Georgia State University's Urban Studies Institute is located in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies

Under a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation, Georgia State University’s Urban Studies Institute is to track how climate change is affecting the Mexican cities Hermosillo and Mexico City and Valdivia, Chile.

The institute also is to be studying seven American cities for their resilience to climate-driven extreme events. The American cities included in the study are Baltimore, Md.; Miami; New York; Phoenix; Portland, Ore.; San Juan, Puerto Rico and Syracuse, NY.

The $1 million is part of a $12 million National Science Foundation study grant to help cities prepare for climate change by developing the knowledge needed to promote their resilience “in a future that will look very different from today,” according to the grant.

Already the foundation has determined the threats that these cities are apt to face in the future ranging from coastal flooding, extreme heat and drought in San Juan to ice storms, blizzards and extreme cold in Syracuse.

David Iwaniec, Georgia State’s assistant professor in the Institute, is to lead the research and manage the initiative of the 10 cities. He joined Georgia State in August and is a member of the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability.

Dr. Iwaniec

Dr. Iwaniec is a sustainability scientist with a background in social-ecological systems and urban ecology. His work pursues a transformational agenda to learn from and improve the planning and governance of urban systems.

The initiative places the institute into the National Science Foundation’s UREx Sustainability Network, a five-year project joining social scientists, planners, engineers, ecologists, climate scientists, policymakers and the public with team members from 25 institutions. Their research focuses on building resilience to climate-driven extreme events in Latin and North American cities.

Dr. Diwaniec may be reached by email at

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