Today, six out of every 10 people are living in cities. The cities concentrate 75% of economy, energy use and green-house gas emissions. The world urgently demands educated urban stakeholders to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal on Cities and Communities. Our project - URSA MAJOR (Urban Sustainability in Action: Multi-disciplinary Approach through Jointly Organized Research schools) ? integrates research advances into a holistic educational programme for future stakeholders of Smart Cities. The Smart Cities heavily rely on digital networks, sensors, and automated observations. They rely on computer virtual city models known as digital twins to support effective and sustainable decisions through nature-based solutions. This project aims to provide training in web tools, extended reality, digital learning, data management principles, computer urban modelling, and ethics of societal data. We strive to improve education of civil engineers, ecologists, urban architects, managers, and administrators. Specifics of the URSA MAJOR project is its focus on digitalization of interactions between society and its physical environment. Our consortium brings together experts from the areas of urban climate and environment, Smart Cities, information technologies and digitalization, eLearning, and communication. The project training is organized in the Norwegian, South (India) and North (Russia) components to address the practical challenges and local solutions found in the different parts of the world.
URSA MAJOR (Urban Sustainability in Action: Multi-disciplinary Approach through Jointly Organized Research schools) – integrates research advances and education into a holistic socio-environmental programme for Smart Cities. The project targets future urban stakeholders promoting the Green Deal transformations. It focusses on the regions of amplified climate change where urban areas have urgent needs to improve their sustainability and resilience, and where the cost of maladaptation is intolerably high. The UN Sustainable Development Goal 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) is central here.
URSA MAJOR seeks a holistic approach to urban nature-based solutions with strengthening access to digital communication and remote sensing. We provide training in web tools, extended reality, eLearning, FAIR data management, urban modelling, analysis and ethics of societal data. We strive to improve education of civil engineers, ecologists, urban architects, managers and administrators – all future stakeholders of sustainable and resilient cities. URSA MAJOR focuses on socio-environmental aspects, which are influential but still strongly underappreciated.
URSA MAJOR enhances the qualifying project SERUS introducing a global perspective on the Smart Cities and push for digitalization. Our consortium is a constellation of complementary partners: NERSC and UiT deals with urban climate and environment; NTNU links to Smart Cities zero-emission goals and the supporting EU project +CityxChange; SINTEF contributes with digitalization and eLearning; Arctic Frontiers connects with Norwegian stakeholders; IMUK (Germany) provides urban modelling expertise; UiT provides expertise on integrated urban modeling system and end-user applications; NERCI (India) transfers knowledge to the developing world, contributes with remote sensing data analysis; GWU introduces the social science component; TyumGU introduces ecosystem components. High quality of research and education is assured by the University in Tromsø, the University in Bergen, and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.