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The global trend of urbanisation poses opportunities and challenges for city leaders. Rapidly growing cities will need to build infrastructure and services which support people to access jobs and education. Leading cities will provide a good quality of life to residents and achieve success in the global marketplace by creating resilient, sustainable and healthy urban environments.

The UK has a track record of innovative and proven products and services for cities seeking sustainable urbanisation solutions. British companies bring together diverse professions to develop multi-disciplinary integrated approaches to complex city challenges.

UK Leading Capabilities on Sustainable Urbanisation was written by BRE for UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) a briefing document for its staff. The purpose of the report was to set out the key perceived UK strengths and commercial offer on sustainable urbanisation across new and existing cities. Two expert stakeholder workshops, interviews and desk-based research were undertaken to gather views and data from public and private sector organisations and international agencies.

Sustainability requires the holistic consideration of social, economic and environmental dimensions of urban challenges to develop strategies that will meet future and current needs. The overarching UK capabilities identified in the report were: applying a systems thinking approach; developing integrated spatial plans; and translating skills and knowledge to city-scale challenges. British companies and universities can demonstrate leading research, innovation and implementation across the sub-sectors of sustainable urbanisation. The UK government has been influential in driving innovation in areas such as open data and climate change through forward-thinking policies.

Download a copy of the summary report

Download a copy of the full report


Helen Pineo
About the Author
Associate Director - Cities at BRE (MRTPI). Helen is a chartered planner with a focus on sustainability and health & wellbeing. She is responsible for leading the development of services to help cities grow while achieving the best outcomes for people, place and the planet. She is also a PhD candidate at University College London's Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, researching the use of urban health indicators.

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