New York Institute of Technology and Peking University Host “Sustainable Megacities” Conference and FEW Workshop in Beijing

January 29, 2016
U.S. - China EcoPartners participating in the Conference Sustainable Megacities: Food, Energy, Water, and the Built Environment in Beijing.

Experts from China and the United States met at the Conference Sustainable Megacities: Food, Energy, Water, and the Built Environment, and the Workshop FEW Nexus and Sustainable Cities, in Beijing on Oct. 20 and 21, 2015. Engineers, scientists, policymakers and urban planners, shared their perspectives and reiterated the need for a systems-based, coordinated response to the world’s critical food, energy, and water (FEW) challenges.  The workshop was co-hosted by the New York Institute of Technology and Peking University EcoPartnership on Groundwater Monitoring, Protection, and Training.The conference resulted in new collaborative research projects, journal articles and white papers, and follow-on technical workshops. A Synthesis Report describing the main findings from the workshop will be issued in January 2016. Key outcomes from the conference and workshop include the following:

  • A joint proposal to the U.S. National Science Foundation and the National Natural Science Foundation of China, submitted by NYIT’s School of Engineering and Computing Sciences and the University of Colorado at Boulder in the United States, as well as the International School of Software at Wuhan University in China. This research project focuses on enhancing urban water sustainability through an integrated heterogeneous sensing and modeling system. Such system allows for real time water quality monitoring and analysis by means of a network sensing system and cell-based biosensors.
  • A session organized by NYIT at the “Food-Energy-Water Nexus, 16th National Conference and Global Forum on Science, Policy and the Environment,” held in Washington, DC in January 2016. Entitled, “Systems-Based Modeling of FEW Nexus in Megacities,” the session continued the dialogue initiated at the Workshop on FEW Nexus and Sustainable Cities in Beijing to research advances for FEW systems protection, in particular the integration and inter-dependency of heterogeneous data and internet of things signals, uncertainties, climate-risks, for systems-based modeling, verification at the pilot scale, and analysis of the impact of urbanization and anthropogenic disruptions on FEW systems in cities.
  • An article submitted to the Journal of Energy and Environmental Sustainability (JESS), entitled: “An Autonomous Real-Time Water Quality Sensing System to Improve the Understanding of the Symbiosis of Food, Energy, and Water Systems.”  This article was submitted by NYIT and University of Colorado.
  • Coordination with the Journal of Environmental Progress to have a special issue focusing on the Food, Energy, and Water Nexus. This special issue, planned for Spring 2016, will bring attention to a new area of multidisciplinary research that focuses on their inter-linkages between FEW resources and their sustainable management and allocation, calling for collaborative approaches from different perspectives of science, engineering, policy, business, education, and/or civil society.  The Call for Papers will be issued in January and invite experts in FEW from across the globe to submit articles.
  • A White Paper focusing on critical challenges and opportunities for managing FEW resources, considering their nexus.
  • Further research collaborations between NYIT and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), the University of Colorado, City College, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Purdue University, Georgia Tech, as well as the South University of Science and Technology of China, and the Beijing Forestry University of Beijing, in China are also being pursued.

For more information on this EcoPartnership, please click here.

To become involved in future workshops, publications, and collaborative research efforts under the NYIT – PKU EcoPartnership, please contact the EcoPartnership Secretariat at ecopartnerships@lbl.gov.