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.

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