Regional Sustainability ›› 2022, Vol. 3 ›› Issue (1): 53-67.doi: 10.1016/j.regsus.2022.03.004

• Review Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Towards a sustainable campus-city relationship: A systematic review of the literature

Ahmed Mohammed Sayed MOHAMMEDa,b,*(), Tetsuya UKAIa, Michael HALLa   

  1. aDepartment of Design Strategy, Graduate School of Design, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, 819-0395, Japan
    bArchitectural Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, Assiut University, Assiut, 71515, Egypt
  • Received:2021-12-07 Revised:2022-03-05 Accepted:2022-03-28 Online:2022-03-30 Published:2022-05-13
  • Contact: Ahmed Mohammed Sayed MOHAMMED;


The relationship between a university and its city is considered strategical to achieve university targeted ambitions and visions. The university-city relationship is also encouraged for the benefit of the city, as universities unleash their respective cities’ potentials to act as driving forces not only for their local communities, but also for the whole nation. Therefore, maintaining a mutual relationship between the university and the city is considered essential to accomplish strategic goals for both. However, the nature of this relationship is quite complex, overlapped, interconnected, and diverse. Therefore, this paper conducted a systematic review of the literature on university-city and campus-city relationships to evaluate recent research trends to uncover the aspects that connect universities with their respective cities. The search included articles published in 4 different databases from January 1990 to January 2021. A total number of 50 articles were selected in this review. The findings uncovered different aspects that could help or hinder university-city relationship based on the physical and functional linkage between the campus and the city. Moreover, findings have shown that it is necessary to understand universities according to their contextual differences, as universities have shown different impacts on their respective cities in terms of their sizes and locations. Results have also shown that the impact of the physical connection between the university and the city goes far beyond campus’s accessibility as it deeply affects students’ social life as well. Therefore, decision makers, stakeholders, and university administrators need to co-design campus development process especially in the early stages to maximize the mutual benefits of campus-city relationship. The main conclusions of this paper address several perspectives and lessons for a more sustainable campus-city relationship.

Key words: Campus-city relationship, University-city relationship, University engagement, Stakeholders' partnership, Sustainability, Urbanization