Urban Futures and Sustainability Transformation (FAST)

  • FAST Programme researches systemic transformation toward sustainability to inform and enhance policy. The programme seeks to understand complex realities by researching social, environmental and technological sub-systems, such as infrastructure provision, social security mechanisms and related good governance approaches, with a focus on their interlinkages and dependencies. Thereby the programme aims to advance system understanding and identify key leverage points for triggering change. The work is rooted in the understanding that sustainable futures require technological conversion coupled with social and environmental justice. This includes research into what lifestyles are desirable, affordable and just in a changing global environment, which in turn advances conceptual approaches to future well-being. 

    The core focus is on urban areas, which already see the effects of global change and are among its key drivers at the same time. Based on its own primary and transformative research, FAST will provide science-based advice for inclusive urban policy action. This includes the development of narratives of attractive futures, linking social justice to risk reduction, climate adaptation and mitigation. A central element of the programme is the Transformative Urban Coalitions (TUC) project, where new models of coalition building and governance are established and tested through catalyst projects in five “Urban Labs in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico 

    Thereby the FAST programme aims at developing and testing strategies that lead to socially just zero-carbon cities and regions. In doing so, the programme engages with scientific and policy partners to enable and scale change processes from the local to the global level. 

    Learn more about our Research Projects.