Sustainability is a concept that is thrown around often in the modern era without much specificity on what can be done to truly achieve this goal. This is especially the case in developed nations like the United States, who in many ways disproportionately contribute to the overall problem of climate change on a global level. In an increasingly urbanized world, urban population centers present complicated relationships between human beings and the environment that affect millions of people on a daily basis. This paper examines the relationship between cities and climate change by analyzing the impact of sustainability programs that have been enacted in the New York City and Houston metropolitan regions. Using these two urban centers as case studies, sustainability is assessed in both its holistic success and the level of equity in outcomes produced from these programs and their impact on people. Not only do both of these cities have significant history with climate disasters and the worst effects of the climate crisis, but also have made significant efforts to improve not only their resiliency for present day environmental situations, but also the future that climate issues have provided us. This paper provides a qualitative analysis of these programs in order to extrapolate knowledge that can not only significantly change how urban citizens interact with the greater environment, but also help us understand how to make future sustainability projects be more equitable in providing for citizens throughout a cities’ population no matter their characteristics.
“Future-Proofing Our Cities” Assessing Current Methods to Equitably Promote Sustainability in Urban America
- Fellow: Shaunak Kale
- Advisor: Kevon Rhiney