In order to transform our cities to deliver individual and societal wellbeing within the context of low-carbon living and resource security, we must take into account the economic, social, and political contexts and systems in which we operate.

This includes a deep understanding of our aspirations, quality of life and everyday mobilities (such as the movement of objects, people and ideas). Some of these factors may be in conflict with what urban designers and engineers are currently developing to promote a low-carbon, resource-secure lifestyle.

Their success or otherwise is dependent on society’s response and the degrees to which they deliver an acceptable quality of life (within the norms of wellbeing), do not dilute aspirations and do not disrupt the mobilities of people and objects. However, a mere understanding of this context is not enough: for decision-makers to implement ideas it is necessary to translate that understanding into criteria, guidelines, engineering and design briefs. This process of translation is critical to the success of urban design and engineering projects and has been identified as a deficiency in our ability to achieve success in the past, especially in the infrastructure and built environment of our cities.

Therefore, a most urgent challenge for our urban environments is to reconsider how we define cities, neighbourhoods and places, and to embrace an approach that balances conflicting demands.


Research Videos

Wellbeing in the Cities - Christopher Boyko

Wellbeing and Energy - Milena Buchs

Sharing in the City - Claire Coulton

City Aspirations and Wellbeing - Helene Joffe

Cycling - Cosmin Popan

Aspiration for Social Connection in the City - Victoria Zeeb

Research Theme Team

Rachel Cooper Rachel Cooper
Co-investigator Lancaster University
Jane Falkingham Jane Falkingham
Co-investigator University of Southampton
Hélène Joffe Hélène Joffe
Co-investigator UCL
John Urry John Urry
Co-investigator Lancaster University
Christopher Boyko Christopher Boyko
Researcher co-investigator Lancaster University
Milena Büchs Milena Büchs
Researcher co-investigator University of Southampton
No picture available Stephen Clune
Researcher Imagination Lancaster
No picture available Mamusu Kamanda
Researcher University of Southampton
Katerina Psarikidou Katerina Psarikidou
Researcher Lancaster University
Nick Smith Nick Smith
Researcher Formerly UCL, now the University of Westminster
Claudia Peñaranda Fuentes Claudia Peñaranda Fuentes
PhD Student Formerly UCL, now with Transport for London
Cosmin Popan Cosmin Popan
PhD Student Lancaster University
No picture available Victoria Zeeb
PhD student UCL
No picture available Claire Coulton
Project Officer (Wellbeing and Future Visions) Lancaster University

Expert Panellists

No picture available Alan Bain
JMPConsultants Limited
No picture available Scott Bernstein
Centre for Neighbourhood Technology
No picture available Harbinder Birdi
Cary Cooper Cary Cooper
Manchester Business School
No picture available Andrew Dobson
Lancaster City Council
No picture available Jim Eyre
Wilkinson Eyre Architects
No picture available Denny Gray
CAG Consultants
No picture available David Lawson
Lancaster City Council
No picture available Lucia Marquart
Lancashire County Council
No picture available Steve Skippon
Transport Research Laboratory
No picture available Paula White
IBM Software Group
No picture available Anna Woodeson
Wilkinson Eyre Architects
No picture available John Worthington
Academy of Urbanism

Proving Trials – A Set of Practical Implementation 'Case Studies'

Case Study No.1 - Natural Capital in Birmingham by Nick Grayson, Jonathan Sadler, James Hale, Martin Locret-Collet and Chris Bouch   Case Study No.2 - Energy, Transport and Waste in Birmingham: Building the Foundations for Tomorrow’s Engineering Strategies by Chris Bouch, Susan Lee, Joanne Leach, John Urry and Chris Rogers   Case Study No.3 - Rezoning Harnessing...

A Suite of Tools for City Process Engineering

Tool #1 - Liveable Cities Method Tool A method for making sustainable and resilient decisions in the face of future uncertainty by Joanne M Leach, Chris DF Rogers, Martin Locret-Collet, Nick Grayson, James D. Hale, Jonathan P Sadler, Susan E Lee, Christopher J Bouch, Marianna Cavada, Timea Nochta, Jonathan P Ward, Peter A...

The Little Book Series

Insight on Innovation for Cities - Design   The following books comprise the Liveable Cities Little Book Series. More titles will be added as they are published.   The Little Book of Car Free Cities by John Urry, Joanne Leach, Nick Dunn, Claire Coulton and the Liveable Cities Team   The Little Book of Circular Economy in cities by Giovani...

The Little Book of Sharing in the City

The Little Book of Sharing in the City

This little book tells you about research that we did as part of the Liveable Cities project, looking at sharing in cities. Through a series of conversations with researchers and workshops with citizens of Lancaster and Birmingham in 2015, we conclude that: ...

The Sharing City Workshop Report

The Sharing City Workshop Report

The report from the two Sharing Cities workshops is finally available and ready to be downloaded. To allow you to explore the scenarios created by participants (rather than creating our own narrative), we decided to include some interactive visualisations. Because most tablets and mobile phones do not support the interactive features...

Do sustainability measures constrain creativity in urban design?

Do sustainability measures constrain creativity in urban design?

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), introduced in 2012, has as a key tenet a presumption in favour of sustainable development. Less noted is an aim, embodied in the Ministerial introduction, that planning should be a 'creative process'. The Framework requires that good design should contribute positively to making places...

Liveable Cities Final Outcomes

Transforming the Engineering of Cities Takes Shape Through a Diverse Range of Outputs

Insight on Innovation for Cities - Design   The Liveable Cities Little Book Series (a box set of "The Little Book of ...") was published ahead of the final Liveable Cities Celebrations in December 2017. The individual books can be downloaded...

Net Zero: Car-Free Cities

Professor Chris Rogers makes the case for a car-free city on the TRT WORLD Roundtable debate

Hosted by David Foster, Roundtable is a discussion programme with an edge.

Future of Cities

Future of Cities

Liveable Cities makes "Future of Cities" video as part of the ICE200 celebrations

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) is celebrating 200 years and has commissioned 200 videos as part of its ICE200 celebration. Most of the videos are themed with major civil engineering projects, but Liveable Cities was asked to...

Liveable Cities Videos

As a result of a 3-day Communication Symposium held in March 2017 in Lancaster, Liveable Cities has produced a series of researcher videos.

City Analysis Research Videos Creating a virtual test bed for transformational engineering - Chris Bouch Smart Cities - Marianna Cavada Environmental impact of a meal - Valeria De Laurentiis How Economic Theory Shapes Infrastructure Investment -...

Most frequently downloaded paper: Do sustainability measures constrain urban design creativity?

Most frequently downloaded paper: Do sustainability measures constrain urban design creativity?

We are thrilled that our paper is currently the most frequently downloaded paper from the Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Urban Design and Planning!

If you missed it the first time around, it is free to download and read at the following website address. http://www.icevirtuallibrary.com/doi/abs/10.1680/udap.13.00034

Liveable Cities facilitates important Birmingham workshops

Liveable Cities facilitates important Birmingham workshops

Birmingham City Council creating 'bottom-up' natural captial plan using design methods

The Lancaster team went to Birmingham on 2 November to facilitate two workshops on behalf of Birmingham City Council. The Council is beginning the long process of developing a 25-year natural capital plan for the city, and wanted to involve...