The Metabolism of Cities Living Lab

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by world leaders in 2015, at the United Nations, commit cities to mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities, and tackle climate change by 2030, while ensuring that “No one is left behind.” Monitoring the SDGs is central to making progress against them. Leveraging partnerships that utilize data is critical to achieving the global goals, and will provide insights into whether cities are on track.

What we do

Create Knowledge

We aim to create new knowledge by participating and collaborating in research projects and developing new open source tools.

Share Knowledge

We aim to gather and curate (all) knowledge around urban metabolism in one central platform in order to make it accessible to different target audiences.

Apply Knowledge

We help policy makers and practitioners to tackle their challenges with Urban Metabolism and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals thinking.

Foster a Community

We believe that tackling the urban sustainability challenge cannot be done alone. We want to foster a community of stakeholders that collaborates on developing solutions in southern California.

The Metabolism of Cities Living Lab (MOC-LLAB) is an analytical data refinery think-tank that believes in revolutionizing and democratizing big data. We aim to make data accessible and personable in all sectors of society. The MOC-LLAB is hosted by the Center for Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age (HDMA), Department of Geography at San Diego State University in San Diego, California. Our vision is to “Strengthen Diversity and Deliberation in Climate Adaptation Planning,” with our overarching goal to view the city as a living organism and build on SDSU Strategic Plan: Reimagining the Future: A Strategic Plan for SDSU. Through community engaged research, technology development/deployment, nature-based solutions, data analytics, data science approaches, and citizen science to track and monitor post Covid-19 outbreaks and impacts to local and regional communities in southern California and the Baja California Mexico region while localizing the United Nations SDGs by the year 2030.



At MOC-LLAB we strive for data and citizen science to make a difference in people’s lives, and in particular to improve the lives of those most at risk of being excluded from the opportunities of the data revolution. Through working with governments, the private sector, international organizations, and civil society, we will enable them to work better together to deliver specific changes to people’s lives. In an age of extreme weather, food insecurity, rapid urbanization, population growth, water scarcity, and political conflict, data innovation, and citizen science is needed to bring the latest expertise to bear on the world’s most serious problems. At MOC-LLAB we aim to contribute to the SDG discourse by providing easy-to-use, visually appealing, and methodologically sound web-tools that use publicly available data and are accessible to all sectors of society.




Explore the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) below to learn more about how different global partnership initiatives support each goal.


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