Understanding Global Urbanization and Environmental Change
With more than half the world’s population living in cities, urban areas are at the core of many global environmental change issues and their solutions. Through its funding of the International Human Dimensions Programme (IHDP), USGCRP supports the Urbanization and Global Environmental Change (UGEC) project, an international leader in research on the interactions and feedbacks between environmental change and urbanization at the local, regional, and global scales. UGEC provides a multidisciplinary forum for researchers to share expertise and address knowledge gaps, and emphasizes training and networking opportunities for early-career scholars and practitioners.
In 2013, UGEC contributed to the United Nations’ recent State of the World’s Cities report, which contended that urban prosperity could be enhanced by a stronger emphasis on environmental sustainability (among other factors), rather than maintaining a narrow focus on economic growth. Other UGEC efforts focused on specific countries and regions: for instance, UGEC researchers found that agricultural expansion associated with continued urbanization in China is likely to pressure the country’s land resources, while in Africa, urban greening is less advanced than in other regions but has the potential to address long-standing development, quality of life, environmental, and sustainability issues. UGEC’s coordination of urbanization and environmental change research represents an unparalleled platform for continuing to advance the understanding of these interconnected, policy-relevant global issues. To learn more, visit: http://goo.gl/eP6ONX