Research aims

The Global Cities Research Institute ceased operation at the end of 2015, ending an era of successful collaboration under a more traditional discipline based research framework which has been replaced by Enabling Capability Platforms in eight focus areas.


Cities as sustainable, safe and caring


The GCRI positively pursues research excellence in the study of the ‘the future of cities’ addressing the foundations of political, economic and social change. Researchers are brought together under three themes:

  • Resilient Cities-region focuses disaster events, environmental change and prospects, and care and safety
  • Urban-rural (region) focuses urban development and connections with the regional context
  • Globalisation, culture and media focuses media and communication processes within the broader cultural context


  • To develop an overall understanding of the ways in which patterns of globalization and global climate change impact upon the human condition
  • To explore the basic sources of insecurity and sustainability for global city-regions
  • To examine questions of cultural transformation and develop an understanding of the conditions for alternative pathways to learning, knowledge-exchange, reconciliation and cross-community co-operation
  • To contribute to the development of local-global governance processes for dealing with complexity of social and environmental change, and to engage with alternative global futures

Research areas  

The Institute brings researchers across the University into an ongoing collaboration framed by concerns about social and environmental sustainability with a particular focus on the themes of globalization and global environmental sustainability. The strategically chosen cities provide the locus of our research, but we want to understand those cities in context. In other words, the Global Cities Institute is based on the premise that cities can only be adequately understood in local, regional, national and global contexts. There are seven Research areas:

  • Climate Change Adaptation
  • Community Sustainability
  • Global Indigeneity and Reconciliation
  • Globalization and Culture
  • Human Security and Disasters
  • Sustainable Urban and Regional Futures
  • Urban Decision-Making and Complex Systems

To learn more about these programs click here