Since 01.01.2020, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is funding the “Global Center of Spatial Methods for Urban Sustainability” (GCSMUS) via the DAAD program “Higher Education Excellence in Development Cooperation – exceed”. GCSMUS is based at Technische Universität Berlin (Germany) and connects 48 institutional partners from 48 countries and 8 world regions.
The center aims at developing transdisciplinary spatial methods in order to improve both the academic education in the spatial disciplines and planning practice via evidence-based and low-impact urban development (LIUD). The center will enable scholars to get in contact with methodologists from various disciplines all over the world and to deepen discussions with researchers from various methodological angles. Amongst others, we want to discuss issues such as spatial methods, cross-cultural methods and issues of comparability, decolonizing social science methodology, methods for the Global South, methodological issues relevant for specific world regions (e.g. Africa, America, Asia, Europe), applied research methods on urban design, urban planning, traffic planning and environmental planning, arts- and design-based methods, interdisciplinary and collaborative research methods, methods for values research, global wellbeing and sustainability, big data and cross-disciplinary research.
The thematic focus of the center’s work will focus on the Sustainable Development Goal #11 of the Agenda 2030 to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. SDG # 11 addresses all dimensions of sustainability namely:
‒ social sustainability by reducing poverty, spatial segregation and social inequality on various dimensions (e.g. class, gender, race/ethnicity, age and disability)
‒ economic sustainability by overcoming economic exclusion, creating career and business opportunities for all income groups and building resilient societies and economies
‒ ecological sustainability by reducing negative environmental impacts of cities, by reducing the negative impact of disasters and climate change on cities and by protecting and safeguarding the world’s natural and cultural heritage.
SDG #11 in particular aims at giving access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing, green and public spaces, transport system as well as basic services (such as water, food, electricity, sanitation, waste deposal, internet, heating and/or cooling, clean air, education, work/jobs, health care, leisure activities and sports
In order to achieve these goals, the center is organized as a peer-learning process and will implement several strategic Actions between 2020 and 2024. While some of the center’s activities are for GCSMUS-member-institutions only, many activities such as international conferences, workshops as well as other events and funding opportunities are open also to non-members.
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If you have any other inquiries on the center, please kindly contact the GCSMUS Office by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org