Urban Studies

The Absent Hand: Reimagining Our American Landscape

This engrossing work of literary nonfiction is a deep dive into our surroundings―cities, countryside, and sprawl―exploring change in the meaning of place, and reimagining our American landscape 

Bottom-Up Politics: What Do We Know and Where Do We Need to Go?

Bottom-up politics responds to the current dysfunction in national governance with its damaging consequences for residents in both urban and rural communities throughout the nation. Partisan gridlock and protracted inattention to everyday problems are spurring communities to bring together problem-solving efforts of their own. Termed by New York Times columnist David Brooks "a localist revolution," these initiatives bridge partisan, sector and social divides. Found in places varied in size, geography and partisan leanings, bottom-up politics is in need of sustained exploration.

Encouraging the Next Generation of Innovative Policymakers

Innovative policy solutions often require fresh perspectives. Toward that end, the Brazil Institute is proud to be collaborating with the Colégio Dante Alighieri in São Paulo in support of Colégio Dante’s GEN initiative. Interdisciplinary Project Practice Learning (IPPL) is more than an interdisciplinary Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) initiative because it also integrates history, philosophy, and sociology.

New Innovations for Green Financing in Urban China

To reduce the energy and carbon footprint of Chinese cities and meet the country's Paris Climate Agreement targets, it is estimated that by 2020, China needs to invest $254 billion to support the construction of green buildings and retrofit existing ones. There is potential for a billion-dollar market of cost-effective, green, and energy efficient building opportunities in China; however, few structures exist in China’s market for banks and institutional investors to deploy capital for energy efficiency.

How Low (on Energy and Carbon) Can Buildings in China and the U.S. Go?

Cities consume 70% of global energy, with building construction and operation creating the largest energy footprint. Buildings are energy hungry in both the United States and China, using 40% and 20% of urban energy, respectively. In the United States and China, the real estate and construction sectors generate 40% of each country’s carbon emissions.

Assessing and Managing Risk along the Mississippi River Corridor

The Mississippi River Valley has been hit by droughts, floods, extreme heat, and tornadoes that resulted in damages totaling over $50 billion since 2011. From 2005 to 2017, that total eclipses $200 billion with each effected state incurring a minimum $5 billion in damages. One positive result in reaction to those natural disasters was the formation of the Mississippi River Cities & Towns Initiative (MRCTI), a coalition of mayors focused on resilience and adaptation programs.

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