TrUST - Transdisciplinarity for Urban Sustainability Transition - is a research project that aims at better understanding how to achieve more efficient and effective inter/trans-disciplinary research and education for urban sustainability transitions.


Basically, TrUST has two main inter/trans-disciplinary (ITD) focusing tracks:

  • one relates to ITD RESEARCH practices. We aim to exploring how urban research labs are currently working on sustainability transition via an ITD approach. To answer this track, a set of 30 semi-structured interviews within the member of the TrUST platform all over the world have been prepared with the help of sociologists, psychologists and ITD experts. These interviews will be carried out between September and December 2019. Results will be transcribed and analyses by a team of experts trying to scout barriers and triggers to ITD effective environments. A periodic report of the main outcome will be published on this website and on related social network pages along the forthcoming months.

  • one relates to ITD EDUCATION practices. To this extend, TrUST will host an international ITD workshop on the 17 and 18 February in synergy with the H2020 EU funded project SHAPE-ID ( We will analyse Inter/Trans-Disciplinary (ITD) educational models and approaches that support sustainable urban transformation, as research addressing SDG 4 – Quality education and SDG 11 – Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable along the Horizon 2020 European societal challenges.

The main goal is to bring people together who are interested in improving and innovating their own (and indeed others’) ITD perspectives, and who are currently or have recently been involved in EU-funded projects on issues relating the transformative education towards a global citizenship concept. The mission of this learning case workshop is to define a mastering process to choose innovative methods and tools that assure effective integration of the ITD educational practices into the concrete realisation of SDGs by all actors of an urban transformation. The purpose of the workshop is to define methods and tools that support transformative educational practices, to metabolise the concept of sustainability. It will be a writing workshop where selected participants will be contributors of a practical toolbox for developing the taxonomy of arts, social science and humanities (ASSH) integration modalities, to apply academic rigour to approaches to enhance ITD integration. This workshop also aims to build and maintain a network of stakeholder contacts to ensures the efficient transfer of ITD knowledge across TrUST and SHAPE-ID members.


Our Beginning

Contemporary urban challenges are characterised by increasing complexity and uncertainty. According to the objectives of its Strategic Plan, Politecnico di Torino, as well as many other universities, tried to take the opportunity to turn the interdisciplinary collaboration among different technological and scientific fields into something more systematic. The DIST and the many Interdepartmental Centers are examples of that, but still an effective collaboration and integration among people and disciplines is difficult to achieve.

Collaborative multi-stakeholder processes, especially when focused on wicked problems, face a number of key challenges. There is often contestation between different forms of knowledge, and thus different voices. This is often due to a lack of understanding, appreciation of and learning about the relevance and validity of different knowledge claims, approaches and definitions.


TrUST's objective is therefore to identify the synergies and differences in the current landscape of inter/trans-disciplinary (ITD) research and education strategies, methodologies and tools in academic urban labs framing the 17 SDGs.

Image credits: Jakob Kohlbrenner for INTREPID -

Image credits: Jakob Kohlbrenner for INTREPID -


Our Aim is threefold

- to review of the current literature describing tools and methodologies for ITD research and education practices

- to conduct a comparative analysis and field works within EU-World renown academic institutions working on global urban challenges within the Sustainable Development Goals strategic framework

- to perform a mapping exercise and capacity building activities inside the ITD landscape of POLITO members and the TrUST platform.


The broader trajectory within the TrUST project envisions the creation of a multi-disciplinary and multi-agent catalyst entity: TrUST will be both a virtual and a physical platform that aspires to increase the co-leadership of its strategic academic members within the overall DIST/POLITO/UNITO community and their international projection and partners, prompting local research and teaching responses of high socio-economic value for the competitive research funding schemes (Horizon 2020, Horizon Europe, Erasmus +, COST actions) along the SDG11 challenges.


Get Involved

If you are also working on how to achieve a better collaboration among disciplines within urban sustainability transition labs, join our project! We target mostly Researchers and Research Performing Organisations. We leverage on a network of +60 supporting partners, including the Green Team of Politecnico di Torino, and the Italian Association of Sustainable University (RUS), that we at Politecnico are heading for the next three years.