Co-producing Urbanisms

Cities are shaped by multiple interests, which often act in pursuit of conflicting visions. City-regional partnerships and growth coalitions develop strategic frameworks to address complex challenges, whilst grassroots movements and citizen collectives explore alternative urban futures.

The theme tests whether and how co-production can work across urban divides between citizens/state, the informal/ formal and research/practice to help develop progressive and sustainable urbanisms.

Research Questions

–    How do different boundary spaces and intermediation processes work to include marginalised voices in urban governance?
–    Who is included/excluded and whose expertise matters in forging alternative urban futures?
–    What innovations and experiments from research and practice inform alternative urbanisms?
–    What can we learn from comparison between urban transition approaches emerging in the Global South and North?


September 29, 2020 in Co-producing Urbanisms, News

New Project: An Even Better Arbourthorne

This project connects learning institutions across Sheffield to address socio-economic disadvantage in Arbourthorne, through sharing knowledge and expertise, fostering relationships and supporting community capacity-building. There is clear evidence of the link between educational outcomes and place-based disadvantage. A complex ecosystem…
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June 8, 2020 in Co-producing Urbanisms, Event, News, Urban Humans Event

The Urban Surrounds: from extinction to abolition.

 The first ‘Sheffield Urbanism’ Lecture Series The Urban Surrounds: From Extinction to Abolition” is a series which attempts to examine spaces and temporalities of urbanization from the viewpoints of abolitionist histories and sensibilities, and in ways that attempt to circumvent the…
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Realising Just Cities: The Mistra Urban Futures Centre: A four-year international research programme at the Urban Institute, undertaken with partners in Sweden, Kenya and South Africa (2016-2019). It is the current collaborative framework for the Mistra Urban Futures centre, headquartered in Gothenburg at Chalmers/Gothenburg Universities, which aims to support sustainable urbanisation processes which are accessible, green and fair.

Jam and Justice: Co-producing Urban Governance for Social Innovation: An ESRC Urban Transformations project setting up an Action Research Cooperative to co-design more inclusive governance processes in Greater Manchester (2016-2019). Led by University of Sheffield, with Universities of Manchester and Birmingham, the Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisations and Mistra Urban Futures.

Whose Knowledge Matters? Competing and Contesting Knowledge Claims in 21st Century Cities

Knowledge Matters explores the functioning of citizen knowledge in urban decision-making and strategy development, to understand how city officials can best respond to pressing challenges (2016-2019). Funded by the ESRC through the Open Research Area initiative, in partnership with Sheffield Methods Institute and University of Twente, Netherlands.

Cultural Heritage and Improvised Music in European Festivals (CHIME): The project explores the uses and re-uses of different types of heritage and examines how changing relationships between music, festivals and cultural heritage sites renegotiate established understandings and uses of heritage (2016-2017). Funded by JPI Heritage Plus, with partners in Birmingham City University, University of East Anglia, University of Amsterdam and University of Gothenburg.


September 26, 2019 in Climate Urbanism Event, Co-producing Urbanisms Event, Event

Climate change, uncertainty and the city: challenges and opportunities for transdisciplinary co-production and transformation

-- Professor Lyla Mehta. Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, UK;Visiting professor, Norwegian University of Life Sciences A Realising Just Cities lecture The scale and impacts of climate change remain deeply uncertain. This is particularly true at the…
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December 19, 2018 in Co-producing Urbanisms Event, News

Realising Just Cities Cape Town Conference

Article originally published via RJC. ‘Comparative Co-production’ was the theme of the 2018 Mistra Urban Futures conference in Cape Town earlier this month, which was attended by members of the Urban Institute’s Realising Just Cities team. Opening drinks at the…
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UN Sustainable Development Goal 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable


people still live in extreme poverty globally


in 9 people in the world today are undernourished


Voter turnout in the 2016 English local elections