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Urban Research Centres


NameLocationGeographical Focus Analytical Focus
Canadian Urban Forest Research GroupDalhousie UniversityCanadaThe research focus is on urban-forest ecology, sociology, management, and policy.  
Centre for City EcologyTorontoTorontoResearch focuses on neighbourhood research with residents.
Centre for Urban Economics and Real EstateSauder School of Business University of VancouverBritish ColumbiaThis centre aims to advance the research and teaching of urban economics and real estate within the province.
Institute for Canadian Urban ResearchSimon Fraser UniversityBritish ColumbiaThe focus is on criminology and safe cities in BC.
Urban System Environmental DesignUniversity of GuelphGuelphThe research focus is on minimising the environmental impact of urban settings (NSERC supported)


NameLocationGeographical Focus Analytical Focus
Centre for Urban Research
and Education
Carleton UniversityOttawaThis centre conducts and facilitates collaborative research
to address current and emerging urban priorities and
issues, such as community governance, citizen engagement
and local capacity building, as well as taxes and public
spending around planning for infrastructure to support
social, economic, and environmental sustainability.
City Region Studies CentreUniversity of Alberta AlbertaThe focus is on city-region research in Alberta.
Institute of Urban StudiesUniversity of WinnipegWinnipegThis is an academic and an applied research centre,
committed to examining urban development issues in a
broad, non-partisan manner. The Institute examines inner
city, environmental, Aboriginal and community
development issues.
Urban Aboriginal
Knowledge Network (UAKN)
OttawaCanadaThe goal of the Urban Aboriginal Knowledge Network is
to be a durable research infrastructure that focuses
attention on urban Aboriginal concerns and contributes
to a better quality of life for Aboriginal people living in cities
and towns.


NameLocationGeographical Focus Analytical Focus
Urbanisation Culture Société
Research Centre, INRS
MontrealMontrealThis centre has four research foci: 1. Space, territory, and
the city: studying societies through the prism of space;
2. Time and change: following the dynamic movement of
societal anchoring; 3. The individual in relations and
places of belonging: understanding the conditions of
living together; 4. Symbols, representations, and values:
how does culture shape the lives of individuals in society.
Canadian Urban Institute
TorontoGlobalThis independent institute conducts research on a range of
issues including; energy mapping; integrated water mapping,
regional competitiveness, urban mobility, rethinking
suburban development; and cultural resource mapping.
Cities Centre
(formerly the Centre for
Urban and Community
University of TorontoGlobalThis centre has conducted research on a range of issues
including: urban planning, governance and management;
affordable housing and housing policy; environmental
planning; public policy; urban transportation and
infrastructure; urban education and health; local economic
development and budgeting; information systems and
data management; and human rights issues in relation to
urban development.
Global Cities InstituteUniversity of TorontoGlobalThe new Global Cities Institute houses the University of
Toronto’s Global City Indicators Facility (GCIF), as an
anchor program, as well as a new Model Cities Theatre
and Lab. The Global Cities Institute convenes collaborative,
cross-disciplinary research that builds on the GCIF metrics
and bridges the fields of urban governance, design,
technology and economics.
NameLocation Geographic Focus (Global, State, City, US, etc.)Analytical Focus
Comparative Urban Studies ProjectThe Wilson International Center for Scholars PennsylvaniaGlobalCUSP works to bring attention to comprehensive urban
policies that can harness the energy of urban growth and
diversity to create sustainable, equitable, and peaceful cities.
Building on its work in this area, the centre examines the
latest research and activity from the field to better
understand the conditions that foster empowerment,
resilience, and sustainability in the urban environment.
National Center for Suburban StudiesHofstra University
New York
GlobalThe goal of the center is to identify, analyze, and solve the
problems of suburbia, especially in areas of sustainability,
social equity, and economic development.
Penn Institute for Urban ResearchUniversity of Pennsylvania
GlobalThe Penn Institute for Urban Research is dedicated to
advancing cross-disciplinary urban-focused research,
instruction, and civic engagement on issues relevant to
cities around the world. It focuses on research that informs
the sustainable and inclusive 21-century city. By providing
a forum for collaborative scholarship and instruction at
Penn and beyond, it stimulates research and engages with
urban practitioners and policymakers to inform urban policy.
The Now InstituteCulver City
GlobalThe past 10 years of research has addressed issues of rapid
growth, disaster resilience, cultural identity, sustainability
and mobility in post-industrial, emerging and developmental
contexts, encompassing cities like Los Angeles, Madrid, Beijing,
New Orleans and Port-au-Prince.
The Urban Land InstituteWashington, DCGlobalA multidisciplinary real estate forum, ULI facilitates an open
exchange of ideas, information, and experience among industry
leaders and policy makers dedicated to creating better places.
Research areas include: economy and capital, housing,
infrastructure and transit, climate and energy, leadership,
planning and design.
Center for Urban Research and PolicyColumbia University
New York
United StatesThe mission of the Center for Urban Research and Policy is to:
create a more informal national dialogue about the challenges
and successes of our nation’s urban policies and programs;
advance research and curriculum on pressing urban issues;
prepare and train students to pay a greater role in improving
cities; promote the participation of urban residents, particularly
women and minorities, in policy determination at the local,
state, and national levels; and provide public officials and
community leaders with new tools for management and policy
California Centre for Sustainable CommunitiesUCLA
United StatesThe California Center for Sustainable Communities’ approach is
based on the concept of Urban Metabolism. Urban Metabolism
provides an umbrella framework to begin to ask how elements
of a city interact and perform, and which inputs and waste
outputs most challenge the ability of cities to become more
sustainable. Critical issues include current urban government
and governance and land use patterns. The California Center
for Sustainable Communities’ research aims to integrate and
synthesize sustainability science from a variety of disciplines
to begin to develop innovative solutions.
The CyberhoodUrban Affairs Association and Centre for Urban Studies
University of Buffalo
New York State
United StatesThe Cyberhood's mission is to encourage critical thinking about
the plight of communities of color, conditions in the inner city,
and the problems of low-wage white workers. The website's goal
is to connect students, scholars, practitioners, and activists from
across the racial and class divide in order to build meaningful
relationships. The building of such connections, we believe, will
strengthen the struggle to understand and transform inner cities
and the metropolitan regions of which they are a part.
The Institute for Urban Policy Research and AnalysisUniversity of Houston TexasUnited StatesThe focus is on strong policy research and a desire to promote
the production of policy-relevant research with the aim of
enhancing the lives of African Americans and other communities
of colour.
The Institute for Urban and Regional ResearchThe University of California Berkeley, CAUnited StatesThe Institute of Urban and Regional Development conducts
collaborative, interdisciplinary research and practical work that
helps scholars and students understand the dynamics of
communities, cities and regions while informing public policy
at the local, state and national levels.
University Center for Social and Urban ResearchUniversity of Pittsburgh
United StatesThe centre promotes scholarly analysis of urban and regional
problems through multidisciplinary research. Our projects and
services further our understanding of the causes and
consequences of economic and social change.  Our emphasis
is on major economic and demographic trends in the Pittsburgh
region in a national context.
The Centre for Urban ResearchCUNY, New YorkNew YorkThe centre’s main areas of research include: immigration and
migration, housing and neighbourhood change, labour
market trends, economic development, demographic trends,
crime, and political participation.  
Institute for Urban ResearchMorgan State University Baltimore, MDMarylandThis centre undertakes research, compiling statistical data,
land use surveying, etc., to make presentations to public and
private agencies, as well as community groups. The research interests include health and health care, community
development and revitalization, substance abuse,
environmental justice, law enforcement, transportation,
education and families.
Kinder Institute for Urban ResearchRice University
Houston, Texas
Houston, TexasScholars study both macro changes in the economic,
demographic, and socio-cultural patterns of large metropolitan
regions, and the micro experiences of life in local
neighborhoods and communities.
The Regional InstituteUniversity at Buffalo
The State University of New York
New York State
Buffalo, New YorkThe UB Regional Institute provides objective analysis to
drive crucial decisions for its public, private and nonprofit
clients in the Buffalo Niagara region and beyond. Drawing
on diverse experience and a deeply rooted passion for
independent research and public engagement, the Institute
generates clear, actionable insights that advance communities
and organizations.
William S. Breslin Centre for Real Estate StudiesHofstra University Hempstead
New York State
United StatesThis is an interdisciplinary center for the study of real estate
that brings together the expertise of Hofstra's Frank G. Zarb
School of Business and the School of Law, as well as the
Institute of Real Estate at Hofstra University. The center
provides real estate professionals, municipal officials, developers and the public with information, education and scholarly analysis about the complex issues important in the real estate field.
NameLocation Geographical Focus (Global, City, Country, etc.) Analytical Focus
UCL Urban LaboratoryUniversity College London, UKGlobalOur activities currently focus on five key areas: housing and
dishousing; ecology and metabolism; change and crisis;
imagination and design; and data and place.
Centre for Urban and Public Policy ResearchUniversity of Bristol Bristol, UKGlobalThe Centre examines policy areas that affect us all in day-to-
day life ranging from housing and neighbourhoods to health
care, family policy to social justice, health inequalities to
domestic violence, child welfare to social care for older people, poverty to social work, governance to criminology. We
influence and challenge policies implemented by governments and institutions by looking at issues such as how we organise services for children and families, provide housing and health
care for older people, develop our cities and neighbourhoods, and how effectively we provide social care and services for the vulnerable.
Centre For Urban ResearchUniversity of York, York, UKGlobalThe centre focuses on research that show how conditions of
economic uncertainty and the selective distribution of
financial benefits have given rise to a new context in which
the vitality and creativity of certain urban economies and
spaces contrasts markedly with disadvantaged urban districts
and even entire towns and cities that have experienced
declining populations, social and economic divestment and
spatial dereliction. Rising levels of urban poverty and
inequality and increasing incidents of racism and intolerance —
particularly towards minority groups and migrants — add to
the perception that cities are becoming fractured through
social exclusion, segregation, uneven access to services and
municipal retrenchment, and that these factors are generating
major stresses that now test contemporary citizenship and the
‘right to the city’.
Geddes Institute for Urban ResearchUniversity of Dundee, Dundee, ScotlandGlobalThe  centre’s aim is to provide a focal point and forum for
urban research within the University. The purpose of the
Institute is to bring together researchers from disciplines from
across the University with interests in urbanism, and to bring
together the different research cultures/methodologies represented by these disciplines, in particular the social science research methodologies of geography, sociology, and planning with the creative practice led research methodologies of architecture, art, and the design
Global Urban Research Centre (GURC)School of Environment  & Development, University of Manchester, UKGlobalThis is a multidisciplinary centre that focuses on global
urbanization, poverty, inequality and exclusion.
Global Urban Research UnitNewcastle University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UKGlobalTheir work is primarily focused on developing a better
understanding of place and its potential transformation.
Our work is theoretically informed but applied,
inter-disciplinary, and internationally focused.  GURU's work is organised around four over-lapping themes:
Cities, Security and Vulnerability;
Cities and International Development; Planning and
Environmental Dynamics; and Power, Place and Materiality.
LSE CitiesLondon School of Economics and Political Science, London, UKGlobalIts 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.
The Centre for Urban Conflicts ResearchThe University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UKGlobalThis is an interdisciplinary centre based in the Department
of Architecture, University of Cambridge. With the majority of
today’s conflicts now taking place in cities, the problem has
been recognised as one that requires more research and better
understanding in both matters of policy and practice. UCR is
dedicated to investigating cities that experience extreme or
particular conflicts, including those caused by ethnicity,
nationalism, religion, class or race. Deriving from an
architectural and spatial approach to the city, the Centre has
expertise in understanding the relationship between policy
and planning issues and everyday life. It is particularly
concerned with the possibilities for resilience and long term
urban transformations.  UCR’s activities focus on four main
areas: research, consultation, communication and education.
The Institute for Housing, Urban and Real Estate ResearchHeriot-Watt University Edinburgh, UKGlobalThere are three research foci at the Insitute: the Centre for
Research into Socially Inclusive Services; Housing; and
Property Economics and Investment.
Centre for the Built Environment (CEBE)Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, UKUKWe find that buildings do not perform as well as they were
predicted to do in their initial design energy model
calculations: there is a Performance Gap. We aim to see how construction can close this Performance Gap.
Centre for Urban StudiesUniversity of Amsterdam, The NetherlandsGlobalThis centre focuses on a range of social questions in urban
context and on the ways in which urban processes drive
societal change. Much of the research maintains a focus on
comparative urbanism in global perspective and involves
cities urban trends around the world. The Centre’s
researchers share interests in some key themes including
diversity and integration, planning and design, mobility,
urban sustainable development, governance, migration,
citizenship and representation, identity and belonging, and
the dynamics of the urban system at regional and global
European Institute for Comparative Urban Research (EURICUR)Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The NetherlandsGlobalThe European Institute for Comparative Urban Research
aims to gain a deeper understanding of how cities develop
and how they are managed. To that end Euricur initiates and
carries out studies on strategic urban issues in response to
the challenges cities and metropolitan regions face.
Centre for Metropolitan StudiesTechnische Universität Berlin, GermanyGlobalThe Center currently focuses on the topics of metropolis
and mobility, suburbanization and urban renewal, cultural economies and cultural innovation processes. We view current problems such as security in cities, segregation and
polarization from a historical perspective to uncover possible solutions for the present. Historical analysis sharpens our
view of the twenty-first-century metropolis.
The Urban Research Institute (URI)Tirana, AlbaniaCentral Eastern EuropeThe research foci involve: consulting and project management,
including legislation, public finance, infrastructure financing
and institutional matching and upgrading; housing, land and
infrastructure development; and urban management and decentralisation.
Centre for Urban and Regional StudiesUniversity of Newcastle, AustraliaGlobalWe explore the challenges confronting urban and regional
governance and the prospects for creating just and sustainable
urban and regional communities, economies and
environments. We do this from geographical and
interdisciplinary perspectives. Through basic, applied and community-engaged research CURS' researchers produce theoretically informed and empirically grounded
understandings of: the dynamics of urban and regional transformations; the ways diverse locations, institutions and
communities negotiate the challenges and opportunities
posed by these transformations; and we contribute to learning
to foster innovative governance and community responses.
Urban Research ProgramGriffith’s University Nathan, Queensland, AustraliaAustraliaResearch foci include: urban governance; sustainable
transport; rural and peri-urban landscape management;
housing systems and processes; infrastructure; climate change adaptation and human settlements; healthy communities; sustainable urban and regional economies; and liveable and equitable human settlements.
Centre for Urban Research  Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University, Melbourne, AustraliaAustraliaThe Centre conducts research on three intersecting themes:
housing and homelessness; urban and regional planning; and sustainability and climate change.
Centre for Population and Urban ResearchMonash University, Victoria, AustraliaAustraliaThe centre addresses significant issues in the fields of
population movements, urban planning, family formation, education and the labour market.
African Centre for CitiesUniversity of Cape Town, South AfricaAfricaThe African Centre for Cities (ACC) is an interdisciplinary
research and teaching programme at the University of Cape
Town, South Africa, focused on quality scholarship regarding
the dynamics of urbanization processes in Africa, with an eye
on identifying systemic and sustainable responses.
African Centre of Excellence for Studies in Public and non-motorised transport University of Cape Town, South AfricaAfricaThis is a collaborative research centre focusing on the
development and governance of passenger transport systems
in African cities. ACET aims to empower researchers in Africa
to set their own research agendas and engage directly with
urban transport challenges on this continent.
Centre for Urban Research and Innovation (CURI)University of Nairobi, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Nairobi, Kenya  AfricaThis initiative seeks to create a forum for exploring innovative methodologies for enabling planners and professionals in the
built environment disciplines to be more responsive and
effective in addressing urban challenges in contemporary and
future African urban settings.
The City Institute at WITSUniversity of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South AfricaGlobalResearch programmes at the City Institute build an
understanding of changing social forms in cities, and factors
contributing to their development and decline. The Institute
explores how cities can foster development, democracy and
peace, with research programmes exploring their physical,
social and economic construction.
TATA Institute of Fundamental Research, MumbaiSir Dorabji  TATA Trust, Mumbai, IndiaGlobalThe research portfolio of urban poverty and livelihoods has
four sub-thematic areas of engagement: internal migration; informal sector livelihoods; urban planning and governance;
and employability.
Urban Research CentreBangalore, IndiaGlobalThe centre conducts socially relevant research to contribute
to a responsible civil society for responsive governance in urban areas.
South Asian Urban Research Network (SAURN)Institute of Governance Studies, Dhaka, BangladeshSouth Asia    Urban research in the wake of rapid urbanization has three
policy dimensions that are imperative to ensure all citizens
have adequate living conditions: urban planning, urban development strategies and urban governance.
The Fukuoka Asian Urban Research Institute (URC) Fukuoka, JapanAsiaThis institute is dedicated to the study of urban policy and to urban strategies for the future extending its perspective of research and study further to the Asian region.  The Center is making unprecedented efforts to build a multidirectional
network, exchange and disseminate information, and at the same time assume a coordination function for linking together various sectors.