What is IGLUS?

IGLUS is an action-research program that seeks to contribute to the better governance of increasingly
larger, increasingly complex and increasingly dynamic urban systems. 

Learning to grow new governance models

IGLUS brings together practitioners and academics from the relevant disciplines to provide a comprehensive overview on urban governance issues


IGLUS is an action-research program created by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne: École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in 2011


IGLUS’  mission is to contribute to the better governance of increasingly larger, complex and dynamic urban systems

Value Proposition

IGLUS provides a global platform to learn, share, experiment and anticipate urban challenges

We have a special focus on the governance of urban infrastructure systems, namely transport, energy, blue (water, wastewater), green, and brown (buildings) infrastructures, increasingly enabled by the information and communication technologies (e.g., smart cities). The program has a problem focus as well as a resolutely interdisciplinary and action-oriented approach.

We bring together all relevant stakeholders of such governance in a series of two-week intensive action-learning modules.

Modules take place approximately every other month in a major metropolitan area in Europe (Lyon, Dortmund, Moscow, St. Petersburg), the Americas (Mexico City, New York, Detroit), Africa (Kampala) and Asia (Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Seoul, Delhi). Modules cover selected infrastructures (e.g., transport, energy, green, blue and brown infrastructures) as well as selected transversal topics (e.g., governance, financing, private sector participation, digitalization).



IGLUS measures the performance of urban systems in terms of their efficiency, sustainability and resilience and more generally in terms of the quality of life and the competitiveness of cities. These performance indicators ultimately reflect how well urban infrastructure systems are governed. IGLUS is thus a platform for cities, city officials and city managers who are seeking to improve the performance of their urban systems.