Urban Futures

Research that informs how cities can be more equitable, sustainable and accountable by providing integrated planning and design solutions for rapid population growth and urbanisation.

Given rapid urbanisation and population growth, we will assist the public and private sectors to transform how cities are planned, built, and governed to achieve healthy sustainable urban development.

We will focus on understanding the policy world we are trying to influence, through co-designing research with policy-makers and practitioners, and disseminating our findings through public, private and non-government partners.

Working with external stakeholders is key to creating impact in this area. We believe that working with outside partners will build in relevance, whether working on research with local governments or with international organisations, such as the World Health Organisation.

The research skills and competencies within this ECP can be applied to any sector or organisation, regardless of size or stage of development. The primary areas where our expertise will be directed are indicated below.

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Our Vision

Lauren Rickards, Interim Director, RMIT Urban Futures ECP

RMIT and our external partners will work together to address the complex city planning, design and policy challenges facing metropolitan and regional cities across the globe.

Our multidisciplinary research capability will enable the public and private sectors to transform the way cities are planned, built and governed to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Key application areas

Urban planning and design
Economic development and employment
Resources (water and energy)
Urban greening
Urban governance
Climate change mitigation and adaption
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ECP Post-COVID-19 Restart Initiatives

Along with harnessing existing research networks and projects to respond to COVID-19, RMIT’s Enabling Capability Platforms (ECPs) launched five cross-platform initiatives in June 2020 to address various key areas for post COVID-19 recovery. 

Priority Industry Sectors

  • Local, State and Federal Government
  • Non-Government Organisations
  • Energy
  • Urban and transport design
  • Water authorities
  • Housing and property development
  • Health
  • Urban economics

Research and innovation priorities

Concept Papers

The Enabling Capability Platforms initiated Concept Papers aimed at supporting the development of ideas for major interdisciplinary projects to address significant challenges requiring a truly interdisciplinary team to make substantial progress.
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Dr Serene Ho’s Concept Paper titled ‘Thinking About Treaty Spatially’ is now available to view. The paper explores spatial implications of treaty for land and geospatial professionals for building a shared future.

Urban futures networks

Contact us

Connect with RMIT Research

If you're not sure how you can best work with us, our team can explain what's possible and put you in touch with the right person. 

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer