The world is undergoing massive alterations such as climate change and waves of human migration that can cause substantial stress on basic community services (i.e., drinking water, energy, and temporary housing). Climate change creates acute threats such as more frequent, extreme heat events, flooding, and chronic stresses such as sea level rise, drought, and insect infestation causing threats from fire, as well as a variety of public health concerns, like increasing concerns about vector-borne diseases. In-migration stresses the capacity of a city to provide employment and basic resources such as drinking water for the expanded population, while out-migration leaves cities scrambling to respond to lost agglomeration economies and disunities from abandoned properties.
CURES will develop research-based strategies for urban areas to have systems that are more resilient to such changes. Coping with climate change requires multi-pronged approaches that involve understanding broad climate trends, urban heat island effects, and location of especially vulnerable populations. Preparing for and responding to such threats may include understanding medium-term weather trends, planning emergency routes, and urban planning to deconcentrate vulnerable populations and increase greenspace and cooling centers.