The Center for Sustainable Communities presents:
Sustainable Urban Systems: Interlinkages, Innovations and Transitions
Dr. Xuemei Bai
Fenner School of Environment & Society, Australian National University
Rapid urbanization is a major contemporary societal trend with profound environmental impacts, and cities are considered as the battleground for sustainability. There is a growing consensus that cities are a complex, self-organizing, adaptive and constantly evolving system, with multiple actors and interlinked physical, social, and economic processes, all embedded within broader ecological, technical, economic and governance contexts. The hype- connectivity among cities, and between cities and their local, regional and global hinterlands, through the flows of people, resources, products, emissions, finance, information, knowledge, etc, also points to the need to study the system of cities. The COVID19 pandemic revealed the risks and the opportunities of building a networked functional resilience based on such interlinkages within and across cities. This talk presents some theoretical and empirical advances in urban systems research, both within the city and across cities, and explores the role of cities in sustainability experiments, broadening and upscaling innovation, and achieving sustainability transition.
Xuemei Bai is a Distinguished Professor of Urban Environment and Human Ecology at the Fenner School of Environment and Society. Her research focuses on the science and policy of rapid urbanization and urban system sustainability, including understanding the structure, function and processes of urban social ecological systems; the drivers and impacts of urbanization, evolution of urban systems; urban metabolism, climate change and cities; urban sustainability experiments/transformation and system innovation; and more recently on Anthropocene futures. She has authored/co-authored over 100 academic publications, including several in Nature and Science.