The Negev Center for Sustainability

Two decades ago, the 'Negev Center for Regional Development' was established by Professor Yehuda Gradus. While running under the auspices of the Department of Geography and Environmental Development and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, that center was conducting applied research with contributions to the development of the Negev Region, and realizing the university's unique concept of being a part of the region. Along its years of research, the center has established itself as a hub for scholars of various research areas, planners, policy makers and for delegates and professionals from industries and the private sectors. The center focused its research activities around issues related to regional development, such as: industrial development and employment, human capital, education among the indigenous Bedouin communities,  environmental quality, etc.

In 2015 the Department of Geography and Environmental Development has decided to revive the center as the 'Negev Center for Sustainability'. Therefore, the center promotes applied research in various areas of sustainability, with an emphasis on a variety of interactions between the social, cultural, economic and environmental dimensions, and on the different spatial scales within the Negev region and beyond. The center promotes and encourages research among the academic community and supports and initiates applied research, while studying the contribution of various policy instruments and planning practices to local, regional, national and global sustainability.

The Negev Center for Sustainability operates under four different thematic areas of research, namely: Urban Sustainability, Regional Development, Alternative Planning and Measuring Sustainability. Studying each of these areas requires a multi-sectoral and multidisciplinary cooperation. As such the center ambition is to conduct cutting-edge research, with involving scholars from diverse fields of science, and to constitute a knowledge hub to both non-academic public and private entities.