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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2010. Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Research and Development on Urban Systems: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12969.
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PATHWAYS TO URBAN SUSTAINABILITY

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ON URBAN SYSTEMS

Summary of a Workshop

Committee on the Challenge of Developing Sustainable Urban Systems

Science and Technology for Sustainability Program Policy and Global Affairs Division

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2010. Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Research and Development on Urban Systems: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12969.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
500 Fifth Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This summary report and the workshop on which it was based were supported by the following contracts: DHHS/CDC (200-2005-13434, TO#21), NASA (NNX08AC56G), USDA/FS (09-DG-11132650-312), DOI/USGS (G09AP00161), and DOE (108E003170). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2010. Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Research and Development on Urban Systems: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12969.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine


The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.


The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering.


The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.


The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.


www.national-academies.org

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2010. Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Research and Development on Urban Systems: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12969.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2010. Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Research and Development on Urban Systems: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12969.
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COMMITTEE ON THE CHALLENGE OF DEVELOPING SUSTAINABLE URBAN SYSTEMS

Ann Bartuska, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment,

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Glen Daigger, NAE, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer,

CH2M HILL, Inc.

Jonathan Fink, Director,

Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University

Michael Freedberg, Director,

Division of Affordable Housing Research and Technology, Officer of Policy Development and Research, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Howard Frumkin, Director,

National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, U.S. Centers for Disease Control

Malka Pattison, Program Analyst,

Office of Policy Analysis, U.S. Department of the Interior

STAFF

Derek Vollmer, Project Director and Program Officer,

Science and Technology for Sustainability Program

Marina Moses, Director,

Science and Technology for Sustainability Program

Pat Koshel, Senior Program Officer,

Science and Technology for Sustainability Program

Kathleen McAllister, Research Associate,

Science and Technology for Sustainability Program

Emi Kameyama, Senior Program Assistant,

Science and Technology for Sustainability Program

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2010. Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Research and Development on Urban Systems: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12969.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2010. Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Research and Development on Urban Systems: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12969.
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Preface and Acknowledgments

Transitioning to sustainability will be a collective, adaptive, and uncertain endeavor. In order to identify “problem-driven research” topics critical to sustainability, the National Academies Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability (see Appendix C) has regularly helped organize workshops to convene diverse stakeholders and discuss the role that science and technology can play in addressing these challenges.

In 2007, the National Academies hosted the first Federal Sustainability Research and Development (R&D) Forum, which focused on federal R&D on ecosystem services and biofuels. Based on the success of this initial event and input from various stakeholders, a second forum was organized to again engage federal researchers, this time focusing on urbanization, with the additional goal of engaging leading academic and private researchers to be part of the conversation. The rationale was that metropolitan regions are playing, and will continue to play, an important role in addressing climate change and many other sustainability challenges. The federal government can support these place-based efforts, but sub-national actors will necessarily lead the way in making communities more sustainable.

A committee was appointed by the National Research Council to organize a one-day workshop on September 22, 2009 in Washington, D.C. titled “Transitioning to Sustainability: The Challenge of Developing Sustainable Urban Systems.” The committee identified panel topics, invited speakers from throughout the research and development “chain”, and developed the agenda. Prior to the workshop, National Academies’ staff solicited brief descriptions of notable urban sustainability R&D programs within academia and the federal government (Appendix D).

The workshop was not designed to be a standalone, singular activity, but the beginning of a more sustained conversation between federal agencies, the research enterprise (broadly defined), and decision makers dealing with on-the-ground sustainability challenges in metropolitan regions of the United States. As a new domestic urban agenda begins to unfold in the months and years ahead, it will be critical to learn not only from our own experience but also from the urban experience in other countries and to understand the trends and challenges posed by urbanization on a global scale. We not only live in an urban nation, but we also live in an urban world. That is why the

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2010. Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Research and Development on Urban Systems: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12969.
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organizers of this workshop hoped that this event would set the stage for an international workshop on urban systems in 2010. That being said, the agenda was structured in the hopes of using this initial workshop to identify opportunities for deeper collaboration, more effective dissemination, and assessing gaps in our current knowledge of urban systems.

In addition to the planning committee, the workshop benefitted from the input of many federal agency representatives, through phone conversations and e-mails. Jack Kaye and Teresa Fryberger (NASA), Chuck Kent and Danielle Arigoni (EPA), Jerry Dion (DOE), Rich Pouyat and Rob Doudrick (USFS), and several others provided timely feedback leading up to the workshop. The workshop and report could not have come together without the help of many dedicated staff members as well. Pat Koshel and Kathleen McAllister were especially helpful in engaging federal agency representatives, and sharing their experiences from the 2007 Federal Sustainability R&D Forum, precursor to the 2009 workshop summarized in this report.

This summary has been prepared by the rapporteurs as a factual summary of what occurred at the workshop. The planning committee’s role was limited to planning and convening the workshop. The statements made in this volume do not necessarily represent positions of the workshop participants, the Roundtable, or the National Academies.

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Academies’ Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for quality and objectivity. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process.

We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Lawrence Baker, University of Minnesota; Nancy Cantor, Syracuse University; Margaret Davidson, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Bruce Hamilton, National Science Foundation; and Carl Shapiro, U.S. Geological Survey.

Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the content of the report, nor did they see the final draft before its release. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authors and the institution.


Daniel Schaffer and Derek Vollmer, Rapporteurs

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2010. Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Research and Development on Urban Systems: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12969.
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More than half of the world's people now live in cities. In the United States, the figure is 80 percent. It is worthwhile to consider how this trend of increased urbanization, if inevitable, could be made more sustainable. One fundamental shortcoming of urban research and programs is that they sometimes fail to recognize urban areas as systems. Current institutions and actors are not accustomed to exploring human-environment interactions, particularly at an urban-scale. The fact is that these issues involve complex interactions, many of which are not yet fully understood. Thus a key challenge for the 21st century is this: How can we develop sustainable urban systems that provide healthy, safe and affordable environments for the growing number of Americans living in cities and their surrounding metropolitan areas?

To address this question, the National Research Council organized a workshop exploring the landscape of urban sustainability research programs in the United States. The workshop, summarized in this volume, was designed to allow participants to share information about the activities and planning efforts of federal agencies, along with related initiatives by universities, the private sector, nongovernmental groups, state and local agencies, and international organizations. Participants were encouraged to explore how urban sustainability can move beyond analyses devoted to single disciplines and sectors to systems-level thinking and effective interagency cooperation. To do this, participants examined areas of potential coordination among different R&D programs, with special consideration given to how the efforts of federal agencies can best complement and leverage the efforts of other key stakeholders. Pathways to Urban Sustainability offers a broad contextual summary of workshop presentations and discussions for distribution to federal agencies, regional organizations, academic institutions, think tanks and other groups engaged in urban research.

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