College of Architecture + The Arts

Florida International University
College of Architecture + The Arts

Modesto A. Maidique Campus
Paul L. Cejas School of Architecture Building
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Professor Thomas Spiegelhalter Awarded E.U. Grant for Sustainable City Proposal

College of Communication, Architecture + the Arts (CARTA) Professor Thomas Spiegelhalter, CO-Director of the Structures and Environmental Technologies Lab (SET) and a EU licensed Architect, Engineer and Town Planner, has been awarded along with a team of international researchers, a total award amount of $1.9 million dollars.

The awarded, collaborative research project is called “CRUNCH – Climate Resilient Urban Nexus Choices, Operationalizing the Urban Food-Water-Energy (FWE) Nexus”. CRUNCH has been developed by an international collective combination of project partners (with the necessary capacities and expertise) initiated by Prof. S. Lehmann (UK) working closely together via a series of meetings with FIU Principal Thomas Spiegelhalter over the last year.

The three-year CRUNCH project consists of strategically selected 19 university/industry/business partners from 6 countries (UK, The Netherlands, Sweden, Poland, USA, Taipei/China); The only 2 non-EU countries USA and Taipei, China, are partly led by Spiegelhalter whereas all CRUNCH members are working closely together with different work packages of Strategic Innovation Trajectories (SITs).

The selected six participating municipalities are the Non-European Cities Miami (USA) and Taipei (Taiwan/Chinese Taipei). and the European Cities Southend-On-Sea (UK), Eindhoven (Netherlands), Gdansk (Poland), and Uppsala (Sweden),.

For example, Principal Spiegelhalter’s FIU team is focusing together with the City of Miami and industry/business partners through the new CRUNCH Urban Living Lab (ULL) at the Miami Beach Urban Studios (MBUS) and Miami Town Down. This area was specifically selected; because it is constantly challenged by sea-level rise, flooding’s with impacts on community, economy and infrastructures.

The ULL-FWE baseline includes research sectors for water management, robotic urban farming, food production, hydroponics, mixed renewable energy design and carbon-neutral power generation with adaptive blue-green infrastructure projects to support the global and local Food-Energy-Water Nexus. The FIU-ULL will develop data baselines with multidimensional animations, best-practice scenario-models for multi-disciplinary prototype projects all managed through a new cloud-based Integrated Decision Support System (IDSS) that will be shared locally, regionally and internationally with stake-holders in public events, conferences, workshops, ane other collective venues.

Prof. Thomas Spiegelhalter leads a research team at ULL-MBUS involving Dr. Tiffany Troxler (FIU Sea Level Rise Director), Information Architect Albert Elias, and post docs with graduate research students.

“This is a great opportunity for FIU and our Miami partners to investigate on complex, transdisciplinary, carbon-neutral and resilient solutions for the future well-being of our subtropical region,” said Spiegelhalter. ”This ‘Climate Resilient Urban Nexus Choices’ project will help researchers, businesses, cities, non-governmental organizations and local stakeholders, to work together and develop integrated strategic and audio-visual scenario solutions for planning and urban governance.”

The project was selected from a pool of 79 projects as part of the joint call ‘Sustainable Urbanization Global Initiative’ (SUGI), organized by Urban Intelligent Europe JPI, EU Horizon 2020 and the Belmont Forum with support from the European Commission. Fifteen projects were selected. For more information on the project:

Written by: Thomas Spiegelhalter

For more information on Professor Thomas Spiegelhalter, click here or visit:

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