Future Earth Urban

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The challenge    Our strategy    Our work    Join us

What is Future Earth’s Urban Knowledge-Action Network?

Future Earth’s Urban Knowledge-Action Network is a global network of researchers and other innovators in policy, business, civil society and more working to solve the most pressing challenges facing cities worldwide. We build new knowledge and tools to accelerate real-world transitions and transformations toward cities that are sustainable and livable.

Our challenge

Cities play an increasingly important role in global sustainability. Occupying less than 2% of the world’s land area, urban areas simultaneously produce most of the world’s waste and GDP. Cities are also complex settlements in which economies, cultures, biodiversity and infrastructure from public transportation to sewage systems interact in sometimes unexpected ways.

This complexity can make it challenging to understand how actions in one area, such as to improve air quality, might affect another, such as climate. We believe that addressing these complexities takes a systems approach to generating knowledge. It also requires bringing together people and groups from all walks of life to co-design and co-produce solutions that respond to the real-world needs of urban areas across the globe.

Our strategy

The Urban Knowledge-Action Network convenes an engaged research base, focused on the co-design and co-production of knowledge and tools to provide solutions to the greatest sustainability challenges facing cities. We work to incorporate the latest research findings into government, business and community decisions and policies.

We work in three key areas:

  • Building a community of practice and mobilising capacity among innovators in research, policy, business, non-governmental organisations and the general public for sustainable urban futures;
  • Facilitating, co-designing, synthesising and amplifying research to support the implementation of global sustainability initiatives at the city level, including the New Urban Agenda, Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement;
  • Bringing knowledge to action by building networks, democratising data and bringing underrepresented voices into global policy and planning discussions.

Our work

Building a community of practice

  • Urban news: Sign up to join our monthly community newsletter, which will launch in March 2018. Send submissions for news to M'Lisa Colbert (include “Urban News” in the subject line).
  • Urban webinars: Learn about the latest findings in urban research and participate in training and capacity building opportunities for researchers, city officials, urban planners and more (stay up-to-date by joining our Urban community below).
  • Urban community: Connect to a global community of thousands of researchers and other innovators on the Open Network powered by Future Earth.

Facilitating and amplifying research

Turning knowledge into action

Join us

The Urban Knowledge-Action Network is open to a wide range of innovators working on sustainable cities, including researchers, policy-makers, business leaders, practitioners and more. There are several ways for you to get involved in our work:

Join us in building sustainable Urban futures!