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We are relaunching! Welcome to Urban Innovation and Policy Lab

Since its inception in 2014, City Leadership Laboratory has developed into a vibrant and engaged group of urban researchers. From March 2019, we are changing our name to Urban Policy and Innovation Lab to better reflect our research interests and teaching on the MPA in Urban Innovation and Policy.


What do we do?

Urban Innovation and Policy Lab brings together world-class academic scholarship, international organisations, public authorities and the private sector to create a unique environment for urban experimentation, research, teaching and – most importantly – action. We are committed to developing interdisciplinary and applied urban research that supports city leaders in taking action on the world’s most pressing challenges. As such, our research address issues as diverse as transport policy, infrastructure finance, climate action, urban inequality and informal governance in disaster response.


Whether it's collaborating with choreographers to understand how engineers might design better urban mobility, working with film-makers to understand the commuting experience of night time workers, or grappling with the influx of urban data for transformative policy making - it is our common mission to work in partnership with urban policy makers, designers, investors and citizens that unites us as research group, rather than the disciplinary perspectives in which we were trained. Our intention is to contribute to progressive responses to urban problems, and to constructively challenge city leaders to take more action where it is required.


The Lab builds on five years of projects, grants and engagement activities. Our inaugural research programme, City Leadership Initiative was a joint effort of the World Bank Group and United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), with funding from the UK Government's Economic and Social Research (ESRC) and Engineering and Physical Sciences (EPSRC) Research Councils. Over the past five years we have employed over 30 researchers across 12 projects, with 20 policy and impact-oriented partnerships with key urban and international stakeholders like the World Health Organisation, ARUP, C40 Cities, World Cities Culture Forum and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Whilst the main goal of the Lab is to tackle globally relevant city challenges, the projects undertaken are practically oriented and often locally focused.


The Lab is based within UCL’s policy-focused Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (UCL STEaPP) and has links across UCL’s network of urban research and practice.



Who are we?

Dr Ellie Cosgrave (Co-director), Dr Jenny McArthur (Co-director), Tiffany Lam, Dr Carla Washbourne, Dr Ine Steenmans


PhD and DPA candidates Zoe Henderson, Jo Sawkins, Oliver Nash Asaf Tzachor, Emilia Smeds, Enora Robin












Honorary and visiting staff

Dr Tuukka Toivonen, Dr Tim Moonen, Dr John Bingham-Hall, Greg Clark CBE, Amy Lamé



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