In 2017, a devastating Atlantic hurricane season struck regions of the United States and the Caribbean, imperiling large populations who now face a long road to recovery in the aftermath. On a global scale, population shifts in the past year, driven by environmental, political, economic, and social factors, have been sweeping. Short-term displacements in US coastal regions and the Caribbean followed in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. The Rohingya crisis in Myanmar accumulated an astonishing figure of more than half a billion refugees who relocated long-term to camps and settlements elsewhere.
Events such as these not only underscore the global challenges urban communities are increasingly facing but also heighten focus on promising new technologies and data resources that are opening opportunities for greater urban resiliency and enabling new approaches to cities’ future energy, transportation, land use, infrastructure, resource, and other supportive needs for changing urban populations. In many places, rapid urban growth is urging a universal commitment to sustainable development, but abrupt decline, mass migrations, and the sudden appearance of entirely new settlements all contribute to the myriad urban impacts of people on the move globally.
The Urban Dynamics Institute (UDI) brings together researchers from diverse disciplines across Oak Ridge National Laboratory who collaborate to solve these real-world urban challenges with applied science and technology.
The UDI produces an annual report to highlight fiscal year (FY) research activities across four integrated themes—Population and Land Use, Sustainable Mobility, Energy-Water Nexus, and Urban Resiliency. The institute’s FY 2017 annual report showcases the UDI’s critical capabilities and the collaborative efforts among researchers and federal agencies to support national emergency response during the 2017 hurricane season. Also featured are a range of technical projects that demonstrate the UDI’s data and computational expertise and cross-disciplinary commitment to addressing global to local urban challenges.
In addition to supporting national research priorities for the Department of Energy and others, the UDI has formed strategic partnerships with science and industry leaders to advance its applied science mission and is engaging cities to develop cutting-edge technologies and decision-support tools relevant to local-level planning. To join in this exciting, multisector effort to accelerate the research, development, and application of urban science for energy, water, transportation, infrastructure, and other goals of resiliency, reach out to the UDI today.
Urban Dynamics Institute
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
1 Bethel Valley Road
P.O. Box 2008, MS-6017
Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6017