Urban Futures

Research that helps cities become more regenerative – that is, genuinely resilient, sustainable and liveable for all - by providing integrated analysis and positive responses to climate change, urbanisation, biodiversity loss, pandemic disruptions and other inter-related challenges.

Working with stakeholders & partners

Working with stakeholders is core to research impact in this area. By working with outside partners - whether local governments or communities, businesses or international organisations - we build-in relevance from the start and learn with them as we go. 

The Urban Futures Platform provides a space for professionals from diverse industries and areas to come together and address shared problems. We place emphasis on understanding practitioners’ worlds and needs, co-designing research with them, and translating, applying and disseminating our findings in appropriate, impactful ways. We believe in the value of public dialogue and work hard to stimulate discussion and new thinking.

Policy change

The Platform has a particular appreciation for and expertise in the potentially transformative effects of policy change. We have strong relationships with policy makers in diverse areas and work with them to reimagine how cities and their numerous initiatives and systems can be planned, built and rebuilt, managed, governed, shared and enjoyed. We embrace the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a valuable guide for the ambitious, far-reaching, cross-sectoral changes needed and recognise the importance of simultaneously advancing Indigenous sovereignty in Australia. 

Key to the Platform is the ability to bring together the researchers from across RMIT and other institutions and to integrate their diverse expertise as needed into appropriate and innovative insights and solutions. It recognises that research is part of what needs to transform to achieve more regenerative outcomes.

The changes involved in this area of work are enormous but exciting. The Urban Futures Platform is committed to working with others to achieve the ambitious, practical transformations needed.

lauren rickards

Our Vision

Professor Lauren Rickards, Director, RMIT Urban Futures Platform

“RMIT and our partners will work together to positively respond to the complex city planning, design and policy challenges facing metropolitan and regional cities across the globe and place us all on a more regenerative footing. Our interdisciplinary research capability will enable the public, private and community sectors to transform the way cities are planned, built, governed and managed to achieve the UN SDGs.”

Creating impact

Read some examples of collaborative projects supported by the Urban Futures Platform and how it has supported RMIT researchers, fostering interdisciplinary collaborations to solve issues.

Research and innovation priorities

The Platform is helping generate significant research impact by assisting urban professionals and leaders to work with researchers from across RMIT to identify researchable problems, investigate alternatives, develop and experiment with possible responses, learn from the findings, and translate and communicate insights for others. 

Key ways in which the Platform is helping drive systemic change and more regenerative outcomes include:

  • Cultivating cross-sectoral understanding and collaboration 
  • Advocating for, outlining and helping develop boundary-crossing solutions
  • Experimenting with and supporting appropriate place-based urban development and landscapes 
  • Identifying and nurturing the enablers of more sustainable, just and resilient urban outcomes, including fit-for-purpose research, innovations, institutions, policies, networks and ways of working
  • Reading across research in diverse parts of RMIT to identify insights and lessons, and scale them up into wider systems, out into other areas and deep into ways of thinking 
  • Developing expertise and collective capabilities in anticipating and managing important trends and disruptions, thinking systemically and responding in genuinely innovative ways

Concept papers and briefs

As part of its commitment to stimulating public discussion, policy change and practical solutions, the Urban Futures Platform has invested in the development of a suite of Concept Papers (outlining issues and ideas in accessible ways) and Policy Briefs (synthesising research findings from across projects into usable insights for policy makers) and Practice Briefs (the same, for practitioners to use in their work). 

Examples include: 

Aligned networks and centres

Want to find out more about the Urban Futures Platform?

Explore our Enabling Impact Platforms

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

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 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

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.