Today, more than half of the world’s population lives in cities. It is clear that the development of urban areas holds the key to many of the challenges we face in our interactions with the environment. This core project of the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP) puts emphasis on global environmental change, both as a driver and outcome of economic, political, cultural, social, and physical processes in urban areas. In this way, urbanization is viewed as both endogenous and exogenous to global environmental change, and are therefore approached as tightly coupled.

The Urbanization and Global Environmental Change (UGEC) IHDP core project seeks to provide a better understanding of the interactions and feedbacks between global environmental change and urbanization at the local, regional, and global scales. To capture the benefits of urbanization and mitigate as well as adapt to negative environmental and socioeconomic impacts, a stronger collaboration between academics, political decision-makers and practitioners is needed. This includes a broad range of local, national, and regional actors working on urban and environmental issues. The core project on urbanization provides a platform for the development of innovative conceptual and methodological frameworks for this endeavor. In the last few years, UGEC became a platform for a coordinated network of professionals in this area of research to exchange experiences and knowledge. It facilitates co-operation within and among various world regions with respect to theories, models and methods, state policies and local initiatives related to urbanization and global environmental change. As urbanization represents a topic of special policy relevance in today’s world, the UGEC core project represents an unrivaled opportunity for addressing critical issues of worldwide importance that have not received adequate attention so far.

The UGEC IPO is hosted by the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability (GIOS) at Arizona State University and is financially supported by ASU, IHDP, and the U.S. National Science Foundation.

NSFThe material on this website is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0619905.