Welcome to the MSD Working Group on Urban Systems

Cities are a key focal point for addressing questions related to system dependencies, tipping points, and uncertainties. Cities are also a fruitful context to explore model coupling across sectors and scales. However, efforts to combine multi-sector urban tools and insights to examine key uncertainties, interactions, and tradeoffs are still nascent. The urban working group will facilitate the development of these tools and ideas. We will explore questions like: What are the risks faced by the world’s urban areas as they seek to increase resilience and balance multiple objectives such as human health, economic development, and sustainable use of resources? How does urban change influence larger-scale infrastructure, economic, and Earth system processes, and how is urban evolution constrained by these larger systems? Which processes and couplings must be represented to understand multi-sector dynamics within cities?