Our work on Goal 11

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

As one of the world’s leading research institutions and the UK’s first university to have social responsibility as a core goal, we’re tackling the SDGs in four inter-related ways: through our research, learning and students, public engagement activity and operations.

Here’s a selection of our work addressing Goal 11.

Research

Empowering local climate-change action

To enable the UK to deliver significant carbon emissions reductions, the University created the Tyndall Local Carbon Budget Tool, helping cities, regions and organisations to play their part in achieving the global Paris Agreement.

Building on the Setting City Area Targets and Trajectories for Emissions Reduction (SCATTER) project, this foundational research established the importance of embedding carbon budgets – rather than end point targets – in setting carbon reduction targets.

It has been used by 250 UK local authorities, led local policymakers to focus on immediate emissions reductions and shaped global policy as part of the United Nations’ Race to Zero initiative.

African Cities Research Consortium

Our African Cities Research Consortium (ACRC), funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) as part of UK Aid, will tackle complex problems in some of Africa’s fastest growing urban areas.

Over six years, our research will generate new evidence to catalyse integrated, sustainable, inclusive approaches to urban development in partnership with frontline humanitarian responders, effective policy influencers, local government networks and deeply rooted civil society groups.

 

Learning and students

Manchester City of Trees

As part of our partnership with the local NGO, Manchester City of Trees, students can use our Volunteer Hub to sign up for one-off or weekly tree planting sessions or even become a Citizen Forester.

Our student volunteering is supporting their mission of planting one tree for every person across Greater Manchester, creating a healthier and more sustainable city region.

Sustainable Cities MOOC

Our academics have contributed to a free massive open online course (MOOC) developed with Lund University, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability.

83,000 students around the world have used this to explore key trends of urbanisation and sustainability and apply this in advancing sustainability in cities around the world.

 

Public engagement

In Place of War project

In Place of War (IPOW) is a global spin-out charity from research in our School of Music and Drama.

IPOW works with grassroots organisations in refugee camps, war-affected villages, towns under curfew, cities under occupation, and refugee communities, using creativity in places of conflict as a proven tool for positive change.

IPOW enables communities and grassroots change-makers in music, theatre and across the arts to transform a culture of violence and suffering into hope, opportunity and freedom.

Cultural venues and nature

The Whitworth created the UK’s first dedicated post of Cultural Park Keeper.

This has led to the creation of a Natural and Cultural Health Service programme of outdoor activities to raise awareness, educate and inspire our diverse visitors to connect with and protect life in our park.

At Jodrell Bank we work with community and voluntary groups, including the RSPB and the Cheshire Beekeepers Association, to protect and enhance our natural environment.

 

Operations

Social responsibility partnerships

Examples of our civic partnerships include:

We also prioritise global partnerships to advance our work towards the SDGs. These include:

Biodiversity on campus

The Firs is located on the University’s Fallowfield campus and houses a suite of facilities for environmental research, monitoring and engagement.

Our UNESCO World Heritage site, Jodrell Bank, is another area rich in biodiversity. 

To help promote biodiversity on campus, we’ve developed:

  • an online, interactive campus Tree Trail highlighting 50 of the 1,500 trees across Oxford Road Campus, North Campus and Whitworth Park.
  • a tree plan requiring the planting of two trees for every one removed by our campus developments.
  • UMAPIT (University of Manchester Animal Positions and Information Tracker) – a bespoke app to allows the public to record sightings of urban wildlife species.

We’ve also transformed a former road into Brunswick Park – a pocket park to enhance green space and wellbeing on campus.