Christchurch is global survey of young people

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University of Surrey

United Kingdom, September 20, 2017

How do young people see the world? What are their aspirations for the future? How will they navigate the challenges of a fast-changing world in the 21st Century? These are the questions a new global research project aims to answer.

The University of Surrey’s Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP) is launching today (Tuesday, September 19, 2017) the Children and Youth in Cities – Lifestyle Evaluations and Sustainability (CYCLES) project.

Challenges around the world

The three-year project will focus on young people, between the ages of 12 to 24 years, living in seven different cities: Christchurch, New Zealand; Delhi, India; Dhaka in Bangladesh; Grahamstown in South Africa; London, England; São Paulo, Brazil; and Yokohama in Japan. The project will investigate what challenges each young person encounters and determine the best way to help each overcome them.

Professor Tim Jackson, Director of CUSP, said: “Our hope is to launch a vital conversation about young people’s prospects for the future. To understand those prospects is to understand the hopes for human development. To improve them is to enrich our own lives.”

CYCLES will build on comparative research into the lifestyles of young urban residents, including the ground-breaking work of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Global Survey of Sustainable Lifestyles in 2001.

Bronwyn Hayward, Associate Professor at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, said: “It is exciting to bring seven international research teams together to share our insights into challenges facing young people in cities around the world. The aim over the next three years is to identify pragmatic ways to help young people across the world achieve their full potential—within the limits of a finite planet. CYCLES will identify and learn from best practices in these communities how to support young people to flourish sustainably.”

Project Lead in Delhi, Vimlendu Jha, said: “India and its youth are going through a rapid transition. We need a common understanding of sustainability, with mutual respect for each other’s approach.”

You can read about the scope of the project at:

Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP)

The University of Surrey received funding from the ESRC to establish a prestigious, multi-disciplinary Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP). Led by Professor Tim Jackson, and working in collaboration with a variety of academic and non-academic partners, the CUSP research programme commenced in January 2016 with the overall aim of exploring the economic, ecological, social and governance dimensions of sustainable prosperity and to make concrete recommendations to government, business and civil society in pursuit of it. Their guiding vision is one in which people everywhere have the capability to flourish as human beings – within the ecological and resource constraints of a finite planet. Visit

University of Surrey

The University of Surrey is one of the UK’s leading professional, scientific and technological universities with a world-class research profile and a reputation for excellence in teaching. Ground-breaking research at the University is bringing direct benefit to all spheres of life – helping industry to maintain its competitive edge and creating improvements in the areas of health, medicine, space science, the environment, communications, defence and social policy. The University of Surrey was recently named University of the Year by the Times and Sunday Times, both overall and for ‘Student Experience’, and has achieved a top-ten ranking in all three major national university league tables. For more information about the University and its work, visit


The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK’s largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. The ESRC supports independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and civil society. At any one time, the ESRC supports over 4000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes. The ESRC are a non-departmental public body (NDPB) established by Royal Charter in 1965 and receive most of its funding through the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). More information on


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