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Exploring the transformation of cities and communities towards socially just and sustainable futures.

Apr 2021 - Dec 2024


  • TOWARDS is a think tank to support the transformation of cities and communities towards socially just and sustainable futures.

    Complex global challenges such as climate change, COVID-19 and rapid urbanisation bring into focus the deeper health and well-being dimensions of sustainable development, including social belonging, everyday interactions, and the environmental quality of local surroundings.

    Rising polarization, crises of legitimacy and social inequalities highlight the ethical and equity dilemmas inherent in any practical solutions aimed at sustainability transformations.

    TOWARDS Framework

  • TOWARDS fosters interdisciplinary co-learning regarding transformations towards sustainable development in cities and settlements. It does this through:

    • Piloting experiments with green technologies and nature based solutions in people’s lived environments
    • Examining equity and ethical dilemmas in best practices for promoting health, well-being and environmental qualities of local communities
    • Exploring new modes of policy and planning required to govern sustainability transformations

    Through these experiments and analyses, we bring into dialogue the development contradictions and dilemmas inherent in sustainability transformations across disciplines.

    Innovating to support local transformations also requires transforming how we conduct research and teach, including a closer integration between research, education and public engagement. For this purpose, TOWARDS serves as a thinktank that opens up space for deliberation between researchers, students, civil society and public and private sectors actors.

  • TOWARDS announces six scholarships each year up to NOK 8 000 for NMBU students who are writing their Master's thesis within one or more of the following themes:

    • Transformation towards sustainable local communities
    • Green technologies
    • Social justice and health
    • Lived environments.

    More information and how to apply

    The scholarship covers travel and accommodation expenses, course and conference fees, publishing costs and more. The funds are distributed twice a year.

    Application deadlines: 1 March and 1 October

    Queries should be addressed to

  • TOWARDS organizes an interdisciplinary Masterproject in 2023 to gain greater insight into the breadth of sustainability challenges across disciplines.

    The masterclass explores transformation, covering master theses (individual or in group) that address sustainability challenges within the themes of green technologies, social justice and health and lived environments.  

    For more information, contact

  • The Master Course is a collaboration with the University of Exeter and Makerere University, and offers novel opportunities for interactive, cross-cultural student learning and collaboration, alongside lectures by international expert scholars in the fields of climate justice, transformative and place-based adaptation, climate resilient development, wellbeing, and disability. The course is open for all Master Students and will be conducted entirely in English.

    Read more here and Apply now!


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