SMUS

Global Center of Spatial Methods for Urban Sustainability

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The Global Center of Spatial Methods for Urban Sustainability (SMUS or GCSMUS) is one of 12 Excellence Centers for Exchange and Development (exceed), funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) via the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

SMUS, with its coordination base at the Technische Universität Berlin, connects close to 50 partners from eight world regions. Focusing on some of the most pressing issues related to Sustainable Development Goal #11 of the Agenda 2030, Sustainable Cities and Communities, the center works at developing transdisciplinary spatial methods by bringing together research methods from various spatial disciplines, such as sociology, geography, humanities, architecture, urban planning and design and transportation planning.

The center is organised as a peer-learning process. Our goal is twofold: to advance excellence in academic education across the spatial disciplines and to bridge the gap between research and planning practice by furthering evidence-based and low-impact urban development (LIUD). To achieve this, SMUS urges the production, teaching and exchange of a more contextualised spatial practice and knowledge and sees this approach as a precondition to lessening social inequality and increasing social, ecological and economic sustainability in cities and communities around the globe.

SMUS Actions

The center’s main activities revolve around the advancement of five interconnected actions:

SMUS Global Network

SMUS takes a peer-learning approach to advance the academic discourse on spatial methods for urban sustainability and to bridge disciplinary and implementation gaps. The center strives to establish an expansive international network of scholars and practitioners and serve as a platform by facilitating dialogue and collaboration in research, teaching and planning practice.

South-South cooperation lies at the heart of our key objectives, and the majority of our close to 50 partners are based in the Global South. Our long-term goal is to have the network become autonomous, with network partners continuing to collaborate with one another beyond the life of this project. At the same time, we aim for the network to become integrated into existing international networks that focus on social science methodology and spatiality.

We invite you to use this interactive map and click on the circles to locate SMUS partners in various world regions.