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    Urban Futures Lab

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    Fonded in 2018 by Dr. Steffen Lehmann, the interdisciplinary  Urban Futures Lab is a collaboration between three units at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas:

    UNLV School of Architecture
    UNLV Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering
    UNLV Greenspun College of Urban Affairs
    The Urban Futures Lab (UFLab) has partners from industry and government contributing to the following research program.

    1. Research program

    The Lab is structured in a program of five broad and intertwined research areas:

    • Urban resilience, transforming communities
    • Urban health and well-being
    • Affordable housing, mixed-use urban living
    • Integrated technologies, big data and sustainable construction
    • Urban governance, policy and transition pathways

    Please find out more on our web site: www.urban-futures-lab.com 

    2. Mission of the Urban Futures Lab

    Rethinking American cities for the age of global warming.

    Urbanization is one of the defining challenges of our times. However, our understanding of the urban, whether in theory or in practice, has reached a turning point, with cities across the world facing new, complex and challenging conditions that require urban resilience and adaptation to the impact of climate change and social change.

    The Urban Futures Lab is a cross-disciplinary think tank and platform that develops and conceptualizes research and academic initiatives supporting the possibilities for reshaping urban environments and enhanced decision-making. Our applied research is concerned with the development of new strategies towards the integration of sustainable technologies into a societal, urban and behavioral context, and the innovative re-thinking of urban futures ̶ in partnership with industry, communities and government. The Lab is concerned with the socially inclusive application of design and engineering skills to the city, communities, and its infrastructural systems. 

    The UFLab develops future scenarios of our cities, exploring new connections within the fields of urban design, engineering, planning, landscape architecture, social science, the arts, and architecture concerned with future cities and urbanization trends. The Lab is uniquely situated within a rapidly growing, civically engaged urban research university in the booming city of Las Vegas.

    The UFLab investigates and explores some of the most pressing socio-spatial challenges of our times, including the food-water-energy nexus, sustainable mobility, systems of circular economy, infrastructure, the environmental impacts of climate change, and other ongoing transformation processes.

    3. Aim

    The UFLab has a clear pathway to impact: we conduct applied research on smart, resilient communities, and integrated technologies that include citizen-centric solutions to meet the changing needs of urban areas and their demographic shifts. We aim to provide a step change improvement in urban living and systems.

    Dr. Steffen Lehmann is an internationally recognized educator, scholar, author, designer, and strategic leader.

    4. Activities and Achievements of the Lab

    Recent important research projects include the CRUNCH – The Food Water Energy Nexus research project, an international multi-disciplinary project that involves 20 partners from six countries, led by Dr. Steffen Lehmann. More information is here: www.fwe-nexus.eu

    The members of the Lab are prolific publishers, with a large number of book publications and papers published. The most recent books include ‘Low Carbon Cities’ (Routledge, London, 2015) and ‘Urban Regeneration’ (Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2019).

    Ph.D. advising: The UFLab is also an active platform for doctoral studies and post-doctoral research. It offers projects to Ph.D. students to be involved and part of larger research teams.