Human-Environment Relations in Urban Systems

At the Laboratory on Human-Environment Relations in Urban Systems (HERUS), we design innovative concepts and tools on how to integrate knowledge from both the social as well as the natural sciences in order to measure, analyze, interpret and optimize human-environment interactions in urban areas.

Human-Environment Relations in Urban Systems

Society is in transition at global, national, regional and city scale. In this transition, cities, as the central places of human activity in the 21st century, will play a key role. More than half of the global population already lives in urban areas, and following projections of the United Nations, this share will grow to 70% in 2050. Urban areas will be key arenas for the push towards more sustainable ways of living. While cities are the focal points of major environmental and social problems, they also contain the tangible and intangible resources which allow a transition towards more sustainable livelihoods to be imaginable: educated people, powerful institutions and material wealth. A key question in this context is how can resources in the urban system be used to support the transition to sustainability, and what is precisely required at a societal, institutional, and individual level.

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