A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University
, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major strategic themes
. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Pathways to Sustainability. Shaping science, sharing tomorrow
Utrecht University’s Faculty of Geosciences
studies the Earth: from the Earth’s core to its surface, including man’s spatial and material utilisation of the Earth – always with a focus on sustainability and innovation. With 3,400 students (BSc and MSc) and 720 staff, the faculty is a strong and challenging organisation. The Faculty of Geosciences is organised in four Departments: Earth Sciences, Human Geography & Spatial Planning, Physical Geography, and Sustainable Development.
The Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning
investigates sustainability challenges in the context of an ongoing worldwide trend of increasing urbanisation. The Department’s ‘Urban Futures’ research program focuses on the enhancement of long-term economic developments of cities, the inclusion and social inequalities in relation to transnational mobilities, the health outcomes of urban living, as well as on the governance and planning of sustainability transformations of cities and urban regions. It develops novel theoretical and empirical approaches that are not solely at the forefront of academic debates but also create new perspectives on successful policies and interventions to address urban challenges. The Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development
wants to have a positive impact on the transition to a sustainable society, which includes a focus on both the climate and nature challenges and how they interrelate. We do this by developing excellent and relevant knowledge in interdisciplinary teams and by educating the change agents of the future. The Copernicus Institute has had an excellent research evaluation in 2021 and the institute takes pride in maintaining its leading position in national and international sustainability research, and by developing new, internationally oriented teaching programmes. The institute consists of five research groups (sections): Innovation Studies, Environmental Governance, Environmental Sciences, Energy and Resources, and the Utrecht Futures Studio.
The CARDIMED research project will introduce a framework to build Climate Resilience in the Mediterranean biogeographical region, efficiently unifying individual efforts of regions and communities across different countries and continents. This will be achieved by deploying the digital infrastructure to harmonise the data collection and evaluation processes, providing open data to all the actors involved in the Nature-based Solutions (NBS) value chain, and integrating crucial functions for Climate Resilience. Among these functions, smart digital tools for citizen participation and capacity building will supplement an ambitious multi-stakeholder engagement strategy focused on knowledge translation and impact pathways. Furthermore, holistic modelling tools introducing the Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystems (WEFE) Nexus approach will provide comprehensive knowledge on the complex NBS interfaces that will decisively contribute to addressing socio-ecological challenges, along with issues of valuation and low-investment rate in NBS. These actions will be implemented across 9 demonstration sites, composed of 10 regions, 20 locations, and 28 communities, and comprising 47 NBS that directly relate to over 80 interventions and supporting units that tackle climate change and circularity challenges. The consolidation of the demonstrating regions and communities will establish the CARDIMED Regional Alliance, which will function as the vehicle for expanding the network via upscaling the existing sites and adding new ones. The project includes 5 transferability cases, as well as an additional 10 that will be defined during the implementation. Through these actions, the CARDIMED alliance will achieve at least 28 regions and 70 communities by 2030, will create 8000 jobs, especially in the NBS sector, and will leverage over 450M€ in climate investment.