"Towards sustainable cities and communities" will be exploring local transformations in the face of global challenges. The project is also known as "TOWARDS".
This project is a part of NMBUs Sustainability Arenas 2021- 2024.
TOWARDS supports the transformation of cities and communities towards socially just and sustainable futures. Complex global challenges like climate change, COVID-19 and rapid urbanisation bring into stark relief the deeper health and well-being dimensions of sustainable development, including social belonging, everyday interactions, and the environmental quality of local surroundings.
However, rising polarization, crises of legitimacy and social inequalities highlight the ethical and equity dilemmas inherent in any practical solutions aimed at sustainability transformations.
TOWARDS fosters interdisciplinary co-learning regarding transformations towards sustainable development in cities and settlements, through:
Through these experiments and analyses, we bring into dialogue the development contradictions and dilemmas inherent in sustainability transformations. Innovating to support local transformations also requires transforming how we conduct research and teach, including a closer integration between research, education and public engagement. For this purpose, TOWARDS serves as a thinktank that opens up space for deliberation between researchers, students, civil society and public and private sectors actors. Activities are empirically grounded in 5 illustrative cases provided by existing research and education projects. These develop interdisciplinary research questions in the interface between locally lived experiences and global complex challenges. Experimentation with blue-green infrastructure (redesign and management of outdoor areas) is carried out by the Landscape Lab at the NMBU campus site and extended to a site in Viken fylkeskommune; in addition, comparative and global perspectives are provided by an arctic site (Nikel, Russia), an Asia site (Kathmandu, Nepal), and an Africa site (Kitui, Kenya). Field visits and meetings centered on the illustrative cases form a knowledge base and dialog platform for innovating interdisciplinary research and education.
Funded as part of NMBUs sustainability arenas
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