I2UD conducts research that advances the understanding of trends in urbanization and identifies emerging best practices that can inspire and guide future initiatives. Organizations that have funded our research include UN-Habitat, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Swedish International Development Agency. We also undertake self-funded research in areas that we consider to be timely and critical.

In writing the chapter on North Africa in UN-Habitat’s 2008 State of the Africa Cities report, staff at I2UD were among the first to identify the ticking time bomb presented by the high unemployment rates among the well-educated youth in Arab cities. The excellence of this research led UN-Habitat to ask Dr. Mona Serageldin to lead the writing of its first ever State of Arab Cities 2012 Report, which launched in May 2012. Our cutting-edge research on migration and remittances in Latin America led the Inter-American Development Bank to conduct multiple trainings for the institution on the topic.

Ongoing Research

In 2011, I2UD in partnership with the Stockholm Environment Institute received funding from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy to conduct research on the impact of climate change on water availability and urban development in El Alto, Bolivia. One of the highest altitude cities in the world, El Alto faces the imminent disappearance of glaciers that provide most of the city’s water, even the population has mushroomed. The research will model scenarios of climate change and water supply, in conjunction with land use planning and development decisions. Learn More

We are also exploring how I2UD’s expertise in strategic planning, urban revitalization and economic development can be brought to bear on the challenges of post-industrial New England towns. Many small and medium-sized towns have lost their economic base and face population and public budget decline, making it difficult to provide remaining residents with much needed services. Learn More

Featured Reports

UN-Habitat’s State of the Arab Cities 2012 Background Papers on Urban Governance and Municipal Finance for UN-Habitat’s 2012 Publication Urban Planning for City Leaders
Chapter on North Africa in UN-Habitat State of the African Cities 2010 Report Climate Change in the Local Development Agenda: Promoting Resilience through Enhanced Understanding of Early Threats

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