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Our Themes

Our research is split into five key themes:


This theme explores how financial solutions can make our cities more sustainable. We use micro- and macro-economic data. We also look at how city economies work.

We focus on social equity and inclusive growth as factors in economic development. We are also interested in the links between entrepreneurs, employment and wellbeing.

We want to add to research on new methods to develop economies. For example, urban greening and smart city construction.

Thematic lead: Dr Marta Guerriero


This theme explores how to improve the situation of the urban poor. We look at how to do this without harming the environment and nearby ecology.

Our theme asks a number of questions:

  • Can we combat climate change by making changes to our economy, built environment and infrastructure?
  • How can we encourage people to take on a more sustainable lifestyle?

An important challenge is how to help the urban poor without increasing the city's carbon footprint. We also focus on issues such as air quality, food and waste.

Warwick has a wide range of expertise which will help with this theme, including:

  • Energy production and storage
  • Flood protection
  • Environmental pollution
  • Legal and regulatory framework

Thematic lead: Dr Soroush Abolfathi


This theme explores the human side of the city.

We examine:

  • How our cities can provide education and work to support their economy
  • How consumers of goods and services behave in a city
  • How policies affect cities
  • How different cultures mix and change in a city
  • How we can make public spaces more habitable and sustainable
  • We also focus on the relationship between art and the city space.

Our theme is supporting Coventry City of Culture 2021 and Coventry's ten-year cultural strategy.

Thematic lead: Professor Jonothan Neelands


This theme explores how we plan for, detect and respond to:

  • Natural disasters
  • Disease outbreaks
  • Cyber attacks
  • Infrastructure disruption
  • Terrorist threat
  • Social unrest

We aim to understand the risks so we can become more resilient with better security.

We have expertise in areas such as:

  • Social and health informatics
  • Counter-terrorism
  • Urban governance
  • Structural engineering

We have a strong focus on humanitarian engineering. We also encourage research that supports Official Development Assistance (ODA) eligible countries.

This theme is supported by a range of UK Research Council and EU grants.

Thematic lead: Dr Jonathan Clarke


What can data collected through sensors and mobile devices tell us about our urban environment?

We have expertise in:

  • Big data collection and analytics
  • Mobile sensing
  • Wireless communications
  • Sentiment analysis
  • The internet of things

If we understand these issues, we can develop a truly 'smart city'.

We work with the following organisations:

Thematic lead: Dr Nerea Calvillo