AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands - AkzoNobel has partnered with The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) - the business research arm of The Economist Group - to explore what makes urban areas sustainable and examine how cities can become more livable.

The EIU will engage with a team of thinkers and writers over the next few months, culminating in the distribution of a high-profile report in January 2015.

Showcased via a series of interviews and blogs on The EIU's thought leadership website, topics to be covered will include how to make transport more accessible, the benefits of empowering communities to improve their environment, learning how to integrate slums and assessing what can be done to make cities more age-friendly.

The aim of the cooperation is to bring together leading independent commentators from across the world and invite them to give their own views on how cities can better serve the people who live and work there.

AkzoNobel is already working to improving the world's urban areas through its Human Cities initiative, which is designed to address some of the key challenges of the 21st century.

Already published, the introductory EIU article stresses that "to appreciate and realize the value of people in a city means creating and designing environments where human interaction can thrive."

For more information about the partnership, visit

Contributors who will take part in the series include Founder of Exploration Architecture, Michael Pawlyn; Executive Director of LSE Cities, Philipp Rode; and CEO of Living PlanIT, Steve Lewis.

Respected around the globe, The EIU has a wealth of experience in helping business and industry understand how the world is changing and what opportunities and risks need to be taken into account.

This latest development builds on AkzoNobel's recent commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative, which established a partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation through its 100 Resilient Cities program.