Welcome to the Urban Transitions Hub!

We are a group of researchers interested in exploring the urban dimension of the Anthropocene and its crises: theorising and shaping more equitable and sustainable urbanisation.

The UTH is based at the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon, within the research group Environment, Territory and Society.

If you want to contact us, please use the following e-mail address: uth@ics.ulisboa.pt.


Our common thematic interest is the diverse set of processes, practices and problems linked to the relentless expansion and reconfigurations of human (and non-human) geographies, resulting in unstable paths towards more sustainable urbanisation.


‘Forward-looking’ – we explore the present of urbanisation (its socio-spatial, socio-technical and ecological conditions, its political struggles and policy action) with a normative tension aimed at thinking, envisioning and shaping more just and sustainable futures.


A central point that seeks to connect and radiate – we are based at the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon, within the research group Environment, Territory, Society. We seek to participate, cooperate and network with colleagues based in Portugal, the rest of Europe and increasingly worldwide.
Based at the westernmost edge of continental Europe, at the heart of a metropolis undergoing turbulent transformations, we have are interested in thinking, researching and exploring contexts often marginalised by international urban research.


Given our focus on urbanisation and sustainable transitions, we inevitably embark on interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research (including co-design and co-production), and we strive to ensure an open and interconnected view of problems and solutions. In this sense we will also relate to the global agenda of Sustainable Development Goals.


Overall, our aim and intent is to explore theory, methods and practices that contribute to the civic remit of more just and sustainable cities. We therefore see ourselves as increasingly contributing to key dimensions of a civic university (after John Goddard): sense of purpose, active engagement, holistic approach, sense of place, transparency and accountability – undertaking research that relates more readily to circumstances of our cities.

On COVID cris(es)& UTH


We think this crisis represents the acceleration and transformation of patterns and contradictions that have built up over decades of neoliberal projects for an increasingly unsustainable socio-economic model. A crisis reaffirming multiple, interdependent crises. The same patterns now raising potentially dystopian promises for a post-pandemic future.

We acknowledge the key role played by social sciences in exploring intellectually the realm of possibilities, opening dialogues across disciplines and voices. We feel that by shifting the questions, we may change the way we frame this crisis.

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Supported by FCT (UIDP/50013/2020; UIDP/50013/2020; LA/P/0051/2020)