Urban Systems

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Building with Life in Mind

With cities growing and more people moving to urban areas, the need to find and implement sustainable, healthy, and affordable solutions are essential and urgent. Penn State researchers collaborate across disciplines to identify and implement solutions on a global scale.

Sustainable Development

The United Nations projects that nearly 70% of the world’s populations will live in cities by 2050. Across the globe, the trend toward urbanization is driving resource needs and impacts with water, food, and energy while disparately impacting low income/minority populations.  

To that end, determining and implementing sustainable, healthy, and affordable solutions for urban areas is essential and urgent.

Moreover, it will require extensive interdisciplinary collaboration to adequately meet the needs of infrastructure, planning, finance, energy, engineering, transportation, utilities, and more.

Penn State has a strong history of innovative urban solutions, and researchers continue to focus on the needs of cities and how to move them ahead to meet the global demand.

For more than two decades, Esther Obonyo, associate professor of engineering design and architectural engineering and director of the Global Building Network, has served as a global expert on buildings.

Urban Systems Research

 

Featured IEE Researchers

Professor, Architectural Engineering
Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Urban Systems News

Featured Stories

Penn State-led team to bolster communities impacted by climate change

| news.psu.edu

An international, Penn State-led consortium aims to improve infrastructure resiliency, along with sustainability and public health, in coastal areas most impacted by climate change. The $1.1 million project, supported through the Belmont Forum, focuses on low-income communities in select parts of Brazil, East Africa and North America.

Mentions: Esther Obonyo

Interdisciplinary projects awarded seed grants from IEE

| news.psu.edu

The Institutes of Energy and the Environment (IEE) has awarded seed grants to 22 groups of interdisciplinary researchers for the 2020-21 award cycle. This year, seed grants were awarded to proposals focusing on at least one of IEE’s five strategic research themes — Climate and Ecosystem Change, Health and the Environment, Integrated Energy Systems, Urban Systems, and Water and Biogeochemical Cycles.

Low Carbon Building Program

Accelerating emission reductions through building renovations targeting energy efficiency, energy burdens, health, and expanded workforce for diverse communities.

Emissions from buildings reached the highest ever recorded levels in 2019. The current renovation rates of 1% annually could lock-in most existing buildings in a high carbon emissions future. Barriers include lack of awareness, affordability, and inadequate supply of skilled workforce. These barriers hit low-income households the hardest, particularly those with seniors and people with disabilities.

Learn more about the Low Carbon Building Program