Sustainable Regional Systems Research Networks (SRS RN)

Last Updated 03/28/2024

The National Science Foundation’s Systems Research Networks and Smart and Connected Communities Programs are part of NSF's portfolio of investments in interdisciplinary research that advance fundamental knowledge about urban, rural, and other communities and systems.

SRS Programs define sustainable regional systems as connected urban and rural systems, including all systems in between, designed with the goal of measurably advancing the equitable well-being of people and the planet. Regions are defined as networks of urban, rural, and all systems in between, that make up a dynamic, symbiotic system with complex social and physical interactions. Urban systems are geographical areas with a high concentration of human activity and interactions, embedded within multi-scale interdependent social, engineered, and natural systems. Rural systems are any settlements with population, housing, economic activity, or areas not in an urban geographical area.

S&CC Program defines a smart and connected community as a community that synergistically integrates intelligent technologies with the natural and built environments, including infrastructure, to improve the social, economic, and environmental well-being of those who live, work, or travel within it. Communities are defined as having geographically-delineated boundaries – such as towns, cities, counties, neighborhoods, community districts, rural areas, and tribal regions – consisting of various populations, with the structure and ability to engage in meaningful ways with proposed research activities.

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