The Future of Cities and Urban Sustainability (FoCUS)


Paul Joseph Coseo, PhD, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
Christopher G Boone, PhD, Arizona State University
Maria Cruz-Torres, PhD, Arizona State University
Mikhail Chester, PhD, Arizona State University
Celeste Connors, Hawai’i Green Growth


Interviews with leading urban researchers around the U.S. identified five substantial gaps in current urban research that impair our capacity to tackle urbanization and sustainability challenges. These gaps are: 1) limited knowledge about the specific complex system dynamics at play in cities and urban regions; 2) shortage of knowledge on new urban forms and spaces, such as urban corridors, networks, and teleconnections; 3) uncertainty on how best and most equitably to implement sustainable infrastructure in urban contexts and how to prioritize ongoing maintenance of cities; 4) a limited understanding of how cities can become more resilient to social, environmental, and technical changes in the face of uncertainty; and 5) inadequate comprehension of the underlying mechanisms behind urbanization as a process, what some have termed urbanization science, including
how to predict future urbanization patterns. These five gaps will serve as themes to organize the workshop. The workshop brings together academics and practitioners to discuss the future of cities and urban sustainability. Participants will discuss how investment in new approaches to infrastructure should inform sustainable urbanization as envisioned by various sustainability frameworks.

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