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

- Prof Steffen Lehmann

A revised 'Urban Manifesto' document download is now available from the 'Urban Manifesto' button!

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

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

Tom Kauko

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

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

Prof John Williams

Prof 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

dario pedrabissi

Mr Dario Pedrabissi
Portsmouth School
of Architecture

Dr Antonino Di Raimo

Dr Antonino Di Raimo
Portsmouth School
of Architecture

Mr J. Antonio Lara Hernandez

Mr J. Antonio Lara Hernandez
Portsmouth School
of Architecture

Dr Paola Boarin

Dr Paola Boarin
School of Architecture
and Planning
Faculty of Creative Arts
and Industries
The University of Auckland,
New Zealand

Dr Regina Frei

Dr Regina Frei
School of Engineering
Faculty of Technology

Professor Djamila Ouelhadj

Prof Djamila Ouelhadj
Logistics, Operational Research & Analytics Group
Department of Mathematics

Dr Salam Al-Bizri

Dr Salam Al-Bizri
School of Civil Engineering and Surveying
Faculty of Technology

Dr Luca Galassi

Dr Luca Galassi
General Manager,
Labour Ministry of the Government of Sardinia, Italy

Dr Gianluca Boy

Dr Gianluca Boy
Director,
Development Sardinian Office, Italy

Professor Diego Vazquez-Brust

Professor
Diego Vazquez-Brust

Global Business Sustainability and Strategy,
Faculty of Business & Law

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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