The Urban Morphology Institute focuses its efforts on the design of guidelines, tools and strategies to assist United Nations agencies in the implementation of the SDGs and the New Urban Agenda. It is specialized in integrated strategies deriving the maximum co-benefits (environmental, social, economic) from spatial planning. It builds on innovative strategies based on complexity science and quantitative analysis with Big Data. Building on its internationally recognized expertise in the field of urban forms, the Institute provides a comprehensive framework to cross-optimize the four pillars of sustainable urban planning: spatial planning, energy planning, transportation planning and urban economics. 

In South Africa, the Urban Morphology Institute works closely with the City of Joburg, AFD and Wits University. The aim of the initiative is to support Johannesburg’s transition towards an inclusive, resilient, resource-efficient city through systematic, integrative and targeted research. The main objectives of the project are to:

  • Foster spatial transformation through integrated transportation and spatial planning to create an efficient, sustainable, inclusive and resilient urbanization, and to mitigate climate change
  • Retrofit the existing city towards greater sustainability, climate change mitigation and adaptation, resilience, liveability and inclusivity.
  • Influence the city currently being built towards the goals mentioned above by contributing to the “Corridors of Freedom” strategy through the Spatial Development Framework (SDF) and the Strategic Area Framework (SAF)