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Special Announcement: UGEC Viewpoints Blog

UGEC Viewpoints






For the past seven years, The Urbanization and Global Environmental Change (UGEC) Project has sought to communicate the latest in urban GEC research, practice, and collaborations through its journal publication, UGEC Viewpoints. We are proud of the work that was done on those issues and are thrilled to have had the opportunity to publish so many important articles on GEC research. We would especially like to thank Suzanne Landtiser of Fineline Studio, the graphic designer who has put so many hours of hard work into giving Viewpoints its signature look. However, after a run of ten issues, we have decided to discontinue this publication in its current form.

In its place, the UGEC International Project Office has decided to undertake a new venture: the UGEC Viewpoints blog ( It will feature many of the same kinds of articles as before, but we will also be branching out into new types as well, including opinion pieces, roundtables, and a few others that we’ll keep under wraps for now. We hope that this blog will be of interest not only to UGEC researchers, scholars and stakeholders, but to the general public as well. We will work with our writers to ensure that these articles are accessible, insightful, visual, and continue the tradition of bringing new and exciting GEC research to a wider audience.

Click here for more information

ICSU Seeking New Executive Director

The International Council for Science (ICSU) is seeking an Executive Director, to lead implementation of the strategic goals and plans of the organization, manage its Secretariat and oversee day-to-day operations.

Location: Paris, France

The Executive Director is expected to:

  • Act to achieve ICSU’s mission, strategy and plans, and contribute to their formulation and development;
  • Work with and seek synergy and harmony among all components of the ICSU membership: Scientific Unions, National Members and Interdisciplinary Bodies;
  • Ensure effective links between ICSU and partners in the UN, governmental and non-governmental sectors and help raising funds in support of ICSU’s programmes;
  • Manage the ICSU Secretariat and its staff in Paris and the Regional Offices around the world.

Interested candidates should request a more detailed job description by writing in confidence to the Secretary General at with ‘ED query’ in the subject line.

Applicants are requested to address the job description, qualifications, knowledge and skills requirements in a cover letter and attach a curriculum vitae with the name and contact details of three referees. Applications (preferably in one combined PDF file) should be sent via email, with ‘ED application’ in the subject line, to Please indicate where you saw this job advertisement.

The closing date for applications is 11 August 2014 (midnight CET).

Click here for more information

UPDATE: UGEC to attend the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals this January

UPDATE:  A video of the side-event is now available online on UN Web TV:   Understanding Integrated Urban Challenges: Science and Indicators 

One of the main outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012, was the agreement by Member States to launch a process to develop a set of sustainable development goals (SDGs) which are to follow the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) post 2015. The Seventh Session of the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will take place in New York City from January 6-10, 2014 and (SDGs) will address:

– Sustainable cities and human settlements, sustainable transport
– Sustainable consumption and production (including chemicals and waste)
– Climate change and disaster risk reduction

UGEC will take part in a Side Event, organized by ICSU, ‘Understanding Integrated Urban Challenges’ (see [PDF] Flyer). The Full Background Document is also available here [Download PDF] which provides key UGEC messages for Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements in the SDGs.

Symposium | Urban Integration 2014

The members of COST Action TU0902 (Integrated Assessment for Urban Sustainability) are delighted to announce a symposium on Urban Integration 2014, which will take place 6-7th March 2014 in Sheffield, UK.

This two day symposium will explore how state of the art approaches to integrated assessment are helping understand the complexity of urban areas and assist in the implementation of integrated strategies which typically seek to reconcile urban concerns such as energy, transportation demand, land-use planning, construction of new civil infrastructure and governance.

Professor Richard Dawson (COST Action Chair, Newcastle University & Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research), Professor Annemie Wyckmans (NTNU, Norway) and Dr. Stephen Dobson (Sheffield Hallam University), Dr. Oliver Heidrich (Newcastle University) and Dr. Jonathan Koehler (Fraunhofer Institute) will present key results from the COST Action.

In addition to a number of other invited talks on the theme of urban integration, we are extremely privileged to be joined by three outstanding keynote speakers:
+ Professor Chris Kennedy (University of Toronto) – Sustainable Infrastructure Group and a leading authority on urban metabolism
+ Professor Christoph Reinhart (MIT) – Works in the field of sustainable building design and environmental modeling and leads the MIT Sustainable Design Lab
+ Professor Gerhard Schmitt (ETH Zurich) – Leads the development of the Simulation Platform for the Future Cities Laboratory, and is a Founding Director of the Singapore-ETH Centre

Registration, and more information, on this exciting event is now open.

New publication in the journal ‘Urban Climate’

This publication examines the extent to which literature conveys any evidence for Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture and Poverty (UPAF) playing a role in mediating the effects of climate/environmental change.  This article is a product from an awarded 2011 START grant for Global Environmental Change Research in Africa, ‘The Role of Urban and Peri-Urban Agriculture in Enhancing Food Security and Climate Change Resilience in East and West African Cities‘.

Lwasa, S., Mugagga, F., Wahab, B., Simon, D., Connors, J., & Griffith, C. (In Press). Urban and peri-urban agriculture and forestry: transcending poverty alleviation to climate change mitigation and adaptation. Urban Climate.

Vacancy: Executive Director of the ICSU-IAMP Urban Health and Wellbeing Programme

The International Council for Science (ICSU) and Inter-Academy Medical Panel (IAMP) invite applications for the post of Executive Director for a new interdisciplinary research programme – “Health and Wellbeing in the Changing Urban Environment: a Systems Analysis Approach”.

An International Programme Office (IPO) is being established at the Institute of Urban Environment (IUE) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Xiamen, China. This is an exciting opportunity for the right person to head the IPO and provide academic leadership for the implementation of the programme.

Applications should be addressed to Dr Carthage Smith, Deputy Executive Director, ICSU and submitted (with ‘UH IPO Director’ as the subject line) to The closing date for applications is 18 January, 2014.

Click here to read more.

Final report of the Future Earth Transition Team published

Future Earth report

Future Earth has just published the final report of the Transition Team, the group of experts that led the initial design of the research initiative on global sustainability.

The team comprised seventeen members from a wide range of disciplines and countries, and also included ex-officio members representing the main partners of the Science and Technology Alliance for Global Sustainability.

Co-chaired by Johan Rockström and Diana Liverman, the team proposed a vision for integrated and solutions-oriented research that can support a transformation towards global sustainability over the coming decade. The report sets out the initial design of Future Earth, comprising a research framework and governance structure, preliminary reflections on communication and engagement, capacity-building and education strategies, and implementation guidelines.

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Call for expressions of interest to host the LOICZ International Project Office

This call invites an internationally active coastal research institution which pursues an explicit global sustainability agenda to come forward as a host for the International project office (IPO) of the Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone (LOICZ) programme. LOICZ is a core project of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) and the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP), both of whom will become part of Future Earth. Diverse and potentially substantial benefits can be realized by a host able to commit resources for a successful transition of current LOICZ into the coastal element of the emerging new global sustainability research agenda. The call is available through their website. Deadline: 15th November 2013

Future Earth interim Engagement Committee announced

Future Earth announced today the establishment of an interim Engagement Committee with seven members who will work on connecting Future Earth science with society.

Robert Watson will chair the committee, which will provide strategic guidance to Future Earth on how to engage stakeholders and ensure that the Future Earth science agenda is informed by user perspectives. It will also work on the establishment of the permanent Engagement Committee.

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