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A step change in scientific capacity is needed to meet the challenges of urbanization

The challenges of the urban era demand a new global science, informed by multiple sources of expertise and enhanced science-policy collaboration, according to a new report on Science and the Future of Cities.

The report of an international Expert Panel on ‘Science and the Future of Cities’ calls for a new ‘global urban science’ to better understand the opportunities and challenges of an urbanizing society.

The expert panel on urban science, endorsed by Nature Sustainability, was set up in collaboration with University College London and supported by the International Science Council.

The report provides a set of five key recommendations, with a number of practical actions that could be taken by academics and policy-makers in order to foster an effective role for science and scientists in the ‘age of the city’. It calls for a strengthened global urban science, drawing on multiple disciplines and sources of information, and embracing disagreements on urban issues, in order to open up new frontiers of inquiry and create a greater impact. The report also recommends the creation of a global assessment on sustainable urbanisation that would examine the state of knowledge on urban trends, dynamics and challenge across scales.

ISC Science Officer Charles Ebikeme was a member of the 29-strong Expert Panel, which was co-chaired by Michele Acuto, Susan Parnell and Karen C. Seto.

The Expert Panel provides a proactive way in stimulating new thinking and action to enhance the way that urban science engages with policy.

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