Last edited 06 Sep 2018

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Cities as systems - BRE Solutions for urban environments

The BRE Trust Future Cities research programme was carried out between 2012 and 2015 in collaboration with over 70 public and private partners. The collective value of the projects undertaken was more than £30m. The programme addressed the challenges facing urban developments as global population increases and there is continued migration to cities.

On 9 March 2015, the BRE Trust issued a report on the results of Future Cites programme, Cities as systems - BRE Solutions for urban environments which highlighted that urban areas are growing by 1.3 million people every week and that they consume 75% of natural resources.

Future cities front cover.jpg

The report addresses four main components of future cities:

Research projects included:

The programme delivered tools, guidance and standards that will benefit a range of stakeholders across the built environment.

BRE author Helen Pineo said, “By 2050 there will be two and a half billion more people living in cities. We must develop our urban spaces to meet their needs but the challenges are significant: reduced public sector finances, limited natural resources, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and an ageing population. This BRE Trust research aims to plug the knowledge gaps so we can adopt an informed and strategic approach to growing and evolving our cities so they become even better places for people to live and work in - our future depends on it.’ (Ref. Key future city challenges are tackled by BRE Trust research programme 9 March 2015.)

Key research topics from the Future Cities research programme will continue to be funded by the BRE Trust along with a new programme focussing on built environment resilience. The next steps will involve product development and continued research activities in a number of key areas, including:


The BRE Trust was set up in 2002 to advance knowledge, innovation and communication for public benefit. It is the largest UK charity dedicated to research and education in the built environment, commissioning research and publishing project findings to provide authoritative guidance to the construction industry.

--BRE Group

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