New report: Science and the Future of Cities

Programme Type: Urban Research Programme:

ACC’s Director Edgar Pieterse was one of 29 experts in contemporary urban scholarship who contributed to the report on Science and the Future Cities endorsed by Nature Sustainability.

Panellists were tasked to survey the challenge of science-policy interactions, and the issue of developing a ‘global urban science’ that has reach across academia and enables more effective interfaces between research and practice. The report Science and the Future of Cities offers an overview of the key challenges, messages and recommendations emerging from the Panel’s deliberations, highlighting pathways for reform in science and policy.

The Expert Panel provided a set of five key recommendations, each including a series practical actions that could be taken both in academia and policy circles to encourage a more effective role for science in the future of cities:

  • Contemporary urban challenges need a global urban science that reaches out across disciplines, is geared towards impact, and is accountable to its role in shaping cities.
  • Reviews and reforms of the role of cities within the multilateral system are long overdue, and need to go hand-in-hand with the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
  • The role of the private sector needs to be rebalanced towards capacity building and accountable input focused on where the most pressing challenges are.
  • National governments and regional actors need to become pro-active advocates of urban innovation for sustainability.
  • Experiments in science-policy collaboration at the local level are fundamental. Academia and local governments should take tangible steps towards joint investments for science-policy collaboration.

Download the report here.