People in the driving seat as minister announces £3.9 million urban regeneration partnerships

Residents of five UK cities will join forces with researchers, local authorities, business and charities in a bid to tackle the issues of modern urban living.

People living in Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Newcastle & Gateshead and York can co-design their future cities in phase one of  the Urban Living Partnership.

Announcing the launch of the Urban Living Partnership, Minister for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson, said:

“At their best, cities drive innovation, cultural and economic activity and social integration, however they also face increasing challenges, such as overheating, congestion, poor supply of water and the removal of waste.

“These new projects will combine business acumen with academic talent and community leadership to help tackle these issues and ensure the continued prosperity in five of our greatest cities.”

A unique body of expertise will cut across over 20 disciplines including civil engineering, computer science, planning, psychology, management, arts and humanities, the creative industries and health sciences.

Projects will exploit the latest environmental monitoring, urban modelling, data analysis and crowdsourcing tools, and will employ a range of cutting-edge technologies, such as wireless sensing networks, wearable devices and virtual reality systems.


Another key strand will be the development of open-license digital platforms from which other cities can benefit – both in the UK and internationally.

Partners to the £3.9 million first phase of the initiative are contributing over £1.9 million and include IBM UK, Arup, Atkins Global, The Environment Agency, Natural England and the Future Cities Catapult.