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Yale professor to discuss urbanization in China, India


Brookings,S.D. (KELO AM) - By 2030, urban expansion worldwide will expand into an area more than six times the size of South Dakota. More than half of that expansion will occur in China and India and how that urban expansion unfolds will have a major impact on people and the environment, according to Yale University geography professor Karen Seto.

She will discuss "Urbanization in China and India: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities" Tues., April 29, at 6 p.m. in the McCrory Gardens Education and Visitor Center as part of the Virginia and J. Edward Holtry Distinguished Lecture series.Seto is an expert on urbanization dynamics, forecasting urban growth and the environmental consequences of urbanization.

"The next few decades represent a tremendous window of opportunity to shape urban outcomes in these countries. Once in place, basic urban infrastructures are difficult to change," Seto said.She pioneered the use of satellite remote sensing to reconstruct the historical patterns of urbanization and project future urban expansion. Seto has studied urbanization in China and India for more than 15 years and has worked with policymakers at all levels in both countries.

"Dr. Seto is a prominent international expert and leading contributor to works by the U.S. National Research Council and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, among many others. Our community is fortunate to be able to learn firsthand from her how urban growth in China and India will affect all of our futures," said Mark Cochrane, a senior scientist at the Geographic Information Science Center of Excellence.Seto was executive producer of the documentary film "10,000 Shovels: Rapid Urban Growth in China," which looks at urban change using satellite imagery, historical photographs and contemporary film footage. She has led a new chapter in the current IPCC report on how human settlements, infrastructure and spatial planning can contribute to climate change mitigation.

The Holtry Distinguished Lecture series brings renowned speakers to SDSU to promote understanding of how geographic information science helps scientists and addresses current world problems.