Urban Sustainability

Our research on urban sustainability concerns inclusive data innovations that support climate action and enable progress towards the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

This includes innovative ways of using smart and citizen-generated data, combined with participatory methods to support systemic urban transformations and to co-produce localised sustainability indicators to track progress on climate mitigation and adaptation, including resilience to extreme weather events.

Our projects work across the global North and South co-creating data and innovative solutions with multidisciplinary researchers, non-academic partners, and communities.

We are particularly interested in rethinking established approaches to the production, circulation and use of urban data, and how data might enable transformations that deliver equitable urban sustainability and climate resilience for all.


DataCivil: institutionalising citizen-generated data for risk reduction in Favelas A project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council’s Impact Acceleration Account (ESRC IAA).

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The UBDC Local Sustainability Data Blog

Based on ongoing research at UBDC, this blog series on ‘Sustainability Data’ presents research results, debates and emerging insights which, we hope, stimulate further discussion and add value to researchers, policy makers, city managers, and government officials in general, who deal with these questions on a daily level.

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IDEAMAPS Data Ecosystem

The IDEAMAPS Data Ecosystem project is focused on co-designing and developing a participatory data-modelling ecosystem to produce deprived area maps routinely and accurately at scale across cities in lower middle-income countries (LMIC) to support multiple local stakeholders in their decision-making.

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Evaluation of Urban Sustainability in Municipal Cash Transfer Programs using Digital Local Currency - a University of Glasgow Centre for International Development (GCID) Small Grant-funded project

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Digital Footprint Data for localising SDGs

The increasingly leading role taken by local governments in reporting progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development reflects the importance of urban action in the fight to protect the planet.

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Waterproofing Data

The Waterproofing Data project investigates the governance of water-related risks, with a focus on social and cultural aspects of data practices.The project was conducted by a highly skilled international team of researchers with multiple disciplinary backgrounds from Brazil, Germany and the UK.

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URBE Latam

URBE Latam seeks to expand and refine the understanding of risks, vulnerabilities and potentialities associated with rain-related geohazards in Latin America by rethinking how environmental risk data is produced, how it is used, and how it might enable transformations that close the implementation gap for marginalised communities.

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Jointly funded by