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Welcome to the website of the complex and sustainable urban networks (CSUN) laboratory.

We live in a fascinating world and we have some significant challenges to overcome. The mission of CSUN is to advance scientific knowledge and create software for the design of smart, sustainable, and resilient cities. This website aims to describe the activities going on within CSUN, but we also have many projects that are about to start, and we invite you to come back frequently.

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In Spring 2023, while pursuing his Ph.D., Banuprasad Velumani took the class CME440 Cities and Sustainable Infrastructure taught by CSUN Director Sybil Derrible. The class uses the textbook Urban Engineering for Sustainability. For the homework related to the urban planning chapter, students are asked to draw a timeline of the urban planning practices from the Neolithic era to today. Banuprasad went above and beyond and composed a wonderful poster featuring a brief history of civilization and urbanization that he accepted to share on the CSUN website.

Here’s what he wrote with the poster:

“Ever since the dawn of humanity, urbanization has been a complex and evolving process. The way that it shaped our lifestyle today is fascinating. It all started during the paleolithic period when humans started to live in settlements as communities. The earliest recorded settlements were from 3,000 to 10,000 BCE. Most of those earlier cities were destroyed by natural disasters. These early cities were typically walled enclaves surrounded by farmland and featured complex water systems, centralized sewage disposal, and an organized government. They also had markets, temples, and other public buildings which provided a hub for trade and social gathering. As these cities grew in size and complexity, they began to develop specialized roles for their citizens such as administrators, artisans, craftsmen, and merchants. By the 18th century, when industrialization began, there started a boom in population living in urban areas. Improved transportation facilities allowed people to migrate to urban centers to seek jobs and expand businesses. This caused overcrowding of city dwellers. To mitigate these complexities there was continued evolution of practices in urban planning since early cities. I am happy to share this and greatly astonished by the growth of the human species from the period of homo sapiens.”

About the author: in Spring 2023, Banuprasad Velumani was pursuing a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering, advised by Prof. A. Karatas. He always nurtured a passion for sustainability and energy efficiency of buildings and infrastructure, which is why he picked the Cities and Sustainable Infrastructure course taught by Prof. Sybil Derrible. Working on the urban planning homework, the historical information that he read about urbanization, civilization, and urban planning practices was astounding and felt like time traveling. He lived in all those periods for a moment. Banuprasad did not feel the information he learned could be properly conveyed with words. He wanted to share that knowledge with others through a more fun and easier to understand medium, hence the poster.

Click here for a full-size version (64.9MB).


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