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 THAILAND 2024 Conference – Call for Abstracts

We hereby invite you to submit an abstract for the “4th International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Spatial Methods for Urban Sustainability” (“SMUS Conference”), which will simultaneously be the “4th RC33 Regional Conference Asia: Thailand” and take place on site at the Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University (Bangkok, Thailand) from Tuesday, July 23rd, to Monday, July 29th, 2024.
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*Extended Deadline: 15.06.2023* SMUS Action 4: PEIPs – Call for Applications

Drawing on the targets and indicators of the Sustainable Development Goal #11 (SDG #11), Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, this Call for Applications, open to all SMUS partners, is looking for innovative projects for making a difference in professional practice for urban sustainability with the aid of spatial research methods.
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MOOC Tanzania Update

The MOOC “Gender Equity and Social Inclusion” was recently highly ranked as a socially innovative project by the Principal of the College of Humanities at the University of Dar es Salaam during the College of Humanities Research Week which took place from the 13- the 14th of April 2023. This MOOC explores how urban transport and infrastructure in open spaces produce inequalities and injustice.
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SMUS MOOCs (3rd Generation) – Call for Applications

This Call for Applications is looking for innovative ideas for the production of up to 4 SMUS MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) on urban sustainability, spatial research methods, and their practical/professional application. This call is in this first phase only open to SMUS partner institutions who have NOT yet produced a SMUS MOOC. In case there are not enough good quality applications from new teams, in a second phase, the call will be opened to repeating SMUS partner teams (meaning Gen 1 and Gen 2 teams) as well as for “Wild Card” (max 1 will be awarded) applications from higher education institutions from DAC countries.
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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.