Half of the world’s population live in cities today. This will rise to 60% by 2030, and 70% by 2050. An estimated one million new people will join the world’s cities every week.

In Asia, the changes will be even more pronounced. There will be an additional 1.1 billion people in its cities over the next 20 years. In Southeast Asia, the population living in urban areas is expected to reach 65% by 2050. China and India will contribute over a third of the world’s urban population increase between 2014 and 2050. The McKinsey Global Institute forecasts that in China, 1 billion people will live in cities by 2030; over 200 of these cities will have a population of more than 1 million.

Rapid urbanisation presents great challenges. But, it also presents tremendous opportunities for innovators and policy-makers. We are at a juncture where cities that are managed wisely will be able to overcome limitations, raise the quality and standard of living of its citizens, and seize economic and social opportunities at the frontiers of the emerging new industrial revolution.



To stimulate thinking and research on the critical issues of cities and urbanisation, and to provide breakthrough urban solutions.


Our scope comprises:

  • Investigating urban issues and solutions which are of national concern
  • Examining urban issues of regional application
  • Investigating urban issues of global concern


  • Demographics
  • Density
  • Sustainability
  • Resilience and Risk
  • Mobility and Connectivity
  • Social Capital

The Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities (LKYCIC) was established in September 2012 as one of the research centres of excellence in the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). LKYCIC is only one of two institutions in Singapore that carry the name of our founding father Lee Kuan Yew. The Centre seeks to stimulate thinking and research on the critical issues of cities and urbanisation and explores the integrated use of technology, design and policy to provide urban solutions.

LKYCIC seeks partners in industry, business and government agencies for our research and education projects. The Centre intends to offer courses for graduate students as well as mid-level professionals, and provide opportunities for senior undergraduate students to be involved in research for urban innovation. It hosts talks, seminars and conferences that build a deeper understanding of cities, the role of cities, the future of cities, and the technology and design solutions for cities.

The Centre will work to bring cities together to understand, from the experiences of Singapore and other successful cities, the best practices and innovative solutions for improving existing cities and for building future cities.