The MultiSector Dynamics Community of Practice Working Group on Urban Systems invites you to participate in a 3-day virtual event convening urban science experts from diverse disciplinary backgrounds. We aim to develop a shared understanding of the fundamental science challenges and research needs to support urban resilience and equitable communities in the face of climate change and related stressors — and to foster the collaborations needed to address those challenges.

  • Public Plenary Session: Wednesday, July 21, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm Pacific, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm Eastern
  • In-Depth Discussion and Synthesis: Thursday, July 22 – Friday, July 23, 8:00 am to 1:30 pm Pacific, 11:00 am to 4:30 pm Eastern

Please see the save-the-date flyer or here for more detail. 
The Day 1 plenary session is broadly open to the public. To register for more in-depth group discussions on Days 2 and 3, please complete the additional survey below. This survey takes about 15 minutes to complete and will help us to understand the background and interests of participants and structure discussion topics accordingly.

  • Register for Day 1 Plenary Session
  • Additional survey for Days 2 and 3 In-Depth Discussion Sessions


Urban areas and the supply networks that support their resource use are inherently multisectoral systems composed of infrastructural, environmental, and socio-institutional components. These systems are vulnerable to accelerating and interacting stresses from climate change, population growth, resource scarcity, and land-use pressure at the same time as they have a major influence on regional and global systems. For instance, a majority of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, food consumption, and economic activity can be attributed to urban areas. Urban areas are highly heterogenous, both across and within cities in terms of their socio-demographic, environmental, and infrastructural characteristics. This heterogeneity shapes how urban systems interact and co-evolve and contributes to different economic, environmental, and health outcomes for communities within urban areas. Urban heterogeneity also generates differential vulnerabilities to stressors and differential capacity for adapting to change. The evolution of urban space is thus critical in shaping how human societies respond to global change as they seek to improve resilience to stressors, support prosperous and equitable communities, and use natural resources in a sustainable manner. Developing fundamental scientific understanding of urban heterogeneity and system interactions across sectors and scales is critical for mapping the resilience, sustainability, and equity implications of alternative future pathways.

Thanks so much and please feel free to reach out with any questions to thoughts, 
Andy and Christa, MSD Urban Systems Working Group Co-Chairs