Megacities and Dense Urban Areas

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In what environment will the U.S. military operate?

There is a pressing and evolving need for tools that support planning, decision-making and situational awareness in an urban environment. This is why ASURE, partnering with ASU, is working to establish a “Megacities Center of Excellence” to focus ASU’s extraordinary intellectual capital on the study of dense urban environments. Not only does this effort leverage our current urban systems’ modeling and visualization work on behalf of the Department of Defense, it also enables us to form a community of cross-domain stakeholder experts who can collaborate on research opportunities.

ASURE and ASU’s past performance in this space lays the groundwork for this vision, as does our collaborations with the Modern War Institute. Our quest is to focus our analysis on the following:

Understanding DUAs

  • History of the development of cities
  • Urban Geography (typology, models, frameworks, levels)
  • Urban trends (population growth/urbanization, aging cities, new rapid development, major future plans)
  • Urban Systems (social, essential services, flows, models, traffic controls)
  • Urban Governance/Political Science
  • How cities work (governance, civil security, emergency preparedness)
  • Governance systems and approaches
  • Sociology of cities
  • Economic vitality of cities
  • Global trends (population growth, urbanization, income disparity, connectedness, etc.)

Understanding implications of operating in DUAs

  • Political sciences (national interests, foreign policy)
  • Military approaches (strategic, operational, tactical)
  • History of urban warfare (theory, case studies)
  • Spectrum of urban violence (crime to high intensity conflict)
  • Military 101 – Organizations and Missions (military engagement, security cooperation, deterrence, crisis response, limited contingency operations, large-scale combat operations)
  • Humanitarian Assistance 101(models, approaches, case studies, conflict/non-conflict)
  • "Law of Land Warfare" and "International Humanitarian Law Review"
  • Urban policing theories and practices

ASU's Road Map for Developing a Dense Urban Area Studies/Megacities Center of Excellence

Urban overcrowding is growing in scale. The consequence of not understanding the 2nd and 3rd order effects of the densely populated urban environment will be both catastrophic – from a human perspective – and very costly. Feelings of remorse do nothing to ameliorate the aftermath of unfortunate events. Spending more on research to mitigate, or even prevent, the impact of a catastrophe regardless the origin, and any resultant human suffering before the event occurs, will reduce costs associated with intervention or recovery operations. ASU is the nexus of a new approach to Urban Science; an advanced research model that leans forward and involves stakeholders while being responsive to their needs, yet is flexible, easy to access, and completely relevant to a variety of learners. ASURE’s mission is to focus and apply the significant intellectual resources at ASU towards developing solutions that all stakeholders who need to operate in dense urban areas benefit from implementing. Learn more here.