Urban Sustainability

Urban Sustainability, Equity and Resilience

According to the United States Census Bureau, the average population density for cities is 1,594 people per square mile. By 2050, it is projected that two thirds of us will live in cities. Cities that account for the use of over 75% of global natural resources currently produce over 50% of global waste and emit 80% of greenhouse gasses. This is a result of our linear take-and-make materials economic model, which is unsustainable and highly vulnerable to climate change. This model also produces significant inequalities among community members. The negative
consequences of applying a fundamentally linear construct have resulted in an urgent need for us to rethink the urban pattern and metabolism. To create a city that is economically, socially and environmentally resilient, and sustainable, we need to consider a new regenerative circular model that encompasses a systems approach.

Faculty in the Environmental Studies School at Antioch University are working within various disciplines of urban sustainability, equity and resilience. This transdisciplinary research and community work will help us tackle the wicked problem of climate change and implement solutions at the local level. You can see the various focus areas of concentrations in the environmental studies programs below.

Stay tuned to see a collection of resources, webinars, reports, and innovative faculty projects showcased here in the fall. Our first project in this field is the creation of a framework for a sustainable, equitable, and resilient model city.

City for the Future: Resilient, Equitable, and Regenerative

The goal of this report is to imagine and propose a new urban settlement in the United States that operates as a natural complex system to establish a sustainable, resilient, equitable, and regenerative urban environment that can be used as a model for redeveloping existing cities.

This report proposes a new framework and model for how an urban settlement is imagined, designed, and managed, as well as how it serves its inhabitants to ensure the city’s vision is actualized. This urban system includes the built environment, the natural environment, materials and the related expenditure of energy, individuals, and all of the nonmaterial items necessary such as governance, knowledge, the arts, and spirituality.

Upcoming Events


Policy Advocacy: Climate Change

This course will provide participants with step-by-step skills in utilizing the tools of democracy to take meaningful civic action on climate change. Participants will learn the levers for building political will and the essentials of climate change communication. You will apply your learning by taking action in collaboration with a local environmental organization, and further your learning with your peers via Antioch’s online learning platform and optional one-on-one meetings with the instructor.
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Climate Impacts: Vulnerability and Adaptation Planning

Local and regional governments are leaders in climate change due to their unique position to make a wide range of decisions that can mitigate and adapt to our changing climate. Because they are on the frontline, many communities have conducted vulnerability assessments and engaged in adaptation planning. This module will enable participants to assess impacts to a business, community, or sector based on specific climate projections for a specific locale.
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Climate Impacts: Communication, Facilitation, and Stakeholder Capacity Building

Collective actions at the societal level (civic or political action behaviors) include involvement and support of policies, plans, and funding for implementation of municipal projects that could increase local climate resilience. Community engagement with the issue of climate change typically is lacking at the local level. How individuals feel about climate change, how much they know about the issue, and how they act are all types of engagement that are needed for societal change.
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Center for Climate Preparedness and Community Resilience

Antioch University New England
40 Avon Street
Keene, NH 03431-3516


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