ARUA CoE For Urbanization and Habitable Cities


  • A platform for bringing together, researchers from other African countries, to address issues in urbanization and habitable cities. 
  • To attract and sustain funding for active, catalytic research in seven key research areas to address the theme of urbanization and Habitable cities.
  • University of Lagos Centre for Housing and Sustainable Development: An existing platform to drive the CoE.  


VISION: To be the hub for world-class, interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary, applied research on housing and sustainable development; connecting researchers in this thematic area in order to initiate, develop, disseminate and affect change in Africa’s cities.   

MISSION: To attract, through collaborative actions; active researchers and funders, across all cadres, from within and outside Africa, that would work in collaboration with stakeholders from academia, private sector, government and non-government organizations to solve the diverse problems evident in African cities. 

Interfacing with African Union and Other Global Organizations 

  • Agenda 2063: Aspirations to the sustainable and smart city form, purposeful governance and leadership. 

          - Calls for urgent actions to provide Africans with decent and affordable housing in clean and well planned environments through mechanisms that support access to   housing finance and while ensuring that contentious and conflict-prone issues in planning laws, land administration and city management are addressed. 

  • The Centre of Excellence will: 

          - Establish partnerships with International support institutions and African institutions, at regional and sub-regional levels

         - Initiate, fund and implement research agenda established with mutual collaboration with other ARUA institutions 

        - Regional integration of its policies and its prominence and possibilities in the global space.


Objective 1: To promote Research/knowledge production in key research areas of sustainable cities and African urbanization dynamics, housing and regeneration, urban health and liveability,  sustainable urban design and infrastructure, urban land management and administration, Sustainable construction and construction skill development and pro-poor governance and management in Africa 

  • Expected Outputs
  • Identification of priority research needs in the key research areas through rigorous, multi-faceted stakeholder engagement with ARUA collaborative centres.
  • Initiation and implementation of policy-driven and evidence based research in the priority areas; to be achieved through collaboration with other research networks,
  • Creation of research opportunities and funding mechanisms  that would connect African researchers across disciplines and methods to both local and international research networks.

Expected Outcomes: 

  • A short, medium and long term research action plan for implementation by the CoE
  • Time-scaled partnership arrangement for the implementation of research action plan.
  • Call for participation in research themes to ensure the implementation of the research action plan.

Objective 2: To be the preferred platform for information brokerage on contemporary issues in the five research areas.  

Expected Outputs:

  • Creation of a repository of high quality graduate and postgraduate thesis on issues relating to Africa’s housing and sustainable urban development agenda.  
  • Initiation and brokerage of open access publications in specific subject areas to promote ease of access to information by researchers within and outside Africa.
  • Facilitation of knowledge transfer between researchers in ARUA member institutions and users in industry, academic and policy communities.  
  • Expected Outcomes:
  • Population of open access portal for high quality research across partner institutions in Africa
  • Call for Participation in structured knowledge transfer schemes
  • Attraction of funding for innovative and technological/industrial development in the field of housing and urban sustainability.

Objective 3: To advance impactful education and training activities for researchers and students in the broad area of housing and urban sustainability. 

Expected Outputs:

  • Development of research leaders by providing opportunities for the growth of undergraduate, post-graduate and early career researchers through mentoring, research matching, knowledge transfer studentships amongst partner institutions.
  • Professionalization of research by carrying out training workshops; seminars and other such human capacity building programmes as may be required for specific groups of stakeholders in support of research project and implementation.
  • Facilitation, through curricula networking, responsive post graduate programmes across  key sectors within the priority areas.
  • Active collaboration with private sector players to ensure relevance of research outputs to the industry 
  • Identification and initiation of professional development activities such as train the trainers workshops to advance the quality of teaching in graduate and postgraduate courses. 

Expected Outcomes:

  • Emergence of Research leaders in key thematic areas of the CoE.
  • Attraction of partner institutions and working groups for curriculum comparison
  • Bench-marking standards for research leadership


  1. Sustainable cities and African urbanization dynamics
  2. Urban land management and administration
  3. Housing and regeneration
  4. Urban health and livability 
  5. Sustainable design and infrastructure 
  6. Sustainable construction and construction skill development 
  7. Pro-poor governance and management in Africa


Sustainable Cities And African Urbanization Dynamics Cluster  

Housing and Regeneration  

Urban Health and Liveability

Sustainable Urban Design and Infrastructure Cluster  

Land Management and Administration Cluster  

Sustainable Construction and Construction Skill Development Cluster  

Pro-poor governance and Management in Africa Cluster