Tag Archives: City Systems

City Systems Workshops

Chair: Sander van der Leeuw, Arizona State University





Session 1: Thursday 8th November 15.15 – 16.45:

General: this set of three sessions is intended to generate questions and new ideas for future research. I therefore suggest that after a very quick round of introductions and two very brief introductory statements for each session(that I will invite personally), we devote all our time to discussion.

In order to facilitate that, I would like to receive from anyone who is so inclined, tentative answers to the ‘What’ and ‘How’ questions formulated for each session. That will greatly help me steer the sessions to a productive result.


Main questions


  • What drives the seemingly inexorable growth of urban systems?
  • What might level off this growth?
  • What would a generalizable theory of urban systems look like?


  • How would we collect, and deal with, the data?
  • How could we model it?
  • How could we derive scenarios from the models?
  • How might such a model serve to improve decision-making?



Contributors / participants:


Luis Bettencourt. Ricardo Herranz, Denise Pumain, Jose Javier Ramasco, Moritz Remig, Wanglin Yan, Maxi San Miguel, Alan Wilson, Michel Morvan, David Lane




Session 2: Friday, 9th November 2012, 14.30 – 16.30:

Main questions:



  • What would a sustainable city look like?
  • What would make urban systems more sustainable?
  • What are the trade-offs that would need to be dealt with?
  • What kinds of institutional change would this require?
  • What kinds of policies would need to be put in place?


  • How could we mobilize society to that effect?
  • How could ICT play a role in this process?
  • How could ICT create a synthesis between ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’?


Contributors / participants:


Vittorio Loretto, David Lane, Michel Morvan, Denise Pumain, Maxi San Miguel, Alan Wilson, Luis Bettencourt. Ricardo Herranz, Jose Javier Ramasco, Moritz Remig, Wanglin Yan


Session 3: Saturday November 10th, 9.30 – 10.30


Chairs: Carlo Jaeger and Sander van der Leeuw


This workshop will be oriented to identify and discuss common questions between the different workshops following the insights gained from the previous discussions. So the topics will be adapted to the results of the prior days.




Anyone of the above (and the Global Systems Science sessions) that is still present and interested




First Open Global Systems Science Conference

Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to invite you to the First Open Global Systems Science Conference, to be held in Brussels at the Stanhope Hotel, November 8 – 10th 2012. The aim of the Conference is to contribute to the development of Global Systems Science (GSS). The study of problems as diverse as global climate change and global financial crises is currently converging towards a new kind of research – Global Systems Science.

GSS could not emerge without substantial advances in information and communication technology (ICT). The use of computer models, digitized data, and global virtual networks are vital for GSS, and GSS can provide a key domain for socially useful ICT developments.

GSS builds on economics as well as on climatology, on history as well as on geography and on a variety of further disciplines. However, it is no attempt to renew the failed pursuit for a single unified science. It simply integrates insights and methods that are useful in studying global systems and develops them further for that purpose.
Important examples of global systems are:

  • the energy, water and food supply systems
  • the internet
  • the global financial system
  • the agents, resources and mechanisms involved in climate policy
  • the web of military forces and relations
  • globally spreading diseases
  • the scientific community

The conference is organized by the EU project Global Systems Dynamics and Policy (www.gsdp.eu), a project coordinated by the Global Climate Forum (www.globalclimateforum.org), and carried out by a team involving a transdisciplinary group of institutions based in Europe and other parts of the world.

GSS is one of those fields of inquiry where a separation between basic and applied science is misleading. The community of researchers engaged in GSS will evolve in a close dialogue with practitioners, policy-makers and other stakeholders. Therefore, – following the experience of previous successful GSDP meetings (Berlin 2011, Barcelona 2012) – this conference will bring together a unique cohort of researchers and practitioners relevant for GSS.

We look forward to meeting you in Brussels and to engage with you in this challenging and exciting conference.

On behalf of the GSDP steering committee,


Further Information: