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

Webcast

Solutions for Sustainability and Resilience in a Constantly Changing World

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November 19, 2014 // 3:00pm5:00pm
In the past few years, natural and manmade disasters including Superstorm Sandy, the Fukushima nuclear meltdown, and the Boston Marathon bombing have highlighted the growing need for communities and societies to be resilient in the face of unexpected and constantly changing challenges. Join us, the Rockefeller Foundation, Thomas Lovejoy of the UN Foundation, and select authors to discuss how urban communities and industrial enterprises can “survive, adapt, and flourish in the face of turbulent change and uncertainty.” more
Westminister Church Washington DC

Making Community Work: the Importance of the Performing Arts

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Nov 12, 2014
Resilience and adaptability increasingly are seen as essential for community well-being, particularly in the face of growing challenges and dilemmas posed by natural and man-made misfortune. Resilience, in turn, requires expansive social capital and vibrant civic life. Community vitality requires increasingly diverse neighbors come to know one another, even if only casually. As these Washington examples demonstrate, the shared enjoyment provided by the performing arts promotes a virtuous cycle which enables communities to move forward in the face of adversity. more
Webcast

Peace via H2O: Cooperation and a Most Critical Resource

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Nov 10, 2014
Many fear that competition for fresh water will increasingly lead to conflict as the world’s most essential resource becomes more scarce. But a project involving Palestinian, Israeli, and Jordan youth, emanating from a region fraught with conflict, represents the possibility for cooperation instead of conflict. That’s the focus of this edition of REWIND. more

Fight not Flight: Lessons from Detroit

Blog Post //
Oct 31, 2014
The re-distribution of urban resources that we see all around us is producing new “winners” and “losers” in urban political and economic life with all of the consequent tensions and discontent that can be imagined. Either glorified or pilloried, American cities appear to be experiencing a dramatic dislocation in which all the rules of the game are being ripped up and re-written in cyberspace, writes Blair Ruble. more
Webcast

Building Peace Over Water in the Lower Jordan Valley: A Sister Cities Coalition

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October 17, 2014 // 3:00pm5:00pm
Since its launch in 2001, EcoPeace / Friends of the Earth Middle East's Good Water Neighbors project (GWN) has brought together Palestinian, Israeli, and Jordanian youth, adults, and municipal representatives to cooperate over transboundary water resources and jointly advance sustainable development in the region - most notably in the Lower Jordan Valley. EcoPeace / Friends of the Earth Middle East has recently partnered with Sister Cities International (SCI) and Citizen Diplomacy Initiatives (CDI) to create sister city partnerships between American cities and the partnering communities of the GWN project. These new partnerships will build on the previous successes of GWN to create and empower a broad, international citizen coalition for peace in the region. more

Experts & Staff