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

Assistant Professor, Architectural Engineering
Professor, John and Willie Leone Department of Energy & Mineral Engineering (EME)

Urban Systems News

Featured Stories

Institutes partner on seed grants to promote computational climate research

| psu.edu

Penn State faculty investigating the climate are encouraged to apply for the IEE-RISE 2022 Climate Seed Grant Program to receive consulting time from the RISE (Research Innovations with Scientists and Engineers) team.

Mentions: Erica Smithwick

Penn State to undertake research on embodied carbon in cities

| archinect.com

Researchers at Penn State are set to undertake a study of the environmental impact of construction. The interdisciplinary team, led by associate professor Rahman Azari from the university’s architecture school, will study the embodied carbon emissions associated with the manufacturing, transportation, and construction of materials used in urban buildings, as well as their demolition.

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