Lead: Dr Ioanni Delsante, Reader in Urban Design

Urban Futures and Design Lab is based on a truly interdisciplinary approach that challenges disciplinary boundaries.

Our vision:

  • Face recent and unexplored urban trends in Europe, Asia, Middle East, Global South and US.
  • Focus on complex urban regeneration processes, dealing also with policies and practices.
  • Use of advanced theoretical knowledge and analytical methods.
  • Challenge disciplinary boundaries in between urban design, landscape, urbanism and architecture.
  • Take advantage of multi-scale approaches, from regional to city and district scale.
  • Multi-dimensional analysis, taking into consideration history and development of urban forms and spaces, landscape and infrastructures, topography, geography, environmental concerns.
  • Urbanisation as part of societal challenges.
  • Well-being and health as key drivers in urban transformations.


  • To advance theory and methods of design and of cognate areas.
  • To undertake solution-driven research with a global reach, addressing current challenges and enabling ideas to flow across disciplinary boundaries.
  • To produce outcome driven, internationally leading research outputs of relevance, impact and rigour.
  • To become an external relations centre for strategic partnership building, developing networks for collaboration in research and teaching, sharing expertise nationally and internationally.

Recent research topics led by Members

  • Urbanisation processes in global regions and cities.
  • Contemporary practices and the development of urban forms.
  • Urban Densification. Reuse and regeneration of existing cities and settlements.
  • Urban design and the public realm.
  • Urban morphology.
  • Communities engagement and inclusive societies.
  • Urban quality and wellbeing.
  • Sustainable urbanism. Underground planning and design.
  • Research by design.


The Lab has a strong international network with Universities, Research Centres and various Institutions worldwide. Strategic academic partners are based in EU (Spain, Italy, Poland, France etc.), China and Brazil.


Various members of staff are available for consultancy; keynote/invited talks, and workshop facilitation on subjects including:

  • Urbanism and the future of cities.
  • Urban design and the public realm.
  • Communities and participative design, well-being and health.
  • Landscape and infrastructures quality and assessment.
  • Planning policies and procedures.
  • Real estate impact on urban and rural environments.
  • Ecological and sustainable development.

Being involved in our research activities

We offer Master's by Research and PhD programmes that are future focussed and informed by the state of the art in research and practice.