Rapid urbanisation creates major challenges that must be managed within the territorial context of the city. To get the balance right between economic growth, social needs and environmental limits city leaders and citizens need new governance ideas and better systems to inform their actions.

Smart Sustainable Cities, led by UWE Bristol and Taylor’s University, aims to meet the needs of city leaders and citizens for new smart city governance concepts and tools. To extend the state of the art, we address three principal dimensions of this challenge:

1. We are building on a robust conceptual basis of integrated urban governance;

2. We are deploying the latest innovations in ICT within this conceptual frame;

3. We are providing a global scope - recognising common drivers of urban change, and common solutions that apply in cities of both east and west.



1. Deliver joint comparative research to examine commonalities of urban drivers of change in Bristol and Kuala Lumpur and associated data requirements for management in a spatial planning frame;

2. Understand the opportunities and challenges arising when planning for sustainability at various scales within multiple jurisdictions;

3. Provide focus on city-wide specification and local level implementation of sustainable policy objectives including green and blue infrastructures, promotion of non-motorised forms of urban transport (cycling and walking), enhancement of air quality, and energy-saving;

4. Discover the strength and weakness of various community engagement models, sustainability frameworks and metrics, implementation approaches, and collaborations to advance sustainable futures;

5. Test transferability, from UK to Malaysian context, of selected ICT-platforms facilitating development of urban infrastructure by socially disadvantaged groups.



Major Challenges


Rapid urbanization is crucial to improve the economic fortunes of developing countries like Malaysia, but it also brings multiple major challenges. Climate change, air pollution, water shortages, unhealthy lifestyles, increasing crime rates, and growing social inequalities are all growing issues experienced by cities such as Kuala Lumpur. Urban lifestyles generate health problems including obesity, coronary disease, type II diabetes, cancer, and mental illness. Aside from health, these issues have huge economic and wider social impacts on individuals, families and the country as a whole. Recent research shows that Malaysia is experiencing significant socio-economic imbalances as the population becomes increasingly urban.

Much work is underway to address these issues. For example the SEED initiative in Kuala Lumpur provides a sustainable economic development approach emphasizing urban job creation dependent, not only on establishment of new industries but also environmental and social investment in cities. This includes investment in human and natural capital in urban areas, as well as integrated public transportation and effective environmental land use planning. Building upon such work Smart Sustainable Cities is employing the latest thinking on city governance with innovations city focused ICT.


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