The Urban Systems Lab is an interdisciplinary research, design and practice space at The New School focused on improving life in cities where most of us live.

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Our interdisciplinary scholarship examines the social, ecological, and technical-infrastructure system (SETs) interactions that drive persistent patterns and challenges in cities.  Our goal is that by studying and visualizing SETs dynamics we hope to provide new insight into opportunities for supporting wellbeing of human and non-human species for planning and designing more equitable, resilient and sustainable cities. Rapidly expanding urbanization, biodiversity loss, and climate change pose potentially dramatic implications for the wellbeing of urban residents and the natural systems they depend on. Our research, from theory to practice, aims to reveal and support the social-ecological-technical system processes that together drive everyday experiences in cities and urban areas. We use both empirical (e.g. “Big Data” analysis, field experiments, spatial methods, scenario modeling) and theoretical approaches (social-ecological systems and resilience theory) as well as cutting-edge data visualization to advance urban systems research and practice. 

Our research spans a variety of urban systems research areas, including:

  • Urban resilience
  • Climate change adaptation and nature-based solutions
  • Social-ecological-technical systems analysis and modeling
  • Urban land use planning
  • Social equity and environmental justice
  • Sustainable urban futures and scenarios
  • Urban biodiversity and ecosystem services
  • Urban ecosystem structure and functioning

See our "Projects" page for information on our current research and our "Dataviz" page for examples of our design work.


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