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Building Future Knowledge to Integrate Land Use, Ecosystem Services and Human Health
(2014, 32 pages)
Urban regions – comprising urban core areas and the peri-urban hinterlands – in many parts of the world are increasingly facing serious water-related environmental and societal problems, which are posing enormous challenges to the wellbeing of societies and individuals. The current scientific approaches to these challenges often struggle to capture the complexity of urban regions, and thus cannot always provide appropriate answers and solutions.
The Brazilian Academy of Sciences (ABC), the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and Germany’s Junge Akademie organised the symposium “Water Issues and Ecological Sustainability in Areas of Urbanisation” from 5 to 8 May 2014 in São Carlos, Brazil, in order to hold a science-based discussion on water-related challenges in urban regions. The symposium provided a setting for interdisciplinary exchange for 26 young scientists, mainly from Brazil and Germany. It took place within the framework of the “Germany + Brazil 2013/2014” campaign initiated by the German Federal Foreign Office. Inspired by the motto of the bilateral year, “How do we want to live tomorrow?”, the young scientists – from the fields of engineering, natural, life and social sciences – discussed and linked up water-related issues in urban regions with regard to land use, human health, ecosystem services, monitoring, data, and policy implementation.
The current report presents research needs, which – according to the participants of the symposium – are important in the research-driven management of water-related environmental and societal problems in urban regions. Extensive scientific research in the identified areas could facilitate the articulation of answers and the formulation of proposals for more viable, sustainable and humane cities in the future.