e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
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Center for the Urban Environment

ESF Center for the Urban EnvironmentUrban sustainability through environmental science and design

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Director: M. Margaret Bryant, Ph.D.

ESF is urban.

The Center for the Urban Environment (CUE) supports the ESF community by focusing attention on, and building, urban scholarship by ESF faculty and students. We promote urban sustainability by advancing urban environmental science and its applications in teaching, design, planning, management, and outreach/community engagement. We seek to develop the next generation of urban environmental scientists and professionals.

As people who view the world as a set of linked systems — landscape systems, coupled natural and human systems — we do not always identify our work based on place or location. For us, urban is a critical component of larger social and ecological systems. However, while some of our research may not be bound by place, many of the world's most critical environmental issues are concentrated in one kind of place, namely, cities. These urban socio-ecological systems are the focus of the CUE.

Celebrating Urban Scholarship

"Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable."Goal 11. UN Sustainable Development Goals

brooklyn grange

The UN-sponsored Habitat III conference, held in 2016 in Quito, Ecuador, resulted in the New Urban Agenda (NUA). Countries and organizations around the world are working to implement the agenda, and the academic community is likewise activated. The NUA describes a scope of scholarly inquiry, including these urban environmental topics:

Sustainable urban development for social inclusion and ending poverty

  1. Environmental justice
  2. Environmental health
  3. Land tenure questions
  4. Value of public space

Environmentally sustainable and resilient urban development

  1. Climate change
  2. Patterns of consumption
  3. Slum upgrading
  4. Energy efficiency
  5. Social and ecological functions of land

Planning and managing urban spatial development

  1. Food security
  2. Interrelationships of cities and territories
  3. Quality public spaces
  4. Urban mobility
  5. Climate risk planning

ESF Alumni in Action