City Futures Research Centre UNSW Built Environment

City Futures and the Sustainable Development Goals

Last year City future took the decision to gain an understanding of how well our research linked to the 17 UN Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs). This was prompted by a strategy in the University’s 2025 Vision to ensure our research and teaching was better aligned to these goals as well as an interest within the Centre of ensuring the relevance of or research in line with these global aspirations.

We undertook an audit of all 103 research projects undertaken between 2015 and 2019 to see how far they aligned to the SDGs. Importantly, the SDGs are only tangentially related to research but much more concerned with driving practical and policy action to achieve the goals. Nevertheless, we felt it was a good starting point to see if and how our research might be supportive the SDGs. Project CIs were asked to identify to which of the 17 SDGs their projects were aligned and their responses were collated.

The findings were instructive. In all, we found that City Futures’ research could claim relevance to 15 of the 17 SDG. However, there was a clear concentration on three of them: SDG3 Good Health and Well-being, SDG10 Reduced Inequalities, and SDG11 Sustainable Cities and Communities, with SDGs 1 No Poverty and 17 Partnerships also featuring.

We intend to continue with this practice with new research and will monitor our outputs against the SDG framework with a planned annual review.


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