Urban Sustainability in the Global South

Last changed: 27 May 2021
View over roof tops in a poor area in South Africa.

The affiliation between SLU Global and SLU Urban Futures aims to strengthen research collaboration in the area of urban sustainability with a focus on low and middle-income countries.

This transdisciplinary collaboration contributes to the development of research themes at SLU that capture synergies across SLU’s priority areas for global development and the global goals for sustainable development, using urban sustainability as an entry point.  

Rapid urbanization is happening on an unprecedented scale across the globe, placing cities at the forefront of sustainable development efforts. According to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Report (2019)66% of the global population will live in cities by 2050. Approximately 90% of urban growth will happen across cities in Africa and Asia where cities typically experience more complex sustainability challenges with fewer financial and knowledge capacities.  

Urban areas have direct and indirect environmental, economic and social impacts on both a local and global scale. The urban agenda is inherently connected to other policy areas through global resource flows that extend the geographical footprint of the urban beyond city boundaries. The collaboration by SLU Urban Futures and SLU Global leverages SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) that puts urban at the heart of the global agenda for sustainable development, by recognizing the intersection of urban sustainability with other sustainability challenges. This project draws upon expertise from across academic disciplines at SLU to understand the complexities, conflicts, interlinkages, and synergies between urban sustainability and the different global goals.  

The collaboration contributes to the urban sustainability priority area listed in SLU’s global contribution to Agenda 2030 by mapping projects and publications that lie at the intersection of urban sustainability and research in the global south. The affiliation will connect researchers across different departments at SLU, and will host workshops for researchers to share ideas, papers and projects on thematic areas relating to urban sustainability in the global south.  


SLU Global

SLU Global is a unit at the Vice-Chancellor's Office that supports and facilitates the university's efforts to collaborate with low-income countries and regions, based on the Global Goals of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.
>> Go to their website


Andrew Gallagher, Project Coordinator for SLU Urban Futures
Hub coordinator, Ultuna
The Unit for Collaboration and Development
+46(0)730 55 80 27