Roundtable: Next Generation Research on Sustainable Urban Systems: An Advisory Committee Report to the US National Science Foundation
(Sustainable Urban and Metropolitan Development)

Thursday, July 19, 2018: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
Building 3, Room 209 (ITAM)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Roundtable Moderators:  Samuel Tabory, University of Minnesota
Speakers:  Anu Ramaswami, University of Minnesota, Stephanie Pincetl, University of California, Los Angeles, Varun Rai, University of Texas, Austin and Diana Perez, Merida Municipal Government

In 1950, fewer than one-third of the world's people lived in cities. By 2050, urban areas will be home to some two-thirds of Earth's human population. This scale and pace of urbanization has never been seen in human history and requires a new type of science that transcends traditional disciplines and that intentionally links from intra-urban to urban-regional to global scales. No single discipline, from urban planning to public policy to engineering has the scope to address this challenge. Scientists need new data, methods and theories to assess the interactions among people, policy, infrastructure, technologies, governance institutions, and natural systems to understand urban to global system functions and change. 

Responding to this landscape, the Advisory Committee on Environmental Research and Education to the US National Science Foundation (NSF) has released a report articulating a long term research agenda for the next generation of sustainable urban systems research. The report seeks to provide a long term vision to guide NSF and other funding agencies as they invest in new science and science-to-action partnerships moving from an exclusive focus on cities to a focus on sustainable urban systems. The roundtable will engage urban practitioners and the APPAM community to react to this vision. How should the academic community think about teaching, research, inter-disciplinarity, and knowledge co-production to achieve this vision? How should practitioners and policymakers engage with academia to make this vision work for the public good?