Center for Environmental Science Applications (CESA)Finding solutions to sustainability challenges by linking ideas, people and resources
Comparative Urban Genetics:
Towards a Common Methodology for
Pragmatic Analysis of Cities
University College London
Cities are where most people live and work; most innovation takes place; most pollution and wealth are generated; and most vulnerability to climate change occurs. Finding an equitable way to bring urban consumption into better balance with available resources would greatly help society meet global sustainability goals.
Today’s cities are laboratories and their leaders are researchers in the new science of urban sustainability. But in contrast to traditional lab sciences like physics or biology, the results of urban experiments are generally not compiled, published or compared. City managers, politicians, and residents tend to see their problems as unique; sharing of lessons learned among cities has been relatively rare.
To help fill this gap, we plan to bring together a select group of representatives of city and regional governments, businesses that deal in urban services and design, NGOs that work on urban issues in developing and developed countries, and academic researchers that take a comprehensive view of urban systems. This group will begin to create a methodology for The Comparative Genetics of Cities, an approach that assumes that if we could fully delineate all shared urban traits, we would discover patterns and pathways toward curing urban ills that currently remain hidden.
How can urban decision-making be transformed by new datasets and analysis tools?
Can cataloguing and classifying urban traits help city leaders learn from each other?
Which tools are most appropriate and useful for which stages of urban development?
How can we build multi-sector (corporate, gov’t, NGO, academic) urban partnership?
Download Phoenix and London Comparison Datasets - Will install and launch GIS program JEarth (works on any operating system but requires Java 6 to be installed): http://jmars.mars.asu.edu/
View videos of datasets in JEarth:
Urban Heat Island and Vegetation in Phoenix and London: http://www.vimeo.com/11852707
Urban Agriculture and Socioeconomics in Phoenix: http://www.vimeo.com/11852707