Regional Workbench Consortium - Using the Technologies of Tomorrow for the Problems of Today
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Mission Statement

Create innovative research-learning collaboratives, planning support systems, and integrated educational tools to enable sustainable city-region development

More specifically, the Regional Workbench Consortium has come together to:

  • Establish a new mode of communication among university, industry, government and community-based organizations seeking sustainable city-region development (i.e., integrated approaches to meeting social equity, economic, and environmental objectives);
  • Provide a testbed for developing/applying/evaluating advanced information, visualization, and communications technologies in the context of partnership-driven research projects and knowledge-action collaboratives;
  • Create interactive and participatory methods for social learning about sustainable development in the San Diego-Tijuana city-region and beyond (targeting regional planning and policy);
  • Promote excellence in undergraduate/graduate research education by creating "knowledge maps" (ontologies) and interactive tools for conceptualizing, designing, conducting, and sharing field studies;
  • Inspire/facilitate research requiring the integration of disciplines and spatial scales (drawing from the social, natural, and physical sciences as well as technology, art and the humanities).

The RWBC aims to add value to, not replicate, existing data warehouses and regional/geographic information systems. The RWBC's objective is to build synergy through partnerships by leveraging resources, capitalizing on the expertise of participants, and enabling an integrated approach to research, education, outreach and training. University students and faculty, together with community partners, build the RWBC's website. Students gain hands-on experience in a manner that emphasizes civic-minded workforce development as well as multidisciplinary scholarship.

The Regional Workbench is a web-based "knowledge networking" tool for building a trusted, high-quality, research and action collaborative. The NSF defines knowledge networking as a process of "attaining new levels of knowledge integration, information flow, and interactivity among people, organizations and communities" < >.

Seven fundamental precepts guiding the RWBC:

Place-based, scalable · Facilitate multidisciplinary place-based research in a scalable context (i.e., a conceptual space that interrelates local, regional and global dynamics).
Integrative, multidisciplinary

· Link the “new regionalism” with sustainability science and advances in information and communications technologies.

· Create methods for integrating physical, biological and socioeconomic data (including the ability to do cross-border integrated risk assessment).

Normative · Promote the three E’s of sustainable development (equity, environmental stewardship, and economic efficiency) in a whole-systems approach.
Problem-driven, action oriented · Pursue a core set of pressing problems (projects) that inspire the linkage of knowledge to action at the regional scale.
Collaborative and multicultural · Foster relationships and networks driving the shift from “planning for the public” to “planning with the public.”

· Serve as a culturally sensitive platform for education, outreach and training.
Historical and Forward-looking · Seek historically-informed views of alternative futures (i.e., actionable “Vision” based on critical understanding and current knowledge of relevant literature).
Accessible, user-friendly, network extensible · Build capacity for data and information sharing (based on principles of distributed intelligence and federation).

· Create story-based narratives and multi-media presentations that offer meaningful views of the RWBC’s projects (tailored to distinct audiences including researchers, public agencies, community groups, and students).






Funded By:
UCSD Superfund Basic Reseach Program

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