Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): T.A. Munoz-EricksonA.E. Lugo; E. Melendez-Ackerman; L.E. Santiago-Acevedo; J. Seguinot-Barbosa; P. Mendez-Lazaro
    Date: 2014
    Source: Cities and the Environment (CATE). 7(1): Article 5
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: International Institute of Tropical Forestry
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.31 MB)


    This paper presents initial efforts to establish the San Juan Urban Long-Term Research Area Exploratory (ULTRA-Ex), a long-term program aimed at developing transdisciplinary social-ecological system (SES) research to address vulnerability and sustainability for the municipality of San Juan. Transdisciplinary approaches involve the collaborations between researchers, stakeholders, and citizens to produce socially relevant knowledge and support decision-making. We characterize the transdisciplinary arrangement emerging in San Juan ULTRA-Ex as a knowledge-action network composed of multiple formal and informal actors (e.g., scientists, policymakers, civic organizations and other stakeholders) where knowledge, ideas, and strategies for sustainability are being produced, evaluated, and validated. We describe in this paper the on-theground social practices and dynamics that emerged from developing a knowledge-action network in our local context. Specifically, we present six social practices that were crucial to the development of our knowledge action network: 1) understanding local framings; 2) analyzing existing knowledge-action systems in the city; 3) framing the social-ecological research agenda; 4) collaborative knowledge production and integration; 5) boundary objects and practices; and 6) synthesis, application, and adaptation. We discuss key challenges and ways to move forward in building knowledge-action networks for sustainability. Our hope is that the insights learned from this process will stimulate broader discussions on how to develop knowledge for urban sustainability, especially in tropical cities where these issues are under-explored.

    Publication Notes

    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Munoz-Erickson, T.A.; Lugo, A.E.; Melendez-Ackerman, E.; Santiago-Acevedo, L.E.; Seguinot-Barbosa, J.; Mendez-Lazaro, P. 2014. Knowledge to serve the city: insights from an emerging knowledge-action network to address vulnerability and sustainability in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Cities and the Environment (CATE). 7(1): Article 5.


    ULTRA-Ex, urban sustainability, social-ecological-systems, transdisciplinarity, interdisciplinarity, collaborative knowledge production, framings, knowledge-action systems, adaptive science, reflexivity, research network, vulnerability, San Juan

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page