12 May, 2022
08 April, 2022
19 March, 2022
Call for Papers: Special Issue "Urban Science and the Future of Sustainable Urban Systems"
Summary of issue:
Humanity’s success in addressing the related challenges of climate change, sustainability, poverty alleviation and shared prosperity will be largely determined by what happens in cities. “Urban science” is now a well-defined field that is examining a shared set of phenomena across many disciplines, developing common theoretical ideas and analytical methods, treating cities and urbanization in a unified way across the globe and history. Urban areas are multifaceted entities, involving biological, social, economic, infrastructural, and cultural aspects. Individual cities, furthermore, are part of regional, national and international cities’ and regions’ systems comprising interdependent urban and rural areas and every community category between urban and rural.
This special issue aims at advancing the integration of insights long accumulated from research on cities and urban phenomena by various academic fields, and those being generated by the new field of urban science, in order to highlight current explanatory strengths and identify needed new research to better understand urbanization and sustainable urban development.
“Urban science” seeks to understand the fundamental processes that drive, shape and sustain cities and urbanization. It is a multi/transdisciplinary approach involving concepts, methods and research from the social, natural, engineering and computational sciences, along with the humanities. Urban science goes further than simply stating that cities are “complex", explaining in what they are complex, by questioning the interactions between different levels of factors and why in some places they interact differently than in others. The complexity approach enlightens the different levels of forces that can explain the uneven diffusion speeds, reactions and consequences in different cities. These interactions are “universal” but take forms that are fitting to the local conditions affecting spatial and temporal scales and levels.
If “Urban science” aims at a fundamental understanding of the processes that shape and sustain cities, the ultimate applied objective of this body of knowledge must be to help create global urban sustainable systems. The website of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America describes sustainability science as “. . .an emerging field of research dealing with the interactions between natural and social systems, and with how those interactions affect the challenge of sustainability: meeting the needs of present and future generations while substantially reducing poverty and conserving the planet’s life support systems.” Nowhere are these interactions more intense, stark, concentrated and consequential than in urban areas. “Urban sustainability” at the moment remains more a collection of methods and aspirations than a science (Waldrop, 2019). The ecological, energetic, physical, biological and social aspects of cities need to be integrated into a consistent theory, but one that grounds the treatment of cities as social systems embedded in physical and biological networks. We echo the call made in 2018 by the National Science Foundation of the USA for the development of a field of urban sustainability science that seeks to study the various opportunities and challenges that cities, urbanization and urban systems pose for the transition to sustainable and equitable socioeconomic development.
Technological and social developments have combined (intentionally but also as unintended consequences) to generate unprecedented amounts of data concerning what people (individuals and organizations) do when they agglomerate in cities. To some, this “big data” revolution, seemed to hold the promise of more effective urban management. But experience has reminded us, once again, that data — even enormous amounts — without associated theory to interrogate and make sense of it, does not generate predictive insights. At the same time that “urban big data” was capturing the imagination of urbanists and city managers, another intellectual movement that we refer to as “Urban science” was taking shape. A number of streams came together in this new approach to a long-standing area of inquiry: the increasing availability of diverse urban data; the realization that the city should be treated as its own unit of study (Romer); a revival of Jacobs’ view of the city as a “complex system”; the flowering of work on network science; and the growing importance of multi-disciplinarity.
By this special issue, we seek to advance the capacity of “Urban Science” to contribute to the development of urban sustainability science, and even ask whether the two emerging fields of research are in effect the same. We propose to examine a shared set of phenomena across many disciplines, developing common theoretical ideas and analytical methods, addressing cities urbanization in unified ways (but adapted on local situations) across the globe, across history, and working towards a common set of goals. A common starting point for the varied efforts that are now bundled up as “Urban Science” is the recognition, well-articulated by Paul Romer, that the city deserves, and can be treated, as its own unit of analysis. As cities and urban communities will bear the brunt of the effects of climate change and adapting to climate change, how can urban science and urban sustainability science help cities adapt to climate change?
We welcome submissions exemplifying interdisciplinary frameworks and utilizing a variety of methods such as the spatial statistics, network models, comparative historical analyses, information theory, dynamical systems, multi-agent models and econometric analyses. Authors are encouraged to address questions about the drivers and consequences of urbanization throughout history, the role of technology in urbanization, the diminished importance of transportation costs and the effect on urban occupations of the rise of digital communications, the relationship between urban development and inequality, and the relationship between urban sustainability, adaptivity and resilience. The papers are expected to formulate hypotheses and pose ambitious questions — but also to engage with why many of the questions posed by “Urban Science” are difficult to answer. Contributions to the special issue should also address the potential and urgency in researchers collaborating with varied stakeholders (including organizations representing the urban poor) in order to co-produce knowledge which is both scientifically rigorous and capable of informing decisions and policymaking.
Keywords: Urban science, Urban Sustainability Science, Cities, Systems of cities, Urbanization, Complex systems, Resilience
CONTACT: email@example.com and/or firstname.lastname@example.org
07 March, 2022
In addition, the European Migration Network Luxembourg has published information for arrivals to Luxembourg and residents of Luxembourg who want to help. These concern legal issues, protection status, medical assistance -- the pandemic, "It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over" (Das Coronavirus Update, DE) -- and how to host arrivals or assist in transportation.
"All Luxembourg residents who have offered or are offering to host Ukrainian nationals in their homes are invited to contact the Hotline managed by Caritas and the Red Cross with the support of the Ministry of Family, Integration and the Greater Region on +352 621 796 780 or by email at Ukraine@zesummeliewen.lu.
For consular questions for people trying to leave Ukraine or in transit from Ukraine, it is recommended to send an email to the address of the consular assistance of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs: email@example.com, or to call +352 2478 2386.
In view of the numerous private initiatives to organise transport to pick up Ukrainian nationals at Ukraine’s borders, the Ministry urges anyone planning such transport to send all information to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ministry strongly recommends that information be obtained before organising such private transport as reception, accommodation and medical measures must be provided in order to receive these people, in many cases traumatised, in the best possible conditions."
04 March, 2022
Wiederholungsfall: Zweiter Termin Bürgerinformation „mobilitéitsplang.vdl.lu“
Befunde und Problemkreise
Mobilität und Verkehr als Funktionssystem
Von friedlicher Ko-Existenz und heroic engineering
Zu welchem Ende partizipativ?
03 March, 2022
The Deanery of our Faculty for Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHES) provided a list of websites and bank account informations for helping people in Ukraine and neighbour countries now. Kudos to our colleagues, particularly Robert Harmsen and Josip Glaurdic from the Dept of Social Sciences.
This list is about to be expanded further. Please help, solidarity needed.
Bank account: IBAN LU52 1111 0000 1111 0000 (reference: “Urgence Ukraine”)
2) Caritas Luxembourg
Bank account IBAN LU34 1111 0000 2020 0000 (reference: "Crise en Ukraine")
Online at: https://www.caritas.lu/en/make-donation
3) LUkraine asbl (Ukrainian Community in Luxembourg)
4) Médecins sans frontières: Luxembourg Emergency fund for Ukraine & Neighbors
Bank account: BGL BNP PARIBAS LU480030339600421000 BIC : BGLLLULL
Online at: https://unicef.org
Online at: https://my.care.org/
8) Ukraine Red Cross
Online at: https://redcross.org.ua/en/donate/
9) International Medical Corps
Online at: https://give.internationalmedicalcorps.org/
10) SOS Villages d’Enfants Monde
Bank account: IBAN LU65 1111 0050 0053 0000 (reference: “Urgence Ukraine 2022”)
Online at: www.sosve.lu
11) Nova Ukraine
Online at: https://novaukraine.org/
12) Scholars at Risk
27 February, 2022
03 February, 2022
Organized in cooperation with the ETH's Department of Architecture (D-ARCH) and the INURA Common Office in Zurich, the Urban Group at the Department of Geography and Spatial Planning, University of Luxembourg, is pleased to announce that, the 30th annual conference of the International Network of Urban Research and Action (INURA) will be taking place in Luxembourg, June 25-29, 2022
The conference website is currently under construction. Information will be posted there shortly.
Feel free to contact the organizing committee at email@example.com
29 January, 2022
European Financial Centres in Transition
On the other hand, COVID-19 acts as a centrifugal force, with strong evidence suggesting that the cumulative impacts of telecommuting, firm restructuring, long-distance commuting, and firm decentralisation are likely to cause de-agglomeration. Within Europe, a recent EU report found that while only 15% of employees had teleworked before the pandemic, 25% of jobs were ‘teleworkable’ (Fana et al., 2020). Of the EU member states, Luxembourg has the highest proportion of jobs fit for telework (Fana et al., 2020). Similar patterns have emerged in the United States, where cities such as Austin, Texas, and Boise, Idaho, have absorbed a large number of Silicon Valley firms and workers, many of whom may never re-turn to the office. In Europe, further decentralisation is possible if banks’ back-office staff are permanently dislocated from central offices.
Our research programme
The nature of commercial property has changed considerably with a pivot to teleworking, larger floorplates (allowing for distancing) and the requirements of global firms whose foot-print extends far beyond the walls of their offices. Residential property has also been brought into sharper relief, with a greater preference for working from home, meaning that proximity to urban centres is potentially less important than space. This may affect small-but-global financial centres more significantly than global metropolises.
Based on a combination of empirical data, extensive stake-holder interviews and focus group meetings, we interrogate which changes may play out in each market’s property sector, and how these relate to both global and industry trends. Finally, given the importance of regulation, the project concludes by investigating how policymakers and urban planners have responded to these multiple crises and their significance for urban policies and planning.
28 January, 2022
by Desmond Bast, Constance Carr, Karinne Madron, Ahmad Mafaz Syrus
This is the first publication resulting from Carr's FNR funded project entitled, “Digital urban development - How large digital corporations shape the field of urban governance, (DIGI-GOV),” (C20/SC/14691212/DIGI-GOV).