Nexuses of the Urban workshop | Interactions between Water, Energy and Food Provision for Sustainable Cities


A Nexus workshop, titled ‘Nexuses of the Urban: Interactions between Water, Energy and Food Provision for Sustainable Cities’, will take place at the University of Sussex from 12 to 13 May 2016.


Workshop participants will take stock of what kind of plural understandings of ‘urban nexuses’ are emerging, produced by (partnerships between) activists, communities, think tanks, corporations, and multilateral organizations, natural scientists, humanities scholars and social scientists.


The workshop will particularly reflect on the contribution that different social science perspectives might make in understanding urban nexuses, and how social scientists might effectively participate in inter- and trans-disciplinary initiatives. Another aspect that will be considered is what kind of policy mechanisms and events might support the pursuit of the partnerships for developing new understandings.


The programme will be structured around the following orienting questions

  • What divergent framings and understandings of ‘urban nexuses’ are emerging and why are they important, in what ways and to whom?
  • What are the implications of these understandings and their foci for governance of nexus interactions by public, private and hybrid arrangements?
  • What implications do these understandings hold for political-economic action by, and for alliances between, civil society organizations, businesses and social movements striving for sustainability and justice?
  • What kind of relations (inter- and trans-disciplinary alliances, engagements with the material world) underpin the making of the emerging understandings of ‘urban nexuses’?
  • What new inter- and trans-disciplinary approaches (and concepts) do we need to further understand interactions at ‘urban nexuses’, including the interdependent vulnerabilities associated with access to food, water and energy in cities?


Led by Dr Saurabh Arora from Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex, this event is supported by the core team of Nexus Network.


The Nexus Network


Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Nexus Network is a three-year initiative to foster debate, innovative research and practical collaborations across the linked ‘nexus’ domains of food, energy, water and the environment. It brings together researchers, policy makers, business leaders and civil society to develop collaborative projects and improve decision making in these areas.


The Network’s aims are to:

  • Encourage debate, fund innovative research and improve decision making across the linked ‘nexus challenges’.
  • Support interdisciplinary, cross-sector collaborations
  • Enable researchers and stakeholders to develop and share new methodologies, data, conceptual frameworks, skills and practices directed towards nexus challenges.


Its partner organisations are:

  • Faculty of Social Sciences | University of Sheffield
  • Science and Technology Policy Research Unit (SPRU) | University of Sussex
  • College of Social Sciences and International Studies | University of Exeter
  • Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability (STEPS) | University of Sussex
  • Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment (CSERGE) | University of Exeter and University of East Anglia (UEA)
  • Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership | University of Cambridge


Note: This post mainly consists of extracts from the conference page on the Nexus Network’s website. The logos in the graphic are from respective websites.





Conference web page on the Nexus Network website


The Nexus Network | @uk_nexus


Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) | @esrc


Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Sheffield | @SheffSocScience


Science and Technology Policy Research (SPRU), University of Sussex | @SPRU


Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability (STEPS), University of Sussex | @stepscentre


The Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment (CSERGE)


Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership | @cisl_cambridge


College of Social Sciences and International Studies, University of Exeter | @UofESSIS



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