December 11, 2020
Data Science for Co-Producing Resilient Urban Futures
The scale, pace and intensity of human activity on the planet has fundamentally altered multiple earth systems and demands radical departures from the status quo to remain within planetary boundaries and achieve sustainability. Urbanization has become one of the dominant drivers of global environmental change, yet cities are also the locations most at risk from multiple hazards due to high concentrations of people, infrastructure, and economies. How can we reframe the dominant dystopian narrative of urban futures and demonstrate how systems level transformation can be initiated? This presentation will provide examples of how positives visions of resilient urban futures can be coproduced, analyzed, and visualized to open the door to new, more radical, and urgently needed systems-based policy, planning, design, and management approaches. The presentation will discuss the role of advances in data science including coupling AI and spatial modeling, cloud computing, and data visualization in science coproduction.
Dr. Timon McPhearson is an urban ecologist with expertise in urban data science and nature-based solutions for urban resilience and sustainability. He is Director of the Urban Systems Lab and Associate Professor of Urban Ecology at The New School in New York City. He is a Senior Research Fellow at The Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and Associate Research Fellow at Stockholm Resilience Centre. As an IPCC Lead Author he focuses on urban adaptation and resilience in cities. In 2019 he was awarded the Sustainability Science Award and the Innovation in Sustainability Science Award by the Ecological Society of America. He has published over 100 articles, books, book chapters, and scholarly articles including in scientific journals (Nature, Nature Climate Change, Nature Sustainability, BioScience), books (e.g. Urban Planet), popular press (The Nature of Cities), and is widely covered in the press (e.g. The New York Times, The Guardian, The Nation, New York Times Magazine, CityLab, Urban Omnibus, and more). He co-leads the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) funded projects “Urban Resilience to Extreme Weather Related Events” Sustainability Research Network (UREx SRN) in the US and Latin America, the NATURA network on “Nature-based Solutions for Urban Resilience in the Anthropocene,” and the Convergence project “Converging social, ecological, and technological infrastructure systems (SETS) for urban resilience.”