Urbanization and Urban System Sustainability in the Anthropocene



About the Webinar
Urbanization is one of the mega-trends and processes that drive the complex human – environment interactions in the Anthropocene. Urban systems, via its complex processes and interlinkages within and across cities and their local, regional and global hinterlands, are actively shaping the our collective pathways towards global sustainability. This talk will explore three things. Firstly, it will provide an overview of urbanization and the impacts of cities in the Anthropocene. It will then explore how we can understand the interlinkages within and across cities as complex systems, how these interlinkages may exacerbate vulnerabilities or enhance resilience in cities, and how systems approach can help finding solutions to complex urban problems. Finally, building around the notion of urban sustainability experiments and transition, it will look into the nature and making of innovative practices of real-world cities, and the institutional structure and governance that can hinder or accelerate the transformation towards sustainability.

About the Speaker
Distinguished Professor Xuemei Bai joined the Fenner School of Environment & Society at ANU in 2011. Her research focuses on the science and policy of rapid urbanization and urban system sustainability, including: understanding the structure, function and processes of urban social ecological systems, the drivers and impacts of urbanization, evolution of urban systems, urban metabolism, cities and climate change, urban sustainability experiments, low carbon transition, and more recently on Anthropocene futures and Earth system sustainability. She published extensively on these topics, with many appearing in journals such as Nature, Nature Sustaianbility, and Science.

Prof. Bai She is a member of the Earth Commission, leading its Working Group 5 on methods of cross-scale translation from planetary limits to local actors. She is the Co-Chair of Future Earth Urban Knowledge-Action Network, which was launched at the 2016 UN Habitat III Conference in Quito. She has served as a Lead Author for four major global assessments, i.e. the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, Global Energy Assessment, IPBES Global Assessment, and the IPCC AR6 WGIII. Prof. Bai is a Fellow of Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia since 2017, and was named as one of the World’s 100 Most Influential People in Climate Change Policy in 2019. She is the Laureate of the Volvo Environment Prize 2018, and the Global Economy Prize 2021.


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