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Sustainable Cities Theme

The Growth of Our Cities


Cities have been in continuous existence for over 8000 years. In recent years and for the first time in human history, more people live in cities than in rural areas. The School of Engineering strongly believes that the evolving nature of cities is and will be a critical research area.

City SL


The school is in a perfect position to leverage its cross-discipline architecture and achieve success in cities research. The Cities Research Theme expertise can be divided into two sub-groups:

  1. Sustainable Cities: how can cities grow in a sustainable way?
  2. Smart Cities: how can information communication technologies (ICT) help cities better understand the underlying mechanisms and operational performances?

The research integrates, enhances, and expands our current research strengths in the following areas:

Our researchers work collaboratively across disciplines to address the future challenges of the sustainable city, drawing upon expertise in all these areas.


University of Warwick: Sustainable Cities GRP

The Global Research Priorities (GRP) seeks to apply research to global challenges, focusing Warwick’s world-class, multidisciplinary research on key areas of international significance, by bringing together scholarly expertise from across faculties and departments. The School of Engineering is a key player in the Sustainable Cities GRP.

New York City: Centre for Urban Science and Progress


The Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) was envisaged by ex-mayor Bloomberg of New York City. It is an applied science research institute which will be a partnership of top institutions from around the globe, led by NYU with a consortium of world-class universities including: the University of Warwick, Carnegie Mellon University, the Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay, and the University of Toronto. More details of Warwick's involvement can be found here. Warwick has also got strong links with Mumbai's sister institution: Centre for Urban Science and Engineering (C-USE).

Warwick Institute for Science of Citieswisc

The Warwick Institute for Science of Cities (WISC) is setup at the heart of Warwick University to provide a platform for cross-faculty research and doctoral training. It holds a newly awarded £3.7 million EPSRC centre for doctoral training (CDT), which will run from 2014 to 2023. It works closely with a large number of industrial partners and academic institutions.

Alan Turing Institute

The Alan Turing Institute is the national institute for data science. The Institute is named in honour of Alan Turing (23 June 1912 – 7 June 1954), whose pioneering work in theoretical and applied mathematics, engineering and computing are considered to be the key disciplines comprising the emerging field of data science.

Active Research Project Examples

This section lists some of the ground-breaking research in cities recently conducted at the School of Engineering. It is not an exhaustive list, but it demonstrates what can be achieved:

Human Interaction with Structuresvib1

Examining the dynamics of human interaction with foot-bridges and other structures using visual pattern recognition and advanced modeling. The goal is to achieve real-time crowd control strategies based on measurements.
Lead Investigators: Dr. Stana Zivanovic and Dr. Tardi Tjahjadi
Area: Civil Engineering, Image Processing

Coupled Human And Natural Critical Ecosystems

Using network science and ecology to improve the resilience of critical infrastructure systems.
Lead Investigators: Dr. Weisi Guo
Area: ICT

Effect of Vegetation on Storm Water Flow


Storm water runoff typically contains and transports a wide range of pollutants, resulting in negative environmental effects with potential threats to ecosystems and health. Vegetation can have either a positive or negative role in water quality treatment within stormwater ponds. This proposal seeks to better understand and quantify the physical, vegetation-driven, flow mechanisms occurring within a stormwater pond and to develop a robust physically based modelling tool.
Lead Investigator: Prof. Ian Guymer
Area: Water Engineering

Taught and Research Degrees

Do you want to be the leader in the next generation of engineers, civil servants, or consultants? We envisage that a wide range of skills is needed to lead the future, and that is why we prescribe our MSc and PhD programs, which are both cross-discipline in theme and cutting-edge in research.

For more information, please visit here.


Related information

Engineering Professor receives £1.5M Established Career Fellowship in Water Engineering. [Link]

Dr. Weisi Guo joins the Alan Turing Institute to drive 2 projects on networked infrastructure resilience and urban stability [Link]

Warwick Engineer joins ICE for Shaping the World Initiative [Link]

Latest version of the UN HABITAT III New Urban Agenda. [Link]

The Future of Energy-Efficient Domestic Hot Water [Link]

Prof. Julian Gardner and Dr. Marina Cole are awarded a €18million project (EU FP7) in CO2 sensing in cities. [Link]

Prof. Ian Guymer is co-investigator on successful £3.7 million EPSRC CDT on Science of Cities. [Link]