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Urbanization & Sustainable Cities

  • Article Item
    The wine cellar of Castello di Verrazzano in Chianti, Italy; Photo: Michael Mortimer
    Urban food security: old wine in a new bottle , article

    Back from the recent MNR Global Study trip to Italy, Center Director Michael Mortimer examines the concept of short supply chains, or the zero-kilometer approach, a sustainable norm in managing agricultural supply and demand in Europe for hundreds of years and a possible way forward today.

    Date: May 23, 2023
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    Bellreguard water treatment plant, Valencia, Spain; Photo: Michael Mortimer
    Water security—the humanity of it all , article

    Water is a critical precondition for enduring human prosperity, but who owns it? Center Founder Dr. Michael Mortimer reflects on the ways water security is provided or guaranteed and the questions water rights raise in communities.

    Date: Dec 06, 2022
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    Meteora, a rock formation in central Greece, home to one of the largest and most precipitously built complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries, Greece; Photo by Michael Mortimer
    Tourist vs. tourist: Forget future generations, what do we do now? , article

    As many of us are packing our bags for summer getaways or going through pictures of recent trips, it is important to take a moment to reflect on the impacts of our travel choices. A seasoned world traveler, CLiGS Founding Director Dr. Michael Mortimer offers a perspective on the sustainability of tourism in the long term and now.

    Date: Jul 19, 2022
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    LaSagradaFamilia_Barcelona_Spain_Global Study
    Barcelona: Contrasts and contradictions in the city by the sea , article

    Barcelona is on the itinerary for two MNR Global Study experiences this year. Associate Dean Dr. Michael Mortimer talks about what makes this city a great destination for students of sustainability, as well as one of his favorite cities in the world.

    Date: May 10, 2022
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    Green stormwater infrastructure at the corporate headquarters of Johnson Controls, Inc., Glendale, Wisconsin; Photo: Model D Media
    Community-based climate change solutions: the value of public–private partnerships in water management , article

    In their class project on the Clean Water Partnership, students in the 2021 Executive MNR cohort saw an opportunity to scale up community partnerships and come up with climate adaptation solutions that community leaders could incorporate into their plans.

    Date: Jan 04, 2022
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    Rainwater harvesting courtyard at Roosevelt High School in Washington, D.C. Photo: Sally Parker
    XMNR alum Sally Parker charts new career course for most impact in her community , article

    Sally Parker, a 2014 Executive MNR graduate, is no stranger to changing jobs as a sustainability professional, and she isn’t shy to admit that when she feels like she is no longer able to make an impact in her position, it is time to move on.

    Date: Nov 23, 2021
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    Seeing the bigger picture: urban planner and OMNR alum Marshall Distel on social sustainability of cities
    Seeing the bigger picture: urban planner and OMNR alum Marshall Distel on social sustainability of cities , article

    “The MNR program helped me see that my role in sustainability is about way more than transportation,” says Marshall Distel, an Online MNR alum and Transportation Planner at the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission in the greater Burlington, Vermont region. “I learned to see the bigger picture. Communities can shape streets, but streets can also shape communities.”

    Date: Apr 06, 2021
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    Stefano Boeri Architetti's Forest City
    Vertical Forest City: China’s sustainable urban development , article

    Historically seen as one of the world’s worst polluters, China is emerging as an environmental leader, with a long-term vision and political will to carry it out. Author and recent XMNR alumna Karen (Songyi) Zhang uses the example of Italian-designed Vertical Forest City in the southwestern city of Liuzhou, as a vivid illustration of that commitment.

    Date: Mar 09, 2021
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    Climate resilience of island nations and coastal cities: Cuba, Iceland, Amsterdam, Venice
    Climate resilience of island nations and coastal cities: Cuba, Iceland, Amsterdam, Venice , article

    If your dreams of island getaways or beach vacations immediately bring up concerns about rising sea levels and sinking cities, you are not alone! Different countries around the world are developing adaptation approaches to survive and thrive in the Anthropocene, and we have designed Global Study experiences for our sustainability students to explore some of these approaches first-hand in locations as geographically, economically, and culturally diverse as Iceland, Cuba, Venice, and Amsterdam.

    Date: Dec 15, 2020
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    Can the pandemic force us to build better food systems?
    Can the pandemic force us to build better food systems? , article

    “Exploring the space where landscape architecture and urban planning overlap, I seek to understand causes and explore solutions to social injustice from a different perspective. Food policy, food systems resilience, and urban agriculture are the areas of deep interest to me,” says Lynda S. Ramirez-Blust, a student in our Urban Ecology course.

    Date: Nov 12, 2020