At the core of our mission is the development of a Tomorrow's Cities Decision Support Environment (TCDSE), a framework that goes beyond traditional risk models by involving local stakeholders in knowledge co-production and risk-informed decision-making.


Our focus is on reducing risk in future development rather than reacting to crises in existing communities or fixing mistakes from past urban growth. We aim to democratise the concept of risk by considering the experiences of marginalised groups. The TCDSE incorporates these understandings to assess the impact of different policies and interventions on future economic, environmental, and social goals agreed upon with relevant stakeholders.


The TCDSE workflow consists of five phases tailored to fit the city context and co-produced with local stakeholders.


The TCDSE Framework. Feedback loops in each of the stages enable researchers to grasp the intricate interactions between human and natural systems that are accountable for the formation of systemic and multi-hazard risk, and to refine the policies required for its mitigation.

First, we facilitate a process of Future Visioning, involving a range of community, municipal, national, and private sector stakeholders to agree on the broad shape of future development, including physical, demographic, and policy contexts.

These future visions are transformed into detailed virtual Visioning Scenarios, which are exposed to a range of possible multi-hazard events to produce quantitative assessments of their likely impact on disaster risk.

Using the Visioning Scenarios, the Computational Model stage characterises the impacts of selected multi-hazards on the physical and social fabric defined in each Scenario. The Computed Impact Metrics include, for example, the number of low-income people displaced, the number of jobs lost, the number of orphans, the number of children left with no access to education, and the number of communities cut off from healthcare services.

During the Risk Agreement stage objective quantifications of impacts are translated into a co-produced subjective definition of “Agreed Risk”, which considers the specific perceptions of different actors.

Finally during the Visioning Scenario Assessment stage, researchers work with local authorities and communities to integrate the findings into ongoing pro-poor risk based urban planning decision making processes, including capacity building and citizen participation.

The TCDSE provides an end-to-end process, supported by interdisciplinary open-source tools and identifies the drivers of risk in decision-making, allowing for iterative reconsideration of the planning process prior to construction.


What is different in our approach?

Current approaches to risk

  • Concentrate on existing exposure and vulnerability.
  • Emphasis on monetary asset value.
  • Neglect inter-dependencies between hazards and human activity.
  • Examine the impact of single hazards.
  • Rely on models with limited empirical data.
  • Focus from a single disciplinary perspective.
  • Little or no involvement of local stakeholders.

Tomorrow’s Cities approach to risk:

  • Focuses on better planning decisions.
  • Co-produces with risk authorities and at-risk publics.
  • Links governance, planning and community capacity.
  • Includes multiple feedback loops in decision-making.
  • Uses high-resolution, physics-based models of hazard.
  • Includes multiple interacting and cascading hazards.
  • Models impacts on human livelihoods and wellbeing.
  • Captures the risk experience of marginalised communities.


Tomorrow’s Cities provides a detailed training programme which engages a range of critical actors in the city, building city ownership of the TCDSE process and enabling sustainable risk reduction in urban expansion in the next critical decades.

Tomorrow’s Cities is building a community of practice which will link its city teams together into a global self-supporting network and are actively seeking funding to support this Tomorrow’s Cities Foundation over the next 10 years.

Tomorrow's Cities Team