Retrofit 2050

The Retrofit 2050 project aims to deliver a step change in current knowledge and capacity for urban sustainability by illuminating challenging but realistic social and technical pathways for the systemic retrofitting of UK city-regions. 80% of the UK population lives in urban areas1, making cities a hub for energy and resource consumption, and potential change read more

Facing the daunting prospects of climate change and growing resource constraints, the challenge for urban policymakers is to develop the knowledge and capacity to understand more sustainable ways of generating and using energy and resources and to incorporate them into the existing built environment, and the lives of the people who live in it.

The project will work with key stakeholders to explore options for systemically retrofitting two core UK city-regions: Greater Manchester and the Cardiff City-region. With the objective of overcoming the separation between ‘what’ needs to be done and ‘how’ it can be implemented, it will explore ways of promoting a managed transition to sustainability in the built environment between 2020 and 2050.

Funded by the EPSRC, the project will run between 2010 and 2013 and can be thought of as five separate but interlinked packages of work: transition analysis, technology foresight, visioning pathways, scenario workshop process and knowledge transfer.

1 World Bank (2011) Urban Population (% of total). Available at