What’s in a Name? “Superblocks” in Barcelona and China

The other day, I came across an announcement about the recent commitment in Barcelona, Spain, to “superblocks”—cohesive, people-friendly neighborhoods created from existing residential areas of the city. The expectation is that changes to a few city rules, along with modest financial investments, will be powerful enough to elevate the livability and appeal of these … Continue Reading ››

School Days in 2040: Beatriz’s Day at the Freire School of Activism

Education in 2040In this fifth story from the blog series School Days in 2040, Erik Assadourian explores an activist high school in São Paulo, Brazil. At this school students are activists first, students second. They’re learning by doing and, in the process, bringing about positive social change in … Continue Reading ››

Why Your Stuff Turns to Junk and Cooks the Planet

Much of the energy of the environmental movement and of policymaking is focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions through low- or zero-carbon development. This is a necessary and, in many ways, proper focus. But it is too narrow an approach to deal successfully with the broader challenge of endless growth in consumption, which is a … Continue Reading ››

Growing Circular Food Systems in a Growing City

This article on UDC's food system work was originally posted on FuturePerfect.

The University of the District of Columbia is leading the charge in transforming the food system in a city challenged with high levels of poverty, obesity, and population growth.
“Nature will be just fine. The question is whether it’ll be just fine … Continue Reading ››

School Days in 2040: Arivan’s Day at the Garden City Eco-engineering Academy

Education in 2040In this fourth story from the blog series School Days in 2040, Erik Assadourian explores an eco-engineering high school in Singapore that is training highly moral scientific leaders to guide investigation of the world’s most controversial environmental technologies. Arivan has just stepped off Singapore’s … Continue Reading ››

Four Ways Cities Are Greening Our Buildings

Can a city be sustainable? That’s what our 2016 edition of State of the World investigates. In his chapter, “Reducing the Environmental Footprint of Buildings,” author and project co-director Michael Renner explains what actions cities can take to make their buildings greener. Buildings are some of the biggest users of materials and water, … Continue Reading ››

School Days in 2040: Lakshmi’s Day at Bunker Hill High

Education in 2040In this third story from the blog series School Days in 2040, Erik Assadourian explores a high school in India specializing in training future social entrepreneurs, farmers, and even midwives. With lunch now concluded, Lakshmi excuses herself from the meal at her parents’ home, … Continue Reading ››

It’s Time to Go Back to School—Is It Also Time to Go Electric?

Opportunities to Advance Electric School Bus Technology
Some 50 million children in communities across the United States are heading back to school over the next couple of weeks. About half of these students will get to school on one of 480,000 yellow school buses, more than 90 percent of which are … Continue Reading ››

School Days in 2040: Saikou’s Day Aboard the Tigerfish Floating School

Education in 2040What might education look like in 2040 if it were to be truly Earth-centric? That is to say, teaching a deep connection to—and obligation to care for—the planet that sustains us? Over the course of the summer, as I work on the upcoming State … Continue Reading ››

Vision for a Sustainable World