Lancaster University in the UK has partnered with Malaysia’s Sunway University to form a Future Cities Research Institute.
Building on existing collaborative efforts between the two universities, the Future Cities Research Institute will direct its research and innovation resources towards developing smart, sustainable city strategies. The institute aims to produce an ‘innovative and agile portfolio of research, responding to the intractable challenges facing urban environments, and deliver critical step-changes relevant to their context’.
Professor Graeme Wilkinson, Vice Chancellor of Sunway University, said: “The joint Future Cities Research Institute will focus on one of the biggest challenges facing mankind; namely, how to make cities more liveable and sustainable in the future. It is predicted that by 2050 more than 80 per cent of the population in Europe and North America and more than 60 per cent of the population in Africa and Asia will live in cities, totalling around 6.7 billion people. It is therefore entirely fitting for us to choose the challenges of urbanisation to be the focus for our first joint research institute.”
The Future Cities Research Institute will work towards research into new and emerging fields in the study of urban sustainability, with proposed interdisciplinary research projects including ‘people-based’ infrastructure design; optimising urban environments for night time; shoring up urban food security; and producing designs for healthy living environments.
Chancellor of Lancaster University and former UK Secretary of State for Health the Rt Hon Alan Milburn said: “The joint Sunway-Lancaster Future Cities Research Institute will address some of the key issues facing the world this century. In the process, I hope it will help forge an even stronger bond between our two great institutions. We at Lancaster are immensely proud of the partnership. We are delighted at the progress that it has made and we believe that in the new institute, we will have a powerful vehicle for taking the partnership forward to the next level.”