UNSW Cities Institute

Reinventing cities for sustainable, healthy, prosperous and socially just urban futures.

Logo of the UNSW Cities Institute

Cities are one of humanity’s best inventions, fuelling innovation, prosperity and diversity. But many are no longer fit for purpose. They exacerbate climate change, ill health, and inequalities. They lack agility and resilience. We are optimistic that it doesn’t have to be that way. 

The UNSW Cities Institute is independent and exists to develop new, long-term and integrated visions and roadmaps for the city. It drives impactful cross-disciplinary research from across UNSW and beyond to inform policy design and implementation. The Institute provides a research-driven education program. 

Together with government, industry, education, community, local and international partners, UNSW Cities Institute leads the reinvention of our cities, advancing highly productive, sustainable, prosperous, healthy and socially just urban futures for Sydney, New South Wales, Australia and globally.

The UNSW Cities Institute is an independent institute leading the reinvention of our cities, advancing highly productive, sustainable, prosperous, healthy and socially just urban futures. 

The Cities Institute draws on UNSW’s trademark disciplinary depth, breadth and excellence across the built environment, design, economics, climate change, engineering and energy, health, social sciences and justice. 

It works in partnership with industry, government and communities to ensure we are addressing and solving the most pressing issues in a joined-up way. It combines a future focussed innovative design and research agenda with deep connections to place and the region’s First Nations peoples.

UNSW Cities Institute provides access to world class research through an education program. A suite of products for city leaders across the globe will include a Master of Cities, Graduate Certificates, Diplomas and micro-credentialled short courses. 

The UNSW Cities Institute is locally focused and globally orientated. Its cross-cutting themes are: 

  • Resilience and risk:  Designing systems of resilience to manage acute and chronic shocks and risks.
  • Environment and climate: Designing cities that contribute positively to the urban environment and anticipate challenges such as heat effects. Connecting to First Nations knowledge systems.  
  • Property and Housing: Developing strategies and policies that make cities affordable, inclusive and liveable. 
  • Transport and Infrastructure: Ensuring cities are liveable, accessible, and deliver positive environmental benefits and health outcomes. 
  • Community and Governance: Placing communities at the centre of design and policy. Ensuring the governance of cities deliver coordinated and sustainable outcomes. 
The Institute has a commitment to knowledge transfer through education and innovation. We are developing a suite of educational products from a Master of Cities, Graduate Certificates, Diplomas and micro-credentialled short courses for city leaders across the globe.

Professor Claire Annesley, Dean, UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture

UNSW launches Cities Institute to help future-proof our cities

Vice Chancellor and President of UNSW, Professor Brungs, Professor Claire Annesley, Dean of UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture and NSW Minister for Cities, Rob Stokes launched the UNSW Cities Institute at its new base in Parramatta on 18 August 2022. 

“Our approach is to lead and accelerate positive change by building cross-disciplinary teams together with government, industry and communities, working together to develop innovative solutions to the problems facing our cities and our planet,” says Professor Claire Annesley.