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.


Indo German Planning Workshop in Bhubaneswar, India

An Indo-German planning workshop in Bhubaneswar (India) was conducted in February 2024 by TU Berlin and School of Architecture and Planning (KSAP), KIIT University. It explored integrating Blue-Green Infrastructure (BGI) into the city's mobility network. Students and professionals from Berlin and Bhubaneswar collaborated to develop innovative solutions for Bhubaneswar's specific challenges, prioritizing pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport. The workshop included presentations, discussions, site visits, and design activities, fostering knowledge sharing and proposing BGI interventions for a more sustainable and people-centric neighbourhood in Bhubaneswar.
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SMUS Thailand 2024 Registration Updates

To learn more about the 4th SMUS conference hosted by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology in the Faculty of Political Science at Chulalongkorn University (Chula), Thailand from, Tuesday, July 23rd, to Monday, July 29th, 2024. please visit the SMUS Thailand website.
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SARDC Teaching On-Site Workshop Report

The SARDC Teaching on-site workshop took place from October 2nd to 6th, 2023, at the Great Zimbabwe historical site. The workshop allowed students from three SMUS partner universities to acquire new theoretical knowledge, learn about responsible research practices, gain exposure to archaeological sites, interact with advanced academics and learn about the importance of stakeholder and community engagement. The workshop also benefited the more advanced researchers in the group by strengthening their teaching skills, facilitating knowledge sharing amongst peers, and facilitating greater interdisciplinary understanding and cooperation.
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New Publication: 40 Perspectives on Urban Sustainability from Around the Globe

This first SMUS publication comprises of contributions on urban sustainability from 40 international junior researchers from around the globe. The SMUS network researchers took part in the centers “Developing a Ph.D. Proposal” program from September 2020 to February 2021. At the end of the program, they were invited to submit a contribution on an urban sustainability topic from their home country. Please click on the Read more link below to get a glimpse into urban sustainability perspectives from around the world.
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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.