Modern societies face multiple challenges which put at risk the quality of life of its citizens, the achievement of sustainable economic and environmental development as well as guaranteeing a balanced personal and collective development in a constantly changing environment.
One of the greatest challenges identified in modern societies is the harmonious and sustainable development of cities within a process of accelerated urbanisation since the dawn of civilisation.
In order to face the challenges posed by urban sprawl and housing an increasing number of people of different economic conditions and needs, it is necessary to develop complex systems tackled from multidisciplinary focuses in which different areas of knowledge are required with the aim of satisfying both the needs of the citizen and those of society together.
For a university such as the Technical University of Madrid (UPM) this multidisciplinary focus is essential. With it, the UPM is aware of the possibility of contributing to the development of new knowledge which may be later implemented and commercialised in the form of new products and services in the context of the city.
Currently, many activities of the UPM are set out in the area of the development of the city (research groups, centres, national and international projects, patents, spin-offs, etc.), the starting point is not a situation in which there are no activities, on the contrary, many activities are being developed although with little repercussion for the whole of the UPM and without taking advantage of the potential synergies.
In short, the UPM has capacities and experience demonstrated in the area of the development of the city as previously set out and which is going to permit the assumption of responsibilities in an ambitious initiative like the one showed in this web page. That is why:
The UPM wants to become the national and international reference public entity on aspects related to R&D&I relative to the analysis of the future of cities.
The decision adopted by the UPM cannot stay at the margins of a growing international effort assumed from the accelerated public and private initiative of recent years. We must act quickly to join in with existing initiatives from our own perspective; by contributing both knowledge and solutions. That is why we must integrate existing capacities in our school, faculties, research groups and R&D centres, and find allies to be able to tackle them completely.
In the described generic framework, this institutional initiative of the UPM on “The City of the Future” has the following grand objectives: