Hosted by the Water: Systems, Science & Society Graduate Program


Water & Cities: Shaping the Flow of Our Urban Future

Friday, April 11, 2014

Boston, MA


The full symposium program is now available for download! Check out the full program here and see the condensed program here. And check out our schedule page for additional updated information!


Over half of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and this number is expected to increase to 70% by 2050. Urbanization in all regions of the world has implications for the design, resilience, and equity of our cities and requires regional-scale planning to balance competing demands among agricultural, industrial, commercial, and domestic users. Cities already face challenges in securing sufficient and safe water resources and in planning for the risks associated with climate change, increasing populations, and economic growth. These challenges and the continued overuse of existing water resources will only intensify the challenges urban centers face.


Water & Cities will be the fifth annual symposium hosted by the Water: Systems, Science & Society (WSSS) program at Tufts University. At the symposium, students, academics, and professionals from the public, private and non-governmental sectors will explore the past, present, and future challenges faced by global cities and the innovations and mobilization that enable us to shape our future as an urban society. Symposium panel topics will include urbanization and the water cycle, urban resilience and disaster management, regional systems and planning, and water and society.

Thanks to our Sponsors


This symposium would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors:


Water: Systems, Science & Society at Tufts UniversityWater: Systems, Science & Society (WSSS) at Tufts University
WSSS is an interdisciplinary graduate research and education program at Tufts University. It was founded in 2004 to provide the interdisciplinary perspectives and tools to manage water-related problems around the world. Participating students fulfill the WSSS requirements in addition to the student’s degree requirements. Upon completion of these activities, students receive a Certificate in Water: Systems, Science, and Society as well as their graduate degree.


Tufts Institute of the EnvironmentThe Tufts Institute of the Environment
The Tufts Institute of the Environment (TIE) is an interdisciplinary university-wide institute that initiates, facilitates, and promotes environmental education, research, and outreach toward a sustainable future. TIE offers fellowships and travel grants and hosts guest researchers. We also support the Office of Sustainability in its efforts to improve campus sustainability. Tufts


Water Diplomacy IGERT at Tufts UniversityWater Diplomacy IGERT

The Water Diplomacy program at Tufts University is producing interdisciplinary water professionals who think across boundaries, emphasize integration of explicit and tacit knowledge, link knowledge and action from multiple perspectives to help resolve water issues through mutual gains negotiations.


Fuss & O'NeillFuss & O’Neill

Fuss & O’Neill, Inc. is an engineering consulting firm with specialties in construction, energy, environment, facilities, infrastructure, planning, and manufacturing. As a company that offers a diverse group of services over multiple disciplines, we bring a considerable amount of project- and industry-specific knowledge that allows us to be efficient, creative and cost-effective. Fuss & O’Neill has both the technical expertise that highly technical projects require, and the hands-on knowledge that it takes to successfully manage every detail.


Stockholm Environment InstituteThe Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)

The Stockholm Environment Institute supports decision-making and capacity builiding toward sustainable development by providing knowledge that bridges science and policy in the fields of environment and development. Our analyses utilize a variety of integrated applied systems methods.


Industrial Economics, IncIndustrial Economics, Incorporated (IEc)

IEc is an environmental and economic consultingfirm with three decades of experience providing consulting services to a diverse client base. Our consultants’ backgrounds include public policy, economics, finance, and science. As a company, we tackle complex challenges through a combination of thoughtful analysis, creativity, and dedication to the specific needs of our clients. The quality and objectiveness of our work and the usefulness of our results define who we are.



The 2013 WSSS Symposium


Questions? Contact us at



Learn more about the Water: Systems, Science & Society graduate program >>


Please consider donating in support of WSSS and this event >>