linkage.
Global Urban Research Unit (GURU)
GURU at Newcastle University is internationally recognised for its theoretical contributions to planning, governance and urban studies, and for its engagement in societal challenges, public policy, community development and professional practices.

Global Urban Studies Programme (GUSP)
GUSP 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.

Global Urbanism Research Group (GURG)
GURG is a multidisciplinary group at the University of Manchester that focuses on global urbanization, poverty, inequality and exclusion.

IJURR Foundation
The aims of IJURR Foundation are to promote and improve social scientific research, education and scholarship in the field of urban, rural and regional studies.
IGU Urban Geography

International Geographical Union (IGU) - Urban Geography Commission
The Urban Geography Commission is designed to encourage geographical research on the new urban challenges emerging in an increasingly complex world, and to further the exchange of findings among urban geographers from many countries.
International Network for Urban Research and Action (INURA)
INURA is a network of people involved in action and research in localities and cities. The network consists of activists and researchers from community and environmental groups, universities, and local administrations, who wish to share experiences and to participate in common research.

International Society for Urban Health (ISUH)
ISUH is the pioneer global organization bringing together experts from across academia, government, NGOs and business to improve the health of cities.

LSE Cities

LSE Cities
LSE Cities is an international centre that carries out research, graduate and executive education and outreach activities in London and abroad. It studies how people and cities interact in a rapidly urbanising world, focusing on how the physical form and design of cities impacts on society, culture and the environment.
Manchester Urban Institute (MUI)
The mission of MUI is to serve as a leading academic urban institute that generates world-class research, achieves high levels of engagement and impact with non-academic stakeholders and trains the next generation of urban activists, decision-makers, researchers and scholars.

Martin Prosperity Institute
The Martin Prosperity Institute at University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management explores the necessary requirements to achieve a prosperous future for all Ė one in which democracy and capitalism work in support of each other.
The International Metropolis Project is an international network of researchers, policy makers, and community groups engaged in identifying, understanding, and responding to developments in migration and diversity.

metroZones - Center for Urban Affairs
metroZones was founded in Berlin in 2007. Its mandate is to bring together different approaches in research, knowledge production, cultural practice and political intervention at the interface of art, academia and politics, and to provide a forum for their public discussion.

Migration Research Unit (MRU)
The MRU at University College London focuses its research particularly on refugees, humanitarian assistance, diasporas and remittances, religion and multiculturalism.

The Mori Memorial Foundation (MMF)
The MMF is committed to engaging in comprehensive research and publication activities in the urban renewal and development fields in order to create urban environments that lead to sustainable life for all.

Network on Urban Research in the European Union (N.U.R.E.C.)
The major objective of N.U.R.E.C. is to promote comparative and inter-disciplinary urban research in the European Union and beyond.
Nordregio is a leading Nordic and European research centre for regional development and planning, established by the Nordic Council of Ministers. It conducts solution-oriented and applied research, addressing current issues from both a research perspective and the viewpoint of policymakers and practitioners.
The Programmable City
The Programmable City project is investigating the relationship between networked digital technologies and infrastructures and urban management and governance and city life. It is concerned with how cities are increasingly being translated into code and data, and how these are being used to transduce how we understand, manage, work, and live in the city and to produce Ďsmart citiesí.
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.
Senseable Laboratory

Senseable City Laboratory
As layers of networks and digital information blanket urban space, new approaches to the study of the built environment are emerging. The mission of the Senseable City Laboratory – a research initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – is to anticipate these changes and study them from a critical point of view.
  Spatial Policy and Analysis Laboratory (SPAL)
The Spatial Policy and Analysis Laboratory provides a home for staff and students across the University of Manchester engaged with urban and regional policy research.

Sussex Centre for Migration Research (SCMR)
SCMR builds on a longstanding reputation for original theoretically driven empirical research in the field of migration and ethnic relations.

UCL City Leadership Laboratory
The UCL City Leadership Laboratory brings together world-class academic scholarship, public authorities, international organisations, the private sector and local SMEs to create a unique environment for urban experimentation, research, teaching and – most importantly – action.
UCL Urban Laboratory
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
UN-Habitat is the United Nations programme working towards a better urban future. Its mission is to promote socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements development and the achievement of adequate shelter for all.
Urban Affairs Association (UAA)
UAA is the international professional organization for urban scholars, researchers, and public service professionals. UAA is dedicated to creating interdisciplinary spaces for engaging in intellectual and practical discussions about urban life.

Urban and Spatial Programme, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE
The work of the Urban and Spatial Programme seeks to understand why some regions, cities and communities prosper, whilst other do not. It explores disparities, their effects and potential remedies at all spatial levels including regional, city-region, local and neighbourhood.

Urban Democracy Lab (UDL)
UDL at New York University promotes critical, creative, just, and sustainable forms of urbanism, through scholarship, curricular activities, public engagement, and programming.  It is especially interested in new forms of urban democracy, whether in governance, activism, self-management, or creative production.

Urban Geography Research Group RGS-IBG (UGRG)
UGRG is committed to the support and promotion of urban geography as an intellectual field and sub-discipline.

Urban Geography Specialty Group AAG (UGSG)
UGSG fosters research in urban geography in the US and beyond by organizing meetings and seminars, developing networks, and promoting the publication of research.

The Urban Institute (UI)
UI at the University of Sheffield addresses some of the major social, economic and environmental challenges facing our cities today and in the future.
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 Studies Foundation (USF)
The main objective of the USF is to provide significant grant funding and support to individuals and institutions engaged in the advancement of groundbreaking postgraduate urban academic research and education.

Urban Studies Institute (USI)
USI at Georgia State University prioritizes the urban space by connecting interdisciplinary perspectives, developing an innovative and specialized interdisciplinary curriculum, and engaging stakeholders in metropolitan Atlanta, nationally and abroad.
Urban Theory Lab (UTL)
Based at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, 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
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.