Global Center of Spatial Methods for Urban Sustainability

SMUS Highlight-Video!

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“….we are not just learning from, but we are also learning with each other”

Prof. Gabriel Faimau, GCSMUS Lead Partner and Action Speaker, University of Botswana

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 INDIA 2023 – Photos & Videos

Get an insight into the SMUS India 2023 conference by clicking through the photo galleries. You can also access the keynote speeches as well as the Inaugural and Closing Ceremonies by clicking on the respective YouTube links.
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SMUS India 2023 – Conference Report

This report provides an overview of the SMUS Conference India 2023 which was simultaneously the “3rd RC33 Regional Conference Asia: India”, held at the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee from 20th to 26th February 2023. SMUS India 2023 was the first SMUS in-person conference with both the SMUS Botswana 2021 and SMUS Brazil 2022 conferences being held online. This conference report was prepared by the SMUS India team.
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Deliberations by PEIP students in the “Youth for Climate” programme at the American Center, Kolkata

On June 26, 2023, the PEIP team on East Kolkata Wetlands, participated in a round table discussion in the “Youth for Climate” programme at the American Center. The wetland students reflected on their everyday lived spatialities, captured through applying the SMUS toolkit via co-learning sessions organized during the first two phases of PEIP execution – 1. Data Collection, and 2. Analysis. They discussed the methods they had applied – from photography to interviews, participatory mapping, etc.. They shared why these outreach activities should be part of the school curricula to spread ecological awareness among the youth.
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SMUS Thailand 2024 – Sessions & Streams

Find out about the Sessions and Streams that are to be presented at the 4th International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Spatial Methods for Urban Sustainability (“SMUS Conference”) which will take place at the Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University (Bangkok, Thailand) from Tuesday, July 23rd, to Monday, July 29th, 2024.
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SMUS Actions

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

InternationalConferences Educate Experience CombinedTeaching-ResearchCourses (Post-)DoctoralResearch Evaluate Exchange Practical-EmpiricalImplementations Enhance Bridge UrbanResearch andPractice

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.