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Aims and scope

Urban transformations are of vital importance for the future of humanity and ecosystem Earth. They demand deep and accelerated changes in urban patterns and processes across all spheres of life, and from local to global. 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. Special attention will be given to outcomes from science-practice co-production and co-design.

We strive to bring together the broad range of scientific and practice fields working on the causes, patterns, pathways and impacts of urban transformations. The journal aims to unpack and critically examine the complex social, ecological, economic, political and technological processes of transformative urban change. This implies relating different spatial scales, time horizons, action domains and agency forms with a view to develop suitable options for intervention and stewardship. The journal addresses, but is not limited to, the following key topics and their interlinkages:

  • Urban relations between people, nature and technology
  • Imaginaries, paradigms and discourses of urban transformations
  • Interactions between urban change, ecosystems and biodiversity; nature-based solutions
  • Transformative agency, governance, policies, planning and capacity
  • Urban experimentation, innovation and social learning
  • Social, cultural, political, power and justice implications of urban transformations
  • Place, space and scale in urban transformations
  • Urban (multi-)sectoral and nexus transformations (energy, food, water, mobility, building, waste, etc.)
  • Transformation and circularity of built environs and infrastructures (grey, green and blue)
  • Digitalisation of urban cultures, economics, politics and infrastructures
  • Urban safety, security, risks and resilience
  • New urban science, complex urban change dynamics, urbanisation and land transitions
  • Relations between urban change dynamics and wider societal transformations
  • Global North and South interdependencies, differences and similarities

Authors can choose between five formats of different purpose, length and structure, depending on their background and objectives – see the Submission Guidelines tab for a full list of article types. To enhance uptake and impact, contributions should always synthesize key lessons for science, policy and practice.


Table of contents

Open access

All articles published by Urban Transformations are made freely and permanently accessible online immediately upon publication, without subscription charges or registration barriers. Further information about open access can be found here.

As authors of articles published in Urban Transformations you are the copyright holders of your article and have granted to any third party, in advance and in perpetuity, the right to use, reproduce or disseminate your article, according to the BMC license agreement.

For those of you who are US government employees or are prevented from being copyright holders for similar reasons, BMC can accommodate non-standard copyright lines. Please contact us if further information is needed.

Article processing charges (APC)

Authors who publish open access in Urban Transformations are required to pay an article processing charge (APC). The APC price will be determined from the date on which the article is accepted for publication.

The current APC, subject to VAT or local taxes where applicable, is: £890.00/$1090.00/€990.00

Visit our open access support portal and our Journal Pricing FAQs for further information.

Open access funding

Visit Springer Nature’s open access funding & support services for information about research funders and institutions that provide funding for APCs.

Springer Nature offers agreements that enable institutions to cover open access publishing costs. Learn more about our open access agreements to check your eligibility and discover whether this journal is included.

Springer Nature offers APC waivers and discounts for articles published in our fully open access journals whose corresponding authors are based in the world’s lowest income countries (see our APC waivers and discounts policy for further information). Requests for APC waivers and discounts from other authors will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and may be granted in cases of financial need (see our open access policies for journals for more information). All applications for discretionary APC waivers and discounts should be made at the point of manuscript submission; requests made during the review process or after acceptance are unable to be considered.

Indexing services

All articles published in Urban Transformations are included in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).

The full text of all articles is deposited in digital archives around the world to guarantee long-term digital preservation. You can also access all articles published by BioMed Central on SpringerLink.

We are working closely with relevant indexing services including PubMed Central and Web of Science (Clarivate Analytics) to ensure that articles published in Urban Transformations will be available in their databases when appropriate. The inclusion of the journal in indices will be indicated here on the website immediately and will also apply backwards to all articles published in Urban Transformations prior to that.

Peer-review policy

Peer-review is the system used to assess the quality of a manuscript before it is published. Independent researchers in the relevant research area assess submitted manuscripts for originality, validity and significance to help editors determine whether the manuscript should be published in their journal. You can read more about the peer-review process here.

Urban Transformations operates a double-blind peer-review system, where the reviewers do not know the names or affiliations of the authors and the reviewer reports provided to the authors are anonymous.

The benefit of double-blind peer review is that it allows reviewers to judge the manuscript based on content alone, and they are not unconsciously biased by knowledge of who the authors are.

Urban Transformations also publishes thematic collections. The peer review process of any submission associated with a thematic collection is handled by Guest Editors who are responsible for assigning at least two referees to each article and evaluating the reviews. Like our Associate Editors, Guest Editors make recommendations and request and evaluate revisions, but only the Editors-in-Chief can make final decisions of accept or reject on any thematic collection article. Any articles submitted to a thematic collection by Guest Editors are also handled confidentially by Associate Editors outside of the normal refereeing process of the thematic collection to ensure that the evaluation of these articles is completely objective.

Citing articles in Urban Transformations

Articles in Urban Transformations should be cited in the same way as articles in a traditional journal. Because articles are not printed, they do not have page numbers; instead, they are given a unique article number.

Article citations follow this format:

Authors (Year) Title. Urban Transform [volume number]:[article number].

e.g. Roberts LD, Hassall DG, Winegar DA, Haselden JN, Nicholls AW, Griffin JL: Increased hepatic oxidative metabolism distinguishes the action of Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor delta from Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor gamma in the Ob/Ob mouse. Urban Transform 2009, 1:115.

1:115 refers to article 115 from Volume 1 of the journal.

Editorial policies

All manuscripts submitted to Urban Transformations should adhere to BMC's editorial policies.

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Appeals and complaints

Authors who wish to appeal a rejection or make a complaint should follow the procedure outlined in the BMC Editorial Policies.

Benefits of publishing with BMC

High visibility

Urban Transformations's open access policy allows maximum visibility of articles published in the journal as they are available to a wide, global audience. 

Speed of publication

Urban Transformations offers a fast publication schedule whilst maintaining rigorous peer review; all articles must be submitted online, and peer review is managed fully electronically (articles are distributed in PDF form, which is automatically generated from the submitted files). Articles will be published with their final citation after acceptance, in both fully browsable web form, and as a formatted PDF.


Online publication in Urban Transformations gives you the opportunity to publish large datasets, large numbers of color illustrations and moving pictures, to display data in a form that can be read directly by other software packages so as to allow readers to manipulate the data for themselves, and to create all relevant links (for example, to PubMed, to sequence and other databases, and to other articles).

Promotion and press coverage

Articles published in Urban Transformations are included in article alerts and regular email updates. Some may be highlighted on Urban Transformations’s pages and on the BMC homepage.

In addition, articles published in Urban Transformations may be promoted by press releases to the general or scientific press. These activities increase the exposure and number of accesses for articles published in Urban Transformations. A list of articles recently press-released by journals published by BMC is available here.


As an author of an article published in Urban Transformations you retain the copyright of your article and you are free to reproduce and disseminate your work (for further details, see the BMC license agreement).

For further information about the advantages of publishing in a journal from BMC, please click here.

Annual Journal Metrics

  • Speed 2023
    Submission to first editorial decision (median days): 33
    Submission to acceptance (median days): 262

    Usage 2023
    Downloads: 97,642
    Altmetric mentions: 118

Funding your APC

​​​​We offer a free open access support service to make it easier for you to discover and apply for article-processing charge (APC) funding. Learn more here

Institutional membership

Visit the membership page to check if your institution is a member and learn how you could save on article-processing charges (APCs).