Context and partners


The Urban Living Partnership aims to harness UK research and innovation strength to help cities realise a vision of healthy, prosperous and sustainable living. Funding from the Urban Living Partnership has been secured by a diverse consortium of partners in Leeds to deliver the TRUE project. This 18 month pilot project commences in October and will conclude in 2017– with a presentation of research results to other successful sites (York, Birmingham, Newcastle and X).





Cities in the UK face a complex array of social and demographic challenges from inequality, crime, housing shortages, infrastructure congestion, carbon dependency, environmental degradation, and low skills. Local governments are working to address these against a background of prolonged financial austerity, increased demand for high quality services and electoral disengagement.

Increasingly partners from across the public, private and third sectors are working together to tackle complex issues; however often the impact of these efforts is limited by;

  • A lack of clear accountability for leadership of a project;
  • Poor collective understanding of priorities and requirements;
  • A poor understanding at initiation phase of the feasibility of delivery;
  • Weak governance structures and performance management.



Breakthrough projects

  • Understanding of the complexity of their particular landscape and current and required capability
  • Clear, meaningful vision indicative of desired future state
  • Foundations for successful delivery- benefiting from a programme of enhancements which build capability with realistic transition and lead times.

Leeds partnership consortium

  • Ability to allocate fund with increased confidence and reduced risk
  • Exportable TRUE approach
  • Unlocking opportunity for new delivery approaches
  • Aligning with national agenda to ‘Routemap’

Local communities and universities

  • Embedding value from new ways of working
  • Higher levels of confidence and engagement
  • Facilitating transferrable practice




Breakthrough projects + Routemap methodology = TRUE project

The Routemap tool was developed nationally for use in large-scale infrastructure projects. This diagnostic framework asks partners a range of questions at the project initiation phase to ascertain the complexity of issues and capacity within an urban system.

The TRUE project will apply this methodology to three breakthrough projects in Leeds. These citywide multi-agency projects

  • Strong communities benefiting from a strong city
  • Tackling domestic violence and abuse
  • A vibrant city centre that all can benefit from

are illustrative of the complex issues faced by partners in the urban environment.

This process is designed to support partners to recognise gaps and consider how capability is enhanced where complexity-capability gaps and other areas of misalignment are identified and creates space for partners to agree ‘enhancements’ which most effectively address the gaps.