M6 Technologies & Tools

Geodesign leverages monitoring, measuring, modeling, mapping, machine learning, and land use managing (M6) technologies to assess and adapt built environments and design scenarios along pathways for a more prosperous and productive future. If you’re interested in problem solving and using technology to manifest a more resilient world, the SBE geodesign specialization may be a great option for you.

“Geodesign is a method which tightly couples the creation of proposals for change with impact simulations informed by geographic contexts and systems thinking, and normally supported by digital technology.”

Flaxman and Ervin, 2010

SBE Skillsets

Beyond the core curricula, SBE majors pursuing a Geodesign Specialization learn diverse spatial and temporal analytical and decision-support skills, such as the following:

  • Proficiency with geospatial mapping software
  • Python scripting
  • Data modeling
  • How spatial data influence decisions
  • Knowledge in data science
During the Fall 2019 Geodesign Practicum (DCP 4945), SBE students explored the interface between Alachua County’s built environment, economic livelihoods, community health outcomes, and empowerment of individuals and institutions striving for social justice.
In the Spring of 2018, two Sustainability and the Built Environment majors specializing in geodesign, escorted by a doctoral candidate, at the University of Florida College of Design, Construction, and Planning attended the Esri Geodesign Summit in Redlands, CA. Thanks Jamie Bufkin, Mateo Van Thienen, and Lei Lei Duan (left to right) for letting us share in your journey…from UF to the wider world…for the #GatorGood!

People Powered Projects

These skills are empowered through software and applied research projects affiliated with the Geo-Facilities Planning and Information Research Center, or GeoPlan Center. This prominent entrepreneurial Center, was established in 1984 as a response to local and statewide needs for a teaching and research environment in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The Center is affiliated with the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, in the University of Florida’s College of Design, Construction and Planning. Click the GeoPlan Center logo to learn about their current projects.

Geodesigners pursue jobs in a variety of professional fields, such as the following:

  • City Planning and Local Governments
  • Design Firms
  • Engineering Firms
  • Consulting and Corporations
  • Risk mitigation and planning
  • Community Development

Design Thinking

In this three minute SBE Senior Capstone Public Service Announcement (PSA), Hannah Kimes (Spring 2020 SBE Geodesign Specialization) provides an overview of design thinking and the ways in which geodesign is crucial to social and cultural sustainability as it provides everyone a seat at the table. As we move from notions of equality, past equity, into liberation and beyond, systems and design thinking offer crucial tools in our journey towards justice. Thanks Hannah!

Learn More About Geodesign

Geodesign integrates technology and data science to make sustainable decisions for communities, corporations, and nonprofits. Coursework includes several hands-on experiences where students collaboratively build solutions and apply them in energy, natural systems, to improve livability, and business.

Contextual Resources About Geodesign

The Science of Choice & Consequence

Change is the only constant. Cliché, but true, the challenge of change is one of choice and consequence. Uncertainty is inevitable, but the evolving M6 technologies evoke awe and awareness, reveal our reshaping of the Earthly spheres, and renew the reverence necessary to ignite our intention as stewards of our planetary place in space. We choose to SBE, here, now.

Like any species, our collective evolution and individual impacts leave a legacy. While the human story has been millennia in the making, the Great Acceleration of the 20th Century has produced the possibility of something new, a planetary perspective and presence. Launched in the space age through the profound paradigm shift of the overview effect (i.e., the change in consciousness astronauts realize upon seeing the Earth from above), modern information and communications technologies (ICTs) bring it down to those of us stuck on the surface. With head in the clouds and feet on the ground, we see the Earth anew as human perception shifts from me living on Earth, to we are the Earth living.

Explore Google Earth Engine Timelapses (1984-2020)

Additional Resources Supporting the Google Earth Engine

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