With funding from the George and Cynthia Mitchell Endowment for Sustainability Sciences at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the Board on Mathematical Sciences and Analytics, in collaboration with the Board on Energy and Environmental Systems and the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, convened a workshop on January 30–31, 2019, in Washington, D.C., to explore the frontiers of mathematics and data science needs for sustainable urban communities.1 The workshop strengthened the emerging interdisciplinary network of practitioners, business leaders, government officials, nonprofit stakeholders, academics, and policy makers using data, modeling, and simulation for urban and community sustainability, and addressed common challenges that the community faces in using data, modeling, and simulation for sustainability (see Appendix A for the workshop agenda). Approximately 80 people attended the workshop, with an additional 800 participating online (see Appendix B). The workshop’s statement of task appears in Box 1.1.
This proceedings is a factual summary of what occurred at the workshop. The workshop planning committee’s role was limited to organizing and convening the workshop (see Appendix C for biographical information on the members of the planning committee). The views expressed in this proceedings are those of the individual workshop participants and
1 Urban sustainability is the long-term social, environmental, and economic vitality and viability of the city.
do not necessarily represent the views of the participants as a whole, the planning committee, or the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
Katherine Bennett Ensor, Rice University
Aniruddha Dasgupta, World Resources Institute
Katherine Bennett Ensor, Rice University, welcomed participants to the workshop and thanked the George and Cynthia Mitchell Endowment for Sustainable Sciences for its support. She explained that tremendous advancements in science and technology over the past several decades could be applied to cities and urban infrastructure. Aniruddha Dasgupta, World Resources Institute, described the workshop as an opportunity to connect the data, modeling, and urban sustainability communities to enable better decision making related to sustainability. He commented that building, management, and consumption in cities are not currently
planned and operated in a way that will produce desired outcomes for the climate, economic productivity, and human welfare. Appropriate use of data could change the ways in which cities are managed and services are provided as well as allow citizens to co-create solutions to city problems and hold their leaders accountable. He asserted that more than 50 percent of the world’s population currently lives in cities, and this number will increase in the future; channeling the data revolution to improve the sustainability of cities is imperative.