Applying interdisciplinarity


"Systems approaches encompass interdisciplinarity, particularly important in the context of cities, since complex urban systems naturally span a diversity of natural and institutional domains. That is, proper understanding of the system generally requires the input of experts from a variety of academic fields and professional disciplines, intensively exchanging views, and learning from and exploring creative solutions with experts from other fields. For example, Batterman outlines an interdisciplinary approach to water-based infectious diseases that encompasses “ecologic, anthropologic, engineering, political/economic, and public health fields.” This runs counter to traditional approaches wherein researchers and policy-makers operate in academic or professional siloes, attempting to address problems individually in a context where all problems are connected. A practical consequence of the genuine application of interdisciplinarity is the identification of co-benefits— i.e., ancillary benefits in one domain (e.g., urban health) arising from actions taken to resolve a problem in some other domain (e.g., climate change mitigation)."
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  • Systems approaches for urban needs

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