Liveable cities for all: building a better future


Emerald and SDGs
An Emerald mission in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals

The idea that urban environments should prioritise access to clean water and sanitation, food security, healthcare, education, public transit, and green spaces is strongly associated with the concept of liveable cities.

As such, liveable cities are conceptualised as promoting individual and community well-being. It is, however, a contested concept. For its advocates, liveable cities encourage sustainable solutions to enduring urban problems and forward-thinking policies aimed at tackling climate change. For its critics, liveable cities reinforce marginalisation and exclusion within cities.

In this mission campaign, we explore the concept of liveable cities through the following themes:

  • Collaborative governance and innovation
  • Urban regeneration
  • Housing affordability
  • Inclusive, safe and equitable cities
  • Green city planning
  • Cities, food and nutrition
  • Age-friendly communities.

This mission campaign aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically SDG 11. Goal 11 aims to 'make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.'

A commitment to this vision of urban life calls for radical collaboration among city planners, civic leaders, businesses, anchor institutions such as universities and healthcare organisations, and grassroots community groups to support a just transition towards a liveable city for all.

Join us as we explore some of the key challenges in creating vibrant, inclusive and sustainable urban environments, and the vital partnerships to solve them. Please get in touch with us.

This mission is aligned with our fairer society goal

Section 1

Panel session & blog on liveable cities

Panel session: what does it take to become and sustain a liveable city?

Join our Fairer Society Goal Advisor, Professor Wendy Purcell, Harvard University, USA and expert panellists as they explore the concept of what it takes to become and sustain a liveable city, focusing on the collaboration and partnerships it takes to create a city that leaves no one behind.

Dr Wendy Purcell

Blog: Inclusive liveable cities

What happens to our cities over the next 30-years will determine the well-being of the world’s projected 11 billion people. Liveable cities are central to the concept of a Fairer Society and we took this theme as the subject of a roundtable discussion...

Read Wendy's blog

section 2


Explore our research on the topic of liveable cities.

Section 3

Blogs & videos

Take a look at our latest blogs and videos to find out more about what our authors/editors have to say regarding liveable cities.



Creating safe and inclusive cities for an ageing population

Dr Taha Chaiechi photo

Author: Dr Taha Chaiechi, Centre for International Trade & Business in Asia, James Cook University, Australia

Dr Taha Chaiechi discusses how a multi-collaborative governance approach is critical in creating an age-friendly and inclusive environment for the ageing population.

Read the blog

Article: Silver cities: planning for an ageing population in Singapore. An urban planning policy case study of Kampung Admiralty
Journal: Archnet-IJAR

Housing affordability: a global problem within a local context

Tom Coupe photo

Authors: Tom Coupe, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, NZ

Tom Coupe discusses housing affordability and how it is a global problem within a local context.

Read the blog

Article: How global is the affordable housing crisis?
Journal: International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis


Section 4

Different routes to publication

If you would like to contribute to the discussion, take a look at our different routes to publication and contact us to get involved.

Recent books, special issue, calls for papers, & book chapter

See our recently published books, special issue, calls for papers, and book chapter on this topic.

Nature-Based Solutions for More Sustainable Cities cover image

Nature-Based Solutions for More Sustainable Cities – A Framework Approach for Planning and Evaluation

Authors: Edoardo Croci and Benedetta Lucchitta

View the book

: Inventing Mobility for All cover image

Inventing Mobility for All: Mastering Mobility-as-a-Service with Self-Driving Vehicles

Authors: Andreas Herrmann and Johann Jungwirth

View the book

Sustainable Cities and Communities cover images

SDG11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities: Towards Inclusive, Safe, and Resilient Settlements

Authors: Maha Al-Zu'bi and Vesela Radovic

View book

section 5

Additional information

Podcast: Localising the sustainable development goals

Speakers: Enrico Guarini, Elisa Mori and Elena Zuffada

What role do local governments - and more specifically, cities – play in achieving the UN Sustainable Goals?

Find out more and read the transcript



Expert Briefing

Costs rise as urban climate harm outpaces policymaking

Cities account for 70% of the carbon emissions from global energy use according to UN-Habitat, and more frequently are suffering increasingly visible and disruptive climate impacts such as heatwaves and storms. Building resilience to climate change, and reconciling economic growth with lower emissions, are major urban policy challenges.

Talk to us about your work

We really welcome insights not only from researchers but practitioners too about their work.

If you would like to contribute to the discussion, or you are working on research in areas related to liveable cities, please let us know by filling in this form.


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Mission-led research – our goals

Our core area of focus is interdisciplinary research aligned with the UN SDGs, with four key goals in mind, all of which are about creating real world impact, at a time when it's needed most.

Sustainable structures and infrastructures

We recognise the transformative power of sustainable engineering, design and building practices in creating a world where our planet and its inhabitants can thrive.