Transforming Cities

We’ve seen cities transform during the COVID-19 pandemic; high streets emptied, traffic lulled, new cycleways created and green spaces became an increasingly vital part of people’s active and social lifestyles.

The changes the pandemic has made to life and work in cities are huge and offer a glimpse at a possible alternative future. Is this an opportunity for cities to be reinvented, and if so, how would we begin to go about doing that?

Our researchers, working across the Manchester Urban Institute, Digital Futures and AMBS, consider some of the key issues faced by cities, using the city of Manchester as a focal point.

Find out more about our researchers:

Razieh Zandieh

Razieh is a Lecturer in Urban Design and Planning in 2017. She completed her PhD research on ‘Healthy urban planning: the influence of the built environment on older adults’ outdoor walking’ in 2017, at the department of urban and regional planning and geo-information management, ITC, University of Twente, the Netherlands.

Richard Kingston

Richard is Professor of Urban Planning and GISc, the Deputy Director of the Spatial Policy Analysis Lab and leads the Cities and Environment theme at Digital Futures. Richard has been at the forefront of developing web-based GIS tools to support spatial decision making for smarter cities and is responsible for GIS toolkits such as and

Jonatan Pinkse

Jonatan is a Professor of strategy, innovation, and entrepreneurship at and Executive Director of the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research (MIoIR), Alliance Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester. His research interests focus on corporate sustainability, business model innovation, social entrepreneurship, cross-sector partnerships, and the sharing economy.

Joe Ravetz

Joe Ravetz is Co-Director of the Collaboratory for Urban Resilience & Energy at the Manchester Urban Institute, University of Manchester. He has pioneered the art of strategic thinking for sustainable cities and regions and has recently published Deeper City; Collective Intelligence and the Pathways from Smart to Wise

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