The TRANSCEND project aims to address the challenges by conducting research to investigate processes, governance structures, policies and technology that can enable a transition towards a more risk-sensitive and transformative urban development approach.

Project Aims 

The TRANSCEND project aims to investigate the nature of a socio-technical system, enabled by a collaborative foresight and consensus-building virtual workspace, which can promote an adaptive governance approach across relevant organisations and support the transparent and democratic involvement of all the relevant stakeholders (including experts from local authorities, disaster management authorities, developers, poor and vulnerable communities, and humanitarian organisations) to analyse, forecast, visualize and debate disaster-risk trade-offs and choose development plans that ensure sustainability and equitable resilience, giving considerations to climate change adaptation. A systemic approach that explores various system “views” of this socio-technical system will be adopted in achieving this aim.


  • To investigate the system conditions of the sociotechnical system necessary for establishing an adaptive government approach for transforming “silo” based approach to “participatory” urban development approach that accommodate the transparent and democratic involvement of all the relevant stakeholders that promotes equitable resilience.
  • To investigate the nature of a sociotechnical system that can be effective in facilitating learning, in encouraging local knowledge creation, ownership and active participation by vulnerable communities in influencing their local development plans for an equitable future.
  • To design and implement a collaborative foresight and consensus-building virtual workspace that can support the experimentation and validation of the system
  • To establish three Living Labs in Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Malaysia as an “Experimentation and Learning Environment”, involving the local organisations and vulnerable communities, to co-design and validate the above system views for establishing an adaptive governance approach for urban development which is equitable and resilient.


This project builds on the partnerships that have already been established through the GCRF-funded MOBILISE project ( The academic partners from the Universities of Salford (UK), Moratuwa (Sri Lanka), Peshawar (Pakistan) and Tun Hussein (Malaysia) have been collaborating over the last two years to develop and experiment with a digital platform for promoting multi-agency collaboration for disaster risk reduction in Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Pakistan. As a part of this collaboration, the team has been working actively in these countries to identify and connect with the key government organizations, which have a vested interest in disaster management, through many face-to-face meetings and large scale targeted conferences and workshops. The TRANSCEND has extended this partnership to include further end-user stakeholders from urban development and humanitarian organizations.

The existing MOBILISE partnership has been extended to include senior academics from a range of other disciplines relevant to the TRANSCEND project from social sciences, multi-hazard risk simulation, urban planning, sustainable development, climate change. These new key academics have been identified through the links that the MOBILISE project has already established during its engagement activities and existing intuitional links. The two new Universities joining the project are; The University of York (Dr Jon Ensor) and the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) (Dr Khamarrul Razak, Dr Rahman, Dr Wan Mohd Rani). Dr Jon Ensor from the University of York was included in the partnership to bring in his social science expertise in equitable resilience, this new partnership has been developed due to complementary research interests.

Project Management

The project management will be organised according to the operational structure and organisation. The project will be managed on three levels:

  • Project Coordination;
  • Scientific & Technical coordination;
  • Individual WP Management.

Pathways to Impact of TRANSCEND

  • Towards Adaptive Governance
  • Strengthening Community Engagement