The Center for Urban Resilience and Environmental Sustainability (CURES) at the University of Illinois aims to address urban sustainable development challenges of the 21st century from phenomena such as climate change, human migration and population growth, disruptive technological change, and increased social inequality and conflict. The Center harnesses core competencies of urban systems to develop and deploy the research, apply learning and education, and encourage public engagement for livable, prosperous, resilient, and sustainable cities. The Center will focus on strategies and policy tools to build resilience to climate change, promote human welfare and address the inter-dependence of urban water, food, and energy. At the same time, the technologies, innovations, and practices developed by CURES will have broad application to cities in diverse locations and cities with varying sizes.
In August 2019, CURES hosted an interactive workshop at Discovery Partners Institute in Chicago to explore important dimensions of convergent sustainability science and establish the foundation for a new multi-disciplinary multi-stakeholder research network that can deliver actionable research-based and cost-effective solutions to the problems that communities of many sizes really face. The CURES Connections Workshop brought together researchers and experts in many disciplines (e.g., engineering, natural and social sciences, arts, and humanities), municipalities, NGOs, business partners, and agencies. Involving all these participants, this workshop will develop implementable strategies to create and sustain a large scale research network that tackles urban sustainability in cities of all sizes. Specifically, this workshop identified critical gaps in research methodology and knowledge for solving sustainability problems in energy, water, and climate adaptation in a range of different types of urban systems, directing future sustainability research to improve the lives of more people in the coming time of climate change.