2015-2016 Interdisciplinary Workshop on Urban Sustainability and Resilience
Formed in Fall 2014, the Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop on Urban Sustainability and Resilience brings together scholars from across the University of Michigan whose research focuses on the myriad challenges related to cities and global environmental change.
The workshop has two parts:

  1. A writing/research group composed primarily of doctoral students and post-docs that meets biweekly to read and provide feedback on group members’ work, share ideas, discuss topics of interest, and collaborate.
  2. Each semester the group will organize a public speaker event. These will feature prominent scholars working on issues of urban sustainability and resilience.
Workshop Rationale: More than half of the world’s population lives in cities. While urban areas cover less than 3% of the earth’s surface, they are responsible for an estimated 78% of global carbon emissions, 60% of residential water use, and 76% of industrial wood use. Moreover, urbanization, population growth, and economic development are rapidly transforming cities around the world. These changes are increasing the demand on resources and infrastructure and introducing a host of land-use, environmental, social, and economic problems. In addition to these stressors, the threat of climate change adds further pressure to limited municipal budgets, capacity, and knowledge systems. Cities are often located along coasts where they are particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts like sea-level rise and storm surge, and temperature increases are amplified in urban areas by the urban heat island effect. Although the ecological, social, and economic implications of urban footprints are enormous, cities are crucial leverage points for society, sources of innovation, and laboratories for sustainability and resilience concepts. All of these factors have led to an increasing focus on urban sustainability and resilience among academic and policy researchers. Although many more scholars are working on this emerging research agenda, the challenges have not been resolved. Definitions and models for urban sustainability and resilience are hotly contested, as is the relationship between the two concepts.
Doctoral students from across the University of Michigan whose research relates to urban sustainability or resilience are encouraged to join.
Email for more information.
Graduate Coordinators: Sara Meerow & James Arnott
Faculty Sponsor: Joshua Newell
Workshop Schedule
Fall 2015
Friday, Oct 1, 1-3 pm 4325 Dana
Friday, Oct 9, 1-3 pm 3556 Dana
Friday, Oct 23, 1-3 pm
Friday, Nov 6, 1-3 pm
Friday, Dec 4, 1-3 pm
Winter 2015
Friday, January 23rd, 12-2 pm 4315A Dana
Friday, February 6th, 12-2 pm 4315A Dana
Friday, February 20th, 12-2 pm 4315A Dana
Thursday, March 19th, 4-6 pm 1040 Dana (special speaker event)
Friday, March 20th, 12-2 pm 2026 Dana
Friday, April 3rd, 12-2 pm 4315A Dana
Friday, April 17th, 12-2 pm 4315A Dana
Friday, May 1, 12-2 pm 4315A Dana
Fall 2014
Friday, November 7th, 12-2 pm 4315A Dana
Friday, November 21st, 12-2 pm 4315A Dana
Friday, December 5th, 12-2 pm 2560 Dana