Urban Innovation Lab

The Urban Innovation Lab (UIL) is a research incubator and platform that brings together international scholars and practitioners for cross-disciplinary inquiries into contemporary urban dynamics related to ecological transition in Asia.

The UIL is based at the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Nottingham Ningbo. The lab was initially founded in 2013 as the International Network for Urban & Rural Research (INURR) as a partnership between the university’s Department of Architecture and Built Environment and local planning institutes in the City of Ningbo. Part of the ESRC-NSFC Smart Eco-cities project, the project has EUR 1.4 million in funding. The UIL aligns with University Strategy 2020 and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The UIL integrates fundamental research and action-oriented methods to conduct outreach and education along three primary axes:

  1. Urban Transition
  2. Urban Sustainability
  3. Urban Innovation

The three axes aim to consolidate synergies among the UIL’s partners with a broader scope to advance the following UN SDGs: achieve affordable and reliable sustainable energy (7); build inclusive and resilient cities and communities (11); realize responsible consumption and production patterns (12); neutralise the impacts of climate change (13); restore terrestrial ecosystems, reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss (15). The UIL’s research agenda is focused on fostering global partnerships for sustainable development, engaging research and pedagogy to assess strategic outcomes in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), and developing anticipatory competencies in various contexts and situations.