Tomorrow’s City Today: Prospects for Standardising Sustainable Urban Development

11 June 2015

Tomorrow's city today

A new report, published by the University of Westminster, explores an apparent process of the ‘standardisation’ of urban sustainability, taking place through the implementation of different types of certification schemes and frameworks of indicators around the world.

Professor Simon Joss, Principal Investigator and project coordinator from the University of Westminster, said:

“Recent years have seen a remarkable mushrooming of different types of eco-city frameworks intended to be applicable across different contexts. If the aim is to achieve sustainability outcomes which are better than ‘business as usual’, we need to ask important questions about who might be benefitting from this process of standardisation, the purposes it should serve, and whether it is desirable in the first place”.

The newly published report surveys the current emergent field of eco-city frameworks, and outlines a series of policy, practice and research implications for its future development.

The report draws on a three-year programme of research conducted by a Leverhulme Trust-funded international consortium of researchers. This research included systematic cross-comparative analyses of 43 emerging eco-city frameworks around the globe, examined the varied experiences and challenges of implementing these on the ground, and investigated key actors’ hopes and expectations for the future.

A pdf version of the report is available from:, or by contacting Professor Simon Joss at [email protected]

Notes to editors:

Publication details

Joss, S.; Cowley, R.; de Jong, M.; Muller, B.; Park, B-S.; Rees, W.; Roseland, M. and Rydin, Y. (2015).Tomorrow’s City Today: Prospects for Standardising Sustainable Urban Development. London: University of Westminster. ISBN: 978-0-9570527-6-5.

Contact: Professor Simon Joss: [email protected]

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