Lancaster and Sunway Universities appoint Imagination's Emmaneul Tsekleves as the new co-director of the Future Cities Research Institute

The Future Cities Research Institute (FCRI) forms a new cross-university, cross-continent and cross-discipline institute on urban research, between Sunway and Lancaster Universities. It aims to make a major contribution to the international conversation on sustainable cities, helping to tackle significant challenges associated with the rapid urbanisation experienced across the Global South.

The FCRI will set out to create an innovative, interactive platform for collaborative research, training, education and engagement across the future cities’ agenda. Its interdisciplinary approach to research will support international collaboration to tackle global challenges and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As Co-Director, Emmanuel will work closely with Sunway and Lancaster colleagues with the intent of creating a World ClassFuture Cities Joint Research Institute, building on existing strengths in both universities.

He explains, “My personal vision is to champion and shape the strategic direction of the first joint Global South/North urban research centre. International challenges demand huge answers. For me, it starts with bringing together expertise from across disciplines and organisations, reaching across the world to collaborate, co-design and connect. This gives us the power to rise to the challenge of achieving the UN’s sustainable development goals in Malaysia, the South East Asia Region and beyond. Together, we can unlock more fulfilling lives. The world we want to be part of, we can build together.

Pro-Vice Chancellor for Global (Digital, International and Sustainability) Professor Simon Guy said, “I’m delighted that Emmanuel Tsekleves has agreed to become a Co-Director of the Future Cities Research Institute, working with colleagues at Sunway and Lancaster Universities to address urgent issues facing cities such as the climate emergency, urban inequality and healthy living. Working collaboratively and across disciplines, I’m confident Emmanuel and FCRI will make a real global impact with the co-creation of new ways of designing, living and working in future cities.

Professor Peter Heard, Provost at Sunway University agrees, “The FCRI is a very important step in the continuing development and expansion of the Sunway-Lancaster partnership. Working across time, space and cultures is challenging, but the potential rewards are high, and it is a challenge that our two universities are well prepared to successfully face. The role of co-director is a critical one, facilitating collaborations within and between our universities and I have no doubt that Emmanuel has the passion and expertise to help lead the FCRI. I look forward to working with Emmanuel in creating and establishing world-leading teams of researchers to tackle what is surely one of the major challenges of the twenty-first century.

Emmanuel began the role in May 2021.