ASU professor creates international network to develop nature-inspired solutions for sustainable and resilient cities in the face of extreme weather events
Large cities are facing an increase in the frequency and magnitude of extreme events. As these conditions worsen, new solutions must emerge, whether they concern, for example, New York, which is in the grip of rising sea levels, aggravated by coastal storms, Arizona, which faces extreme heat and flooding threatening urban centres in Phoenix, or a massive slum in a large city in Africa and the challenges it poses. To address these issues more effectively, and in an effort to bring together expertise on these themes, Professor Nancy Grimm of Arizona State University (ASU) will lead an international effort to develop new solutions for urban resilience. She and her co-principal investigator Timon McPherson, director of the Urban Systems Lab at the New School in New York City, have been awarded a new $2 million, five-year grant funded by the National Science Foundation. Their goal is to link networks around the world working on these themes of sustainable and resilient cities.
They are developing NATURA for “Nature-based solutions for Urban Resilience in the Anthropocene”, a network project linking 26 networks in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America and Latin America with the aim of increasing relationships between researchers and professionals across borders and creating a space for knowledge exchange, data sharing and ultimately improving communication between research disciplines. The solutions will have to be based on nature and its teachings, and will combine environmental, social and technological solutions.
This project builds on previous work at the Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Netowork (URExSRN), whose project, led by ASU Associate Professor Mikhail Chester, has also been awarded $3.5 million over five years to create platforms for the development of resilient urban infrastructure systems.
These funding demonstrate an interest in developing cutting-edge strategies for cities to strengthen their urban infrastructure against the extreme weather events they are likely to face in the 21st century.
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