Urban Environmental Science
Cities form the heart of contemporary society.
One half of the world's population resides in urban centers and the proportion is increasing daily. The most important environmental problems of the coming decades will be related to the urban environment and human quality of life.
- Our cities have been left a legacy of brownfield sites.
- Urban neighborhoods, frequently planned by those who do not have to live there, lack the green spaces and thoughtful design that create a sense of place and pride in one's community.
- The lack of trees in our cities creates urban microclimates, called heat islands that make cities unbearably hot in the summertime.
Syracuse, NY, a classic northeastern "rust-belt" city, is an ideal place to address the legacy of urban environmental issues resulting from a period of unfettered industrial activity and economic boom.
Who will solve these problems? Not just any scientists will do. The most passionate work will be done by environmental professionals drawn from urban communities. Students who are familiar with diverse cultures and places are ready to understand the real issues and values necessary to take on this challenging task.
Graduates of this program will make important professional contributions on issues ranging from urban forestry and urban wildlife, to urban air and water quality, population growth and urban sprawl, and environmental justice and equity.
Aerial view of ESF quad and the SU Carrier Dome in the foreground, illustrating ESF's urban Syracuse, NY setting.
Downtown Syracuse and Onondaga Lake in the background