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There is an increasingly urgent need for integrated and participatory strategic planning and sustainable systems for cities and regions that enables sustainable development. Integrated planning that takes into account all aspects of social, environmental and economic capital enables us to create places that offer a high quality of life and access to services and opportunities for all inhabitants. Cities are also the testing ground for emerging ideas and solutions in areas such as waste management and the circular economy.

Relevant Projects:

How can UrbanEmerge help you?

Strategic cities and infrastructure planning to maximise development impact

We work with communities, the private sector, municipal authorities, state and national governments to help formulate plans and policies that guide development over the medium term to long term. We adopt a 'system of systems' approach that recognises the nexus of relationships between land resources, cultural and environmental assets, mobility, infrastructure, economics and society.

Integrated spatial and infrastructure planning

We support clients to develop shared visions and detailed strategies for sustainable development of cities and regions, starting with data collection and analysis, defining and integrating plans with key drivers of growth, through to recommendations and public consultation.

Strategies for resilience and adaption

Resilience to disasters and to the impacts of climate change that are increasingly evident, should be automatically integrated into the planning and management of cities and infrastructure.  

UrbanEmerge works with public and private clients to identify risks and develop policy and practical solutions that take into account political economy, community context and wider economic and social considerations including gender and marginalised groups. Climate change adaption planning for specific sectors, businesses or regions is unfortunately becoming an increasingly necessary process. Our experts can assess risk and develop strategy and measures which take into account the full range of integrated factors from financial and environmental constraints to social aspects and political economy.


Inclusive and accessible urban environments

We are experts in assisting international donors, NGOs and city governments in improving accessibility of city environments and infrastructure for everyone. Through participatory approaches, stakeholder and engagement and effective communications, we can help clients to understand the specific inclusion needs of an urban development programme or infrastructure investment. We are experienced in identifying and engaging with and giving voice to marginalised and vulnerable groups, including women and girls, persons with disabilities and groups defined by ethnic identifiers. We also provide research, undertake learning reviews, draft guidance notes and handbooks and advocacy material. We are active partners in the Cities for All campaign and we promote and implement the ‘nothing about us without us’ approach of disability rights advocates

Sustainable urban systems and the circular economy

There is an urgent need to move away from the “take, make, waste” culture of consumption as well as reducing embodied carbon. UrbanEmerge works with private and public sector partners to develop strategy and to plan and achieve practical initiatives.

UrbanEmerge can help plan and design layouts for industrial parks and create relationships and partnerships that facilitate the use of waste material from one industry as resources for another industry.

Waste Management

Promoting a “reduce, reuse and recycle” ethos is crucial for sustainable urban development. Poor waste management increases the risk of flooding and disease and causes general pollution that reduces an area’s desirability. Plastic waste is a particular problem, with vast quantities entering water bodies in low- and middle-income economies. UrbanEmerge helps clients develop waste management strategies and initiatives that understand the constraints and opportunities for effective waste management, including analysis of economic value-chains and the impact on livelihoods.

Low Carbon Development Strategy

From renewable energy to green industrial parks to urban and building design features, UrbanEmerge can help develop strategy, undertake feasibility studies and create partnerships to explore exciting new low-carbon ideas. 

Land management and tenure

Land governance is central to achieving many of the Sustainable Development Goals. UrbanEmerge can help clients to improve and evaluate current systems and challenges, as well as supporting improved land tenure for women and marginalised groups, as well as the development of innovative land governance initiatives.

Capacity building in sustainable approaches

UrbanEmerge also offers business, civic and public sector clients the expertise, theoretical perspectives and world views that help develop cross-cutting urban and regional identity, self-awareness, continuous learning and reflexive governance, all of which are crucial for long-term impact and economic stability.

Urban Farming

While food production in urban spaces is a rapidly expanding field by itself, UrbanEmerge can also help clients research and evaluate possible techniques, co-create strategy with a range of stakeholders, and analyse related value-chains and markets. Our expertise also supports the development of photosynthetic economies that focus on the local sourcing of materials, helping to boost local value-chains and reform connections to place.

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