About this blog

The blog is built on a simple idea: that universities are undervalued development actors and can help solve global challenges.

By 2050, 70% of the world’s population will live in cities.

Cities are beginning to shoulder problems that were traditionally tackled by nations.

More than 60% of cities that will exist in 2050 have yet to be built.

This blog looks at how universities can help cities and the people who live in them.


We are seeing two opposing global shifts: first towards challenges on a more international scale, such as climate change, inequality and disease, and second the devolution of powers and decision-making to a sub-national level.

Cities and regions will increasingly assume responsibility for tackling global challenges. With this shift will come the need for interdisciplinary responses to interdisciplinary problems, and the need for evidence, knowledge, global connections and research to inform policy at local level.

As cities increasingly take the lead on tackling challenges, there is a need to understand the part that universities can play in supporting this, through their various roles at a local level, a national level and an international level. This blog aims to help increase this understanding.