News

February 21, 2024

The registration for conference participation for the 4th International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Spatial Methods for Urban Sustainability (“SMUS Conference”) has opened. The conference will take place on site at the Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University (Bangkok, Thailand) from Tuesday, July 23rd, to Monday, July 29th, 2024. Please apply for registration until 31st of March 2024.


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February 8, 2024

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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February 6, 2024

Measuring Urban Resilience - Transitioning from a Multidisciplnary to a Transdisciplinary Approach reports on the workshop that was held from 30 Oct to 1 Nov 2023 in Semarang, Indonesia, in a collaborative effort between SMUS and Diponegoro University (UNDIP). The workshop brought together a group of international academics and practitioners, mainly from SMUS partner institutions, with the goal to achieve comprehensive exchange and encourage active participation on the topic of measuring urban resilience across multiple geographical representations.


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January 16, 2024

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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January 15, 2024

This is an innovative South-South collaboration of three SMUS partner universities: Midlands State University in Zimbabwe, the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and SMUS extramural partner SARDC’s History Institute. The project team is working on strengthening the development of teaching research skills in Southern and Eastern African universities by co-designing a teaching program to address their research project topic - “ARC 420 Research Project Sustainable Cities Past and Present – Lessons from Pre-colonial Urban Settlements in Africa”.


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January 3, 2024

Gisela Paredes Leguizamón, Colombian SMUS Partner, co-authored the “Rapid Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in the Amazon Basin/Region”, published by the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO). ACTO considers this Assessment a milestone for work in the Amazon, as it is the first sub-regional assessment in the world to be prepared under the conceptual framework and methodology of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).


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December 22, 2023

As part of the Practical-Empirical Implementation Project (PEIP) Ethnography on the Kolkata Wetlands: Historically Enriched Relevant Intervention through ‘Toolkit’ Aided Grassroots Engagement (HERITAGE), on August 27, 2023, the PEIP team organized the academia-practitioner engagement workshop in Kolkata. Aim of this workshop was to discuss sustainable pathways for the East Kolkata Wetlands by critically reflecting on the application and efficacy of the SMUS toolkit. Diverse groups of practitioners participated and engaged with the school students, who have been actively participating in the execution of the PEIP, in actuating the third phase of the PEIP: its actual Practical Empirical Implementation.


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December 7, 2023

From 30 Oct to 1 Nov 1, 2023, the workshop Measuring Urban Resilience: from a Multidisciplinary to a Transdisciplinary Approach took place as a collaborative effort between SMUS and Diponegoro University (UNDIP), Indonesia—under the World Class University (WCU) Program. Designed to foster collaboration and knowledge exchange, the workshop brought together a group of international academics and practitioners, mainly from SMUS partner institutions.


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October 31, 2023

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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September 7, 2023

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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August 30, 2023

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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August 29, 2023

The video showcases the ‘ethno-graphic’ approach as an agency-induced participatory tool, fostering transdisciplinarity in (urban) socioecological research and actions. It applies lessons from practical projects to validate the novelty of the framework. The approach is aligned to the PEIP agenda of using ethnography and visualization techniques in exploring urban space, and advancing urban sustainability especially for complex urbanscapes of the global South.


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August 24, 2023

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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August 16, 2023

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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July 11, 2023

SMUS is pleased to announce an open call for (1) one teaching-research-project course during 2023/2024. Research methodological skills are often abstract, and many scholars find it challenging to put them into action for their own research topic. In certain disciplines, the challenge of learning how to put methods into practice is often tackled by designing and conducting tandem teaching-research-project courses.


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June 16, 2023

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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June 15, 2023

This Call for Applications is looking for innovative ideas for the production of SMUS MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) on urban sustainability, spatial research methods, and their practical/professional application. This call is now open to all SMUS partner institutions including repeating SMUS partners (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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June 1, 2023

Between August and September 2022, the ECLAC Planning, Government and Development network held the discussion forum “Differential approach in the formulation of public policies for development and territorial planning” and in its publication “Planning for sustainable territorial development in Latin America and the Caribbean” (2019), reviews the evolution of public policies in the region from local, then regional and now territorial development, and identifies diversity, the rights-based approach, sustainability and inequality as emerging issues to be addressed in the formulation and management of public policies for territorial development. The roundtable seeks to revisit these issues through the notion of “differential approach”.


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May 11, 2023

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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May 8, 2023

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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May 8, 2023

Given the diversity and inherent complexity of the themes contained within the targets of the SDG #11, which are underlain by as well as directly concerned with “the urban”, conceiving academic work and conducting research turns out to be pivotal to enable the critical evaluation of the numerous challenges encountered throughout the various world regions when it comes to furthering urban sustainability.


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April 28, 2023

Part of Horizon Europe, the MSCA’s are the European Union’s flagship doctoral education and postdoctoral training funding programme. This highly competitive fellowship supports the mobility of researchers between countries and is aimed at further developing the careers of excellent PhD researchers.


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April 10, 2023

The conversation took place in the framework of Prof. Fraya Frehse’s stay as Visiting Professor at the IIT Roorkee Department of Architecture and Planning, whose head is Prof. Gaurav Raheja. The IIT Roorkee Dean of Academic Affairs invited Prof. Frehse to join a roundtable discussion on “Research & Development Transformations: The Sustainability Dimension” at the 2nd Institute Research Day on 14 March, which celebrates the memory of Albert Einstein’s birthday.


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April 8, 2023

The Golden Cubes Awards (GCA) honour people and organizations that help children and young people to develop a better understanding of architecture and the built environment. The Awards recognise, encourages, and supports individuals and organisations that lay the foundations of an architectural culture and help children and young people to understand architectural design and the processes by which our environment is shaped.


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March 2, 2023

In this 11-part SMUS interview & podcast series Prof. Dr. Sabelo Ndlovu-Gatsheni, Professor and Chair of Epistemologies of the Global South with Emphasis on Africa at the University of Bayreuth introduces viewers to the topic of decolonisation.


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March 1, 2023

From the 12th to 19th February 2023, 12 SMUS partners/associates participated in a GIZ-DAAD Pilot Project on Urban Sustainability and Green Cities in India, organised by the GIZ Sector Project on Education. This intense networking week brought SMUS scholars and young scientists together with GIZ (German Agency for International Cooperation) projects and other development cooperation organisations.


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February 14, 2023

To give an insight into the current status of our upcoming MOOC , we are pleased to share the latest Progress Report from the Columbia Team. This MOOC focuses on the integration of ethnic and environmental inclusion in Colombia's Planning Policy. The investigation area is located in one of the most biodiverse and precipitation-rich regions of the world: The Chocó region.


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December 19, 2022

In this short video, three of the SMUS post-doctoral fellows introduce themselves, share their discipline backgrounds, say a few words about their research proposals and express what it was like to have been awarded a scholarship as well as done research and lived in the city of Berlin.


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December 6, 2022

Conceived by Prof. Dr. Fraya Frehse, SMUS lead partner in Brazil and Conference coordinator, with the aid of the Conference Management Team, this report offers the global SMUS community an overview of the SMUS Conference Brazil 2022. The event took place online at the University of São Paulo from Thursday September 8th, to Saturday 10th, 2022.


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December 6, 2022

Get access to the Opening Ceremony and Opening Lecture, to the six keynotes, the two roundtables as well as to the Closing Lecture and Conference Closure.


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December 5, 2022

Join us for the 3rd International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Spatial Methods for Urban Sustainability (SMUS conference) from 20th February to 26th February 2023 at the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee(IIT Roorkee).


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August 25, 2022

"Street Architecture in Covid-19 São Paulo" is a documentary by SMUS Lead Partner Professor Fraya Frehse that was commissioned for the exhibition "Who's Next? Homelessness, Architecture and Cities" curated by Daniel Talesnik at Architekturmuseum TUM from November 2021 to February 2022.


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August 10, 2022

We hereby invite you to submit an abstract for the “3rd International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Spatial Methods for Urban Sustainability” (“SMUS Conference”), which will simultaneously be the “3rd RC33 Regional Conference Asia: India”, and take place on site at the Indian Institute for Technology Roorkee (IIT Roorkee, India). From February 20th, to February 26th, 2023.


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August 2, 2022

This Call has been prepared by Action 4 Speaker Prof. Dr. Fraya Frehse and Action 4 Scientific Coordinator Dr. Ignacio Castillo Ulloa. If you require any further information or clarification on this call, please write to: smus-action4-peips@usp.br. SMUS


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May 29, 2022

This semester, several guest researchers are going to visit the Department of Sociology, SMUS and the CRC 1265. The guests are going to present their research in a series of Brown-Bag-Lectures.


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April 7, 2022

Prof. Dr. Steve William Tonah of the Department of Sociology at the University of Ghana and SMUS advanced researcher has been awarded the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s Research Prize. He will give a hybrid laureate lecture on Displacement in West Africa: An Examination of the Key Drivers and Durable Solutions, on 3rd May 2022, 18:00.


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April 5, 2022

In the framework of the GCSMUS strategic action scheme, the Action 4 speaker Fraya Frehse, scientific coordinator Ignacio Castillo Ulloa and doctoral student Caio Moraes Reis are coordinating the hybrid (online and on-site) UrbanSus Seminar at the Institute of Advanced Studies (IEA) of the University of São Paulo (USP) on 13 April 2022.


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March 24, 2022

SMUS Joint Teaching-Research Courses: SMUS is pleased to announce an open call for two joint teaching-research courses. The courses will be co-conceptualised and designed by staff members from two SMUS partner-institutions.


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March 21, 2022

The course is embedded into a larger project that will be conducted in Germany, Botswana and Indonesia in 2022/2023.


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