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 research projects undertaken between 2015 and 2023 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. Project CIs were asked to identify to which of the 17 SDGs their projects were aligned and their responses were collated.
We found that City Futures’ research could claim relevance to majority of SDGs and all projects related to a minimum of one SDG. However, there was a clear concentration on SDG1 No Poverty, SDG3 Good Health and Well-being, SDG8 Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, SDG10 Reduced Inequalities, and SDG11 Sustainable Cities and Communities, SDG13 Climate Action with SDG12 Responsible Consumption and Production and SDG17 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.