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Shaping a better world by shaping better cities.

Urbanisation is an unprecedented challenge; by 2050 the world’s urban population will exceed six billion.  How can cities accommodate this inexorable growth? This is the question that will determine our future.

We want to enable city governments, urban communities, infrastructure providers, developers and investors to determine their own future rather than simply reacting to external pressures.

Our response is a framework that brings together our knowledge to shape policy, investment and projects.

Every city across the globe will face different challenges. But with our reach, our depth of knowledge and our collaborative approach, we’re the creative force behind successful urban development around the world.

Eight urban themes

Our approach to cities underpins our core businesses, globally and locally. Our principles are embedded in eight core themes.

8 urban city themes
Arup's 8 themes for cities

Eight urban themes

We have developed our cities offering around eight key themes that align our technical, design and commercial expertise with the core challenges facing cities today. In doing so, we are able to deliver focused solutions that benefit city leaders and the citizens that they serve.

City resilience: thriving in the face of shock and stress.

Climate-ready cities: turning climate change adaptation into opportunities for enhancing city life.

City life: designing places and spaces that citizens can rely on.

City growth: sparking economic growth by investing in city infrastructure and services.

City regeneration: reinvigorating spaces to become places where people want to live, work and play.

Host cities: using major events to transform cities.

City operations: funding, managing and delivering programmes to help cities function and grow.

Digital cities: improving citizen engagement, governance and efficiency through digital technology.
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Cities, more than nations, are facing unprecedented global competition for talent, resources and investment, whilst also facing the challenges of migration, climate change and ageing populations. It’s no longer enough just to be the best and most innovative consultants – we have to use our understanding of these geopolitical challenges as strategic advisors, partners and private-public sector brokers to help cities build a better world.

Jerome Frost, Cities Global Leader, Arup

New city concepts

Arup makes new approaches to urban development possible. The key concepts we have developed for thinking about cities cover everything from resilience to lighting and climate change to mobility. The new approaches are founded on technical expertise, innovative fiscal and policy instruments, integrated thinking and socio-economic considerations. And they pave the way for urban decision makers to tackle challenges like resource efficiency, mitigating the impact of climate change, and making the city resilient to natural disasters.

Successful city projects

As well as leading the thinking on cities, we’ve helped deliver some of the defining urban projects of the modern era. We are currently engaged in projects across the globe – from revitalising waterfronts in Toronto to delivering a multifunctional green oasis in Songdo; and from soaring skyscrapers in Beijing to providing a blueprint for regeneration in Caracas. These will transform the lives of millions of city dwellers by improving transportation, sewage systems, power networks, homes, offices, parks, theatres and stadiums.

Working in partnership

Our clients benefit from the powerful collaborations we’ve forged with some of the leading thinkers, lobbyists and drivers of city transformation. They include the World Economic Forum, The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and the Rockefeller Foundation, among others.

Global contact

Jerome Frost
  • Jerome Frost
  • Global Cities Leader
  • Brian Swett

    Brian Swett

    Associate Principal, Director of Cities in the Americas

    Your best solution to date?

    Assisting Waterfront Toronto in ensuring that its development program is on track to achieve its carbon neutrality goals by mid-century.

    Why is it significant?

    As major developments and cities continue to build and expand this needs to be done in a way that achieves global and national goals in preventing the worst implications of climate change. Waterfront Toronto has the ability to be a model for other major developers and cities in how to grow while drastically reducing carbon emissions.

    Your particular skill?

    Identifying and integrating the full suite of Arup’s skills and services into cities projects and ensuring that Arup maximises its value in solving challenging urban problems.


    As a non-engineer, having the technical toolbox of Arup’s intellectual expertise and curiosity to help address city problems that I have been engaged in throughout my career continues to excite me every day. There isn’t a problem that I’ve encountered in the city space that Arup doesn’t have the skill set to solve.

    Why Arup?

    Our ongoing focus on cutting edge research and thought leadership makes this an exciting place to address the problems that are now coming down the pipeline as the world continues to urbanize. The fact that Arup’s mission is based on solving the great challenges of the built environment and not solely its bottom line is also compelling to me.

  • t: +1 617 864 2987
  • e:
  • Boston [11:22]

Explore our work

Photo showing the 114.5m tall ArcelorMittal Orbit, Britain’s biggest structural artwork. Credit Thomas Graham

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Fulton Center. Credit James Ewing.

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