Sustainable Cities

HomeClimateSustainable Cities
St. Paul Skyline, sustainable cities

Cities offer distinct advantages: They are centers of creativity and innovation and engines of economic growth. Increased density can boost production through economies of scale and reduce land pressure outside of cities. But increased density also concentrates waste streams, creates novel problems such as formation of urban heat islands, and makes cities more reliant on rural areas for food supply and other necessities. But natural processes such as watersheds that provide drinking water, systems that allow precipitation to percolate through pavement, and wetlands that remove pollutants from water can help solve urban sustainability challenges. “Sustainable Cities: Building an Integrative Research Network to Incorporate Natural Capital Into Design of Urban Systems” is advancing understanding of the role of green infrastructure in sustainable cities by 1) stimulating new collaborative research on urban ecosystem services, 2) identifying key knowledge gaps and barriers to sustainability and developing proposals to address those gap, and 3) supporting integration of research and practice through partnerships, educational opportunities and stakeholder engagement.

Project Leads

  • Bonnie Keeler, Institute on the Environment
  • Sarah Hobbie, College of Biological Sciences
  • Steven Polasky, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
  • Marie Donahue, Institute on the Environment
  • Jessica Wyatt, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
  • Justin Johnson, Institute on the Environment
  • Emily Dombeck, Institute on the Environment
  • Ben Janke, College of Biological Sciences