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Tri-continental partnership formed to address global concerns

CUHK, University of Toronto (UofT), Canada, and Utrecht University (UU), the Netherlands have joined forces to work together on issues caused by the growth of urban populations, such as environmental health, the planning of future cities, and migration. Representing three different continents, the three universities will bring in cross-national and multi-cultural perspectives to work toward finding new and sustainable solutions for these global challenges.


A meeting was convened at UU on 11 April 2016 where the three university presidents—Prof. Joseph Sung of CUHK, Prof. Meric Gertler of UofT, and Mrs. Marjan Oudeman of UU signed a MOU to facilitate educational and research collaborations in three key areas of common interest: public health, cities and migration. The principal investigators from CUHK are Prof. Shelly Tse of the Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care for Public Health, Prof. Leung Yee of the Institute for Future Cities on Cities, and Prof. Eric Fong of the Department of Sociology for Migration.


On the Public Health front, a research project titled ‘Novel Investigative Tools and Big-Data to Discover Modifiable Risk Factors: The Exposome’ will be funded jointly by the three universities. In Cities, there are plans to develop a global urban data platform to examine urban transportation and mobility patterns, and to collaborate on cultural city studies, digital humanities, and environmental humanities. On the migration front, comparative studies will be undertaken on issues related to migrants and immigrants from the perspectives of Asia, Europe, and North America.


A ‘City Seminar: Cities, Science and Innovation—The International Context’ was held on the same day at the Utrecht City Hall where the three university heads discussed factors which influence both the challenges and the solutions for future cities. These included university-government cooperation, future city design, and policy considerations. The seminar was officiated by the Mayor of Utrecht Mr. Jan van Zanen and attracted an audience of academics, graduate students, government officials and diplomats.





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