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Welcome to an open dialogue space on sustainable urban futures

Urban Transformations is an inter- and transdisciplinary open access journal. We offer a publishing and discussion platform for people engaged in science, policy and practice, targeting real-life impact. We invite contributions that address transformative urban change, and help to practically shape it towards sustainability. 

We welcome the following Article Types:

  • Research Original research work on the subject, dynamics or direction of urban transformations.
  • Review Reviews explore, question, interpret or synthesize the available urban transformation literature on a selected topic.
  • Frontiers paper  Frontiers papers propose new research topics, approaches or concepts for advancing the science and practice of urban transformations.
  • Perspective  Short discussions that present thought-provoking arguments from researchers or practitioners. 
  • Focus point  Succinct and informative reports on outstanding practice cases of urban transformations.

Listen to the podcast interview with the Editors-in-Chief to discover more about the journal.

Open article collections


Food transformations in African secondary cities

The expansion of Africa’s urban population is taking place largely in secondary cities: these are broadly defined as cities with fewer than half a million people that are not national political or economic hubs. This collection serves as a focal point for new and emerging work on the critical issue, made even more pressing by COVID-19, of how to build sustainable formal and informal food systems in the context of massive transformation at lower levels of the urban hierarchy.


Platform Urbanism

Platforms are the large, near-monopolistic corporations (from Facebook to Google and in between) that are emerging and thriving because they source data, process it, and are able to monetise it. This collection is based on a recognition that platform capitalism has significant urban expressions in platform urbanism. The platforms tend to circulate, ‘land’, and be dependent on cities for their data, their service offerings, and their uptake.


Beyond Urban Living Labs: The making of transformative urban innovation systems

This collection highlights the Urban Living Lab (ULL), which has emerged as a new type of intervention format for leveraging systemic urban change, mostly linked to the pursuit of sustainability goals. There is now an active debate about emerging models of ‘ULL 2.0’--a novel approach aiming towards a ‘transformative urban innovation system’, with a wider group of stakeholders, broader portfolio, deeper layers of value, and further links between cause and effect.

Transformative turn in planning

Transformative turn in planning

This collection aims to critically review recent innovations in planning and their relation to the way transformative urban change is prepared, initiated, and sustained. 

Co-producing urban sustainability transitionsCo-producing urban sustainability transitions

This collection explores co-production as a mode of scientific enquiry and how it can contribute to urban sustainability transitions and transformations.

Aims and scope

Urban transformations are of vital importance for the future of humanity and ecosystem Earth. New knowledge on the subject, dynamics and directions of urban change is dearly needed to shift current development trajectories in the global North and South towards sustainability.

We invite contributions from any disciplines addressing these issues. The journal seeks to deepen and broaden current understandings theoretically, empirically and methodologically. There is a need for novel perspectives, drawing on ontological and epistemological multiplicity, inter- and transdisciplinary approaches. We welcome comparative research designs, as well as innovative methods and techniques. Priority will be given to outcomes from science-practice co-production and co-design.

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Propose a new article collection

Do you have an idea for a novel topic that should be discussed in Urban Transformations? Be a Guest Editor and advance the field through an article collection. We invite proposals with a strong editorial concept that offer new insights and perspectives.

You can find further information about the requirements and submit your idea on our article collection proposals page.

About the Editors-in-Chief

Marc Wolfram is Director of the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER) and full professor for spatial development at Dresden University of Technology. He has an interdisciplinary academic background and extensive experience as a consultant and senior investigator in Europe (2002-2012), doing collaborative research on diverse urban sustainability issues with stakeholders at all levels. He also worked as an associate professor in South Korea (2013-19), pioneering research on transformative urban change dynamics, and advising global city networks, UN bodies and funding agencies. He has published widely in leading journals, and is a board member of the International Sustainable Development Research Society (ISDRS).

Niki Frantzeskaki is Professor on Urban Sustainability Transitions and Director of the Centre for Urban Transitions at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia. Niki has published close to 100 peer-reviewed articles and in 2017 and 2018 released three books on urban sustainability transitions. She has also edited 15 special issues in top-ranked journals about sustainability and sustainability transitions. She is coordinating research on environmental governance, and urban sustainability transitions by leading and being involved in a portfolio of research projects with research institutes across Europe, Canada, Brazil and Australia. She is actively contributing as an author in CBO, GEO-5, GEO-6 and IPBES assessments.

Annual Journal Metrics

  • Speed

    155 days to first decision for reviewed manuscripts only

    132 days to first decision for all manuscripts

    406 days from submission to acceptance

    32 days from acceptance to publication


    263 mentions