[Update: Thanks to all the participants in this year's seminar. It was great to get to test out some new ideas and approaches to designing green cities with you!]
All this week, as part of MIT's IAP period, I'll be teaching an intensive seminar on integrated approaches to urban sustainability. Things kicked off this morning with a great group of students. I'm really excited to see the end result of our work.
I've structured the seminar as a collaborative exploration of some recent trends in how leading cities are shifting their approach to climate and sustainability policy. Rather than pursuing narrowly defined "emission reduction plans" there are signs that cities are adopting more complex and holistic policies that tie together multiple environmental, social, and economic goals. Counter-intuitively, it may be that by embracing complexity in this way actually makes more ambitious and effective local environmental action easier to plan and implement.
The seminar is titled "Keystone Cities: Networked Approaches to Urban Sustainability." If you are curious you can see more, including the work of some of the students, on the class website.