About the Urban Sustainability Laboratory

According to the United Nations, half of the world’s population now lives in cities.  Cities are not only growing in size and number, they are producing more of the world’s wealth. This expansion is continuing with virtually all urban growth occurring in cities of the developing world, overwhelming ecosystems and placing tremendous pressure on the capacity of local governments to provide necessary infrastructure and services.  Failure to prepare for this unprecedented and inevitable urban explosion carries serious implications for global security and environmental sustainability. more

The Latest from the Urban Sustainability Laboratory

Acting Out Gentrification: Theater as Community Engagement

Blog Post //
Jul 08, 2014
Communities undergoing gentrification often fail to find ways to talk across the fault lines running among newcomers and old-timers. Neither group shares the reference points that are necessary to engage in shared conversation. A new play about young professionals moving into once working-class “Mid-City” Washington neighborhoods, Districtland, by Wilson Center scholar Cristina Bejan, demonstrates how powerfully theater can bring a community’s most aching trials into view. more

How Cities Can Foster Tolerance and Acceptance

Publication //
Jul 03, 2014
"Cities around the world have become agglomerations of ethnicities, religions, classes, and nationalities. Creating socially sustainable cities that can accommodate migrants and their diversity requires policies that nurture shared identity and maintain spaces whose use can be shared by everybody, promoting a pragmatic pluralism and a culture of tolerance," writes Blair Ruble. more

How Cities Can Foster Tolerance and Acceptance

Article //
Jun 23, 2014
"Cities around the world have become agglomerations of ethnicities, religions, classes, and nationalities. Creating socially sustainable cities that can accommodate migrants and their diversity requires policies that nurture shared identity and maintain spaces whose use can be shared by everybody, promoting a pragmatic pluralism and a culture of tolerance," writes Blair Ruble. more

Dawn of the Smart City? Perspectives From New York, Ahmedabad, São Paulo, and Beijing

Publication //
Jun 13, 2014
Four essays present perspectives on the ideas behind smart cities from New York, Ahmedabad, São Paulo, and Beijing. more
Webcast

Dawn of the Smart City? Perspectives From New York, Ahmedabad, São Paulo, and Beijing (Report Launch)

Event //
June 23, 2014 // 2:00pm4:00pm
On June 23, speakers from four cities will present their perspectives on the idea behind smart cities and the challenges their respective countries face. more

Experts & Staff

  • Blair A. Ruble // Vice President for Programs; Director, Urban Sustainability Laboratory; and Senior Advisor, Kennan Institute
  • Allison Garland // Program Associate, Urban Sustainability Laboratory
  • Thea Cooke // Program Assistant
  • Gabor Demszky // Global Fellow