International and national collaborations

As part of our regular activities, our academic staff and researchers actively engage with colleagues from across the world through conferences, seminars and collaborative international projects.

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Trees in cities are hugely important and provide multiple services; they remove air pollution, regulate storm water, increase house prices and can even reduce stress in the city’s population. All of these services have a monetary value, and if trees are correctly placed throughout a city the economic benefits are obvious. 

The first step to implementing a successful tree policy is to establish a baseline on which to build. With this in mind, researchers in the School of Geography are conducting the Dublin Tree Canopy study, which is investigating the urban tree cover of the urban areas in Dublin. This exciting project is being conducted in partnership with the four Dublin councils (Fingal, Dublin City, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown and South Dublin) and the Office of Public Works. 

Over the coming months, we’ll measure Dublin’s tree canopy cover, map its spatial distribution, identify the proportion of canopy in public ownership, and estimate the environmental services provided by the current canopy cover. The results of this study will feed into the urban tree policies of the partner councils and help the partners target their tree planting to improve access to trees for all the city’s residents.

Cities, with their distinctive processes and problems, are major features of the modern world and the focus of the work of the International Geographical Union (IGU) Urban Commission.  The annual conference of this group was hosted by Dr Niamh Moore-Cherry, UCD School of Geography, and facilitated by UCD Earth Institute, Dublin City Council and the Geographical Society of Ireland. Opened jointly by Owen Keegan, CEO Dublin City Council, and Prof Orla Feely, UCD VP for Research, Innovation and Impact, the keynote lecture by Prof Rob Kitchin, Maynooth University in City Hall on “Real-time cities and the politics of urban big data”.

Attracting delegates from 27 countries across 5 continents, the 7-day academic and field excursion programme focused on issues including technological innovations and creative activities in cities; creating sustainability; contested social spaces; urban governance; and complex urban systems. The special theme of Urban Environment and Resilience added to this years conference call is recognition of the internationally recognized expertise in the UCD School of Geography in this area. The work presented at this conference by delegates from Europe, Asia, North America, Latin America and New Zealand, highlights the need for transnational collaboration to address the major challenges of our cities., that are not just important academic issues but also important for public policy and urban practice.  In addition to over 70 paper presentations, the programme included field excursions to Belfast, Galway, Limerick and walking tours in Dublin City Centre.

Funded by the EU’s Marie Sk?odowska Curie International Research Networking Scheme, Alun Jones recently chaired and conducted a research workshop at the Université Hassan II Ain Sebaa Casablanca on Moroccan perceptions of the EU. Attended by over 30 Moroccan graduate students, academics and stakeholders he explored the nature of EU- Moroccan links and the everyday connections and constructions of Mediterranean space.  Building common understandings of the Mediterranean as a space of relation and exchange is central to its future geography and European geopolitics.