The project addresses a core problem in emerging economies of strengthening the urban engagement role of universities, and ways they contribute to developing sustainable cities in the context of the major social, cultural, environmental and economic challenges facing the global south. It uses a set of well-proven benchmarking tools as its principal method and seeks to strengthen the capacity of universities to contribute to city resilience towards natural and human-made disasters. Examples of urban engagement include supporting the development of physical infrastructure, ecological sustainability, and social inclusion (including of migrants). It calls upon contributions from science and engineering, the arts, environmental sciences, social sciences and business studies. It assesses the extent to which universities in 6 countries under study can respond to demands of society, and how through dialogue with city stakeholders this can be enhanced and impact on policy; it uses a collaborative team from the UK and emerging economies.