"Cities have never been more important than today, nor has the need to accelerate their transition to a low-carbon future."

- Prof Steffen Lehmann

Rethinking Cities for the age of global warming

WHY

Rethinking Cities?

Urbanisation is one of the defining challenges of our times. Our understanding of the urban, whether in theory or in practice, has reached a turning point, with cities across the world facing new, complex and challenging conditions that require resilience and adaptation to the impacts of environmental and social change.

With nearly 70% of the world’s population likely to live in cities by 2030, the quality of life experienced by the urban population will determine our global future.


Call for Article Submission to Special Issue: 'Nature-based Solutions and their Relationship to Urban Resilience'

barcelona overhead image

WHAT

What is the Cluster for Sustainable Cities?


The Cluster for Sustainable Cities at the University of Portsmouth is an interdisciplinary research hub working at the interface of sustainable architecture, urban planning, social sciences, ICT and engineering. It contributes to the University’s priority research theme ‘Sustainability and the Environment’ working across traditional disciplinary boundaries.

The Cluster for Sustainable Cities is committed to excellence in urban design thinking and communication, creating inventive solutions to address the global challenges of urbanism in the 21st century. It seeks to stimulate and deliver the research expertise necessary to develop the new knowledge required in the practice of sustainable urban development for the necessary transformation and regeneration process.

Our applied research is concerned with the development of new strategies towards the integration of sustainable technologies into a societal, urban and behavioural context, and the innovative re-thinking of urban futures - in partnership with industry, communities and government.

The Cluster is affiliated with the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries and the Faculty of Technology at the University of Portsmouth, as well as to industry partners and government agencies. The quality of our research and activities is assured through an executive advisory board whose members are representatives of government, industry and academia.

The Cluster involves over 35 researchers from a wide range of disciplines in impactful, relevant and practical projects to deliver solution for better urbanisation, systems thinking for improved efficiencies, and the evidence base for future policy formulation and better decision making.

AIMS

What are the Aims of the Cluster?


We have a clear pathway to impact: we conduct applied research on smart, resilient communities and integrated technologies that include citizen-centric solutions to meet the changing needs of urban areas and demographic shifts; providing a step change improvement in urban living and systems.

We collaborate with industry, government, public agencies, charities and communities to enable urban change and transformation that benefits the environment, promotes sustainable urban living and creates a carbon-neutral society.

The Cluster’s engagement with government, industry and local community is critical in further strengthening the University’s place as a leader in cities research in the UK, Europe and globally.

"In our mission to shape a better world we must shape better cities."

- Ban Ki-Moon, UN

RESEARCH

The Research Programme of the Cluster for Sustainable Cities


The Cluster is structured in a programme of five broad research streams that are central to driving innovation, each coordinated by research stream leaders:

  • Transforming Communities: Resilient and Engaged Communities -
    Social and Cultural Sustainability

    (led by: Dr Silvio Caputo and Dr Ann Coats)
  • Low Carbon Neighbourhoods and Smart Urban Futures, Intelligent Infrastructure - Urban Living
    (led by: Prof Steffen Lehmann)
  • City Policy, Legislation and Urban Governance -
    Transition Pathways

    (led by: Dr Alessandro Melis)
  • Sustainable Construction and New Integrated Technologies -
    Integration Strategies

    (led by: Prof Mark Gaterell)
  • Urban Disaster Resilience - Environmental Burden and Communitiee at Risk
    (led by: Dr Robert Inkpen)
research programme graphic

PEOPLE

Cluster Executives

  • Prof Lehmann

    Prof Steffen Lehmann
    Cluster Founding Director,
    Professor for Sustainable Architecture,
    Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries,
    Leader Research Programme 2
    ‘Low Carbon Neighbourhoods - Future Living’

  • Prof Gaterell

    Prof Mark Gaterell
    Cluster Founding Director,
    Professor for Sustainable Construction,
    Associate Dean (Research),
    Faculty of Technology,
    Leader Research Programme 4
    ‘Sustainable Construction’

Cluster Research Programme Leaders

  • Dr Coats

    Dr Ann Coats
    Faculty of Technology,
    Co-Leader Research Programme 1
    ‘Social and Cultural Sustainability’

  • Dr Caputo

    Dr Silvio Caputo
    Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries,
    School of Architecture,
    Co-Leader Research Programme 1
    ‘Social and Cultural Sustainability’

  • Dr Melis

    Dr Alessandro Melis
    Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries,
    School of Architecture,
    Leader Research Programme 3
    ‘New Policy and Urban Governance’

  • Dr Inkpen

    Dr Robert Inkpen
    Faculty of Science,
    Department of Geography,
    Leader Research Programme 5
    ‘Urban Disaster Resilience’

Operations

  • Mr Steve Jones

    Mr Steve Jones
    Senior Business and
    Outreach Manager,
    Faculty of Creative
    and Cultural Industries

  • Dr David Hutchinson

    Dr David Hutchinson
    Innovation and Impact Development Manager,
    Faculty of Technology

  • Mr Tom Greenwood

    Mr Tom Greenwood
    Operations Manager,
    University of Portsmouth

  • Ms Denise Callender

    Ms Denise Callender
    Faculty Promotions Manager,
    Faculty of Creative
    and Cultural Industries

  • Ms Claire Huckstepp

    Ms Claire Huckstepp
    Senior Financial Officer,
    Faculty of Creative
    and Cultural Industries

  • Ms Plamena Gamzova

    Ms Plamena Gamzova
    Communications and
    Social Media Officer,
    Faculty of Creative
    and Cultural Industries

  • Ms Natalie Poole

    Ms Natalie Poole
    Cluster Officer and
    Cluster Ambassador,
    Faculty of Creative
    and Cultural Industries

Researchers in Sustainable Cities - Cluster Members

  • Prof Victor Becerra

    Prof Victor M. Becerra
    Portsmouth School
    of Engineering

  • Dr Katharina Burger

    Dr Katharina Burger
    Portsmouth Business School

  • Ms Marianna Gardener

    Ms Marianna Gardener
    Portsmouth School of Health
    Sciences and Social Work

  • Mr Francis Graves

    Mr Francis Graves
    Portsmouth School
    of Architecture

  • Dr Fabiano Lemes

    Dr Fabiano Lemes de Oliveira
    Portsmouth School
    of Architecture

  • Mr Walter Menteth

    Mr Walter Menteth
    Portsmouth School
    of Architecture

  • Dr Andreea Molnar

    Dr Andreea Molnar
    Portsmouth School of
    Creative Technologies

  • Mr Stephen Neale

    Mr Stephen Neale
    Portsmouth School of
    Civil Engineering & Surveying

  • Dr Athanasios Paraskelidis

    Dr Athanasios Paraskelidis
    Portsmouth School
    of Computing

  • Mr Martin Pearce

    Mr Martin Pearce
    Portsmouth School
    of Architecture

  • Dr Heather Rumble

    Dr Heather Rumble
    Portsmouth School
    of Geography

  • Dr Matthew Tallis

    Dr Matthew James Tallis
    Portsmouth School of
    Biological Sciences

  • Dr Richard Teeuw

    Dr Richard Teeuw
    Portsmouth School of Earth
    and Environmental Sciences

  • Dr Gianpiero Torrisi

    Dr Gianpiero Torrisi
    Portsmouth School of
    Economics and Finance

  • Dr Tim Whitehead

    Dr Tim Whitehead
    Portsmouth School of
    Civil Engineering and Surveying

  • Dr John Williams

    Dr John Williams
    Portsmouth School of
    Civil Engineering and Surveying

  • Monika Szopinska-Mularz

    Monika Szopinska-Mularz
    Portsmouth School
    of Architecture

  • Dr Roberto Braglia

    Mr Roberto Braglia
    Portsmouth School
    of Architecture

  • Mr Guido Robazza

    Mr Guido Robazza
    Portsmouth School
    of Architecture

  • Prof Allan Collins

    Prof Alan Collins
    Portsmouth School
    of Economics and Finance

  • Dr Wendy Powell

    Dr Wendy Powell
    Portsmouth School of
    Creative Technologies

  • Dr Isaac Boateng

    Dr Isaac Boateng
    Portsmouth School
    of Civil Engineering
    and Surveying

  • Dr Brett Martinson

    Dr Brett Martinson
    Portsmouth School
    of Civil Engineering
    and Surveying

  • Dr Jiye Chen

    Dr Jiye Chen
    Portsmouth School of
    Civil Engineering and Surveying

  • Prof Joan Farrer

    Prof Joan Farrer
    Faculty of Creative
    and Cultural Industries

  • Dr Karen Fielder

    Dr Karen Fielder
    Portsmouth School
    of Architecture

  • Prof David J. Brown

    Prof David Brown
    Faculty of Creative
    and Cultural Industries

  • Dr Hom Nath Dhakal

    Dr Hom N Dhakal
    School of Engineering
    Faculty of Technology

  • Ms Catherine Teeling

    Ms Catherine Teeling
    Portsmouth School
    of Architecture

  • Prof Donald Houston

    Prof Donald Houston
    Faculty of Science,
    Department of Geography

  • Dr Ayman Nassif

    Dr Ayman Nassif
    School of Civil Engineering
    and Surveying,
    Faculty of Technology

  • Dr Carlos Zepeda

    Dr Carlos Zepeda
    Portsmouth School of Economics and Finance
    (Development Studies)

  • Dr Tarek Teba

    Dr Tarek Teba
    Portsmouth School
    of Architecture

  • Daniel Blott

    Daniel Blott
    Portsmouth School
    of Architecture

  • Julia Brown

    Dr Julia Brown
    Faculty of Science,
    Department of Geography

  • Tom Kauko

    Dr Tom Kauko
    School of Civil Engineering
    and Surveying,
    Faculty of Technology

PARTNERS

Our Partners


We have developed powerful collaborations with some institutions involved in shaping urban futures, including AECOM, the City of Portsmouth, Atkins, RICS and Routledge, amongst others.

With our research agenda we cover the grand challenges in urban research and enable our members to engage in research opportunities. These span from infrastructure (transport, water, energy, waste, food), across to the non-technical (social, behavioural, economic opportunities for urban interventions) and beyond into technical areas such as structures, safety, life-cycle and environmental systems.


Pictured right: Mrs Donna Jones, Leader of the Portsmouth City Council, with Prof Steffen Lehmann, Cluster Co-Director, March 2017, outlining their vision for a Sustainable Solent Region 2030.


PROJECTS

Our Projects


All Projects

  • project1

    H2020:
    Nature-based solutions for inclusive urban regeneration


    Prof Steffen Lehmann
    Dr Alessandro Melis

  • project2

    Modular prefabricated house:
    engineered timber construction systems (industry partnership)


    Prof Steffen Lehmann
    Roberto Braglia

  • project3

    Food-Water-Energy Nexus:
    the inter-connectedness
    of urban infrastructure


    Prof Steffen Lehmann
    Dr Alessandro Melis

  • project4

    Growing food in the compact city:
    the benefits & limits of urban farming


    Monika-Szopinska-Mularz
    Prof Steffen Lehmann
    Dr Silvio Caputo

  • project5

    Resilient cities in developing countries


    Dr Richard Teeuw

  • project6

    The conceptual framework for the Urban Nexus in the Asia-Pacific region (UN-ESCAP)

    Prof Steffen Lehmann

  • project7

    Global Challenges:
    Low-impact construction in Africa (GCRF)


    Dr Brett Martinson

  • gproject8

    Post-occupancy evaluation of energy performance in the UK


    Prof Mark Gaterell

  • project9

    Sea-level rise in UK cities:
    Coastal cities and urban resilience


    Prof Steffen Lehmann
    Walter Menteth
    Francis Graves

  • project10

    Re-naturing cities in Brazil
    (Newton Fund)


    Dr Fabiano Lemes

  • project11

    Temporary event structures using a carbon-fibre kit (industry partnership)
    Prof Steffen Lehmann
    Roberto Braglia
    Guido Robazza

  • project12

    Future living:
    Low carbon neighbourhoods and smart cities


    Prof. Steffen Lehmann

  • project13

    H2020:
    Perceive - perception and evaluation of regional and cohesion policies in Europe

    Dr Gianpiero Torrisi
    Prof Alan Collins

  • project14

    The link between urban design
    and health



    Ms Marianna Gardener

  • project15

    Interventions in public space:
    co-creating community places



    Guido Robazza

  • project16

    Sustainable urban drainage systems:
    water-sensitive urban development


    Dr John Williams

  • project17

    Sense of place, cultural heritage and sustainable cities

    Dr Ann Coats
    Dr Tarek Teba

  • project18

    Healthy new towns:
    Using creative technologies to enhance age-friendly living

    Dr Richard Curry
    Dr Wendy Powell
    Prof Steffen Lehmann

  • project19

    Social inequality and migration
    as drivers of urban and regional restructuring


    Prof Donald Houston

  • project20

    Nature or Nuturing? An investigation into soil-less technology in urban agriculture communities
    Dr Heather Rumble
    Di Silvio Caputo

  • project20

    Portsea Heritage Project: Assess Portsea residents’ perceptions of their heritage and community engagement.
    Dr Ann Coats
    Di Silvio Caputo

IMPACT

Our Impact


The significant impact of our multidisciplinary research (in reach and significance)
is found in influencing practice and improving urban policies and is tangible in:

  • influencing decision-making, public policy and improving outcomes
  • public sector and industry collaboration: uptake of concepts
  • improving the efficiency of practice and technologies
  • stimulating and leading public debate
  • engaging the public with research and collaboration
  • making research accessible for users to adopt
  • identifying pathways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and
  • enhancing understanding of, and guiding, sustainable growth

STRATEGY

The Strategy of the Cluster


1. Lead on urban innovation

The University requires increased leadership capacity and acumen towards innovation and entrepreneurship. We are prioritising new ways of doing things, unleashing the innovative potential in our research and actively promoting innovation growth by providing start-up seed funding and providing innovators with the platform, data and support to develop commercially valuable research and services.

2. A willingness to collaborate

The multi-disciplinary solutions to city challenges, both internal and external, don’t reside solely with one discipline or group. The leading city regions engage their ecosystem as a valuable resource for a liveable city, working with entrepreneurs, universities, and their regional and global partners, to share, learn and jointly develop solutions. The Cluster will clearly demonstrate a willingness to collaborate with other stakeholders, industry and the community, engaging citizens in decision making and problem solving.

3. International outlook

The Cluster will increase international exposure and expand international linkages to enable global business connections, strengthening links between the Cluster, city and entrepreneurs.

4. Nurture the next generation of research leaders

The Cluster has established career pathways to encourage graduates to stay and engage in PhD studies. We aim to equip young academics with the relevant knowledge, ambition, skills and cultivate a culture of research and entrepreneurialism to develop new urban strategies.

CONTACT

Cluster for Sustainable Cities

University of Portsmouth
Eldon Building, Winston Churchill Avenue, Portsmouth, P01 2DJ.
Tel: +44 (0)23 9284 5742
Email: steffen.lehmann@port.ac.uk
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