In a new study of access to clean and affordable water in Detroit, U-M researchers found that 20% of households are “triple burdened,” meaning the occupants face higher than average poverty rates, higher than average housing costs and incomplete plumbing. In some Detroit neighborhoods, up to 10% of homes lack complete access to water, meaning they lack either hot and cold running water, a bathtub or shower, or a sink with a faucet.
Climate change is the issue of our time, and combating the climate crisis is global society’s greatest current challenge. A number of technological, business, and policy hurdles must be overcome to ensure the future vitality of both the natural and built environments.
Climate change and the built environment pose threats to ecosystems around the world. Interdisciplinary approaches — examining the interplay between the natural environment and human activity — can enrich conservation, restoration, and habitat management efforts going forward.
Low-income and underserved communities are poised to bear the greatest burdens of the climate crisis. Yet those same communities are least likely to access innovations in energy and infrastructure that could save lives and livelihoods. Environmental justice — across race, class, and gender — must be central to our efforts to tackle this global crisis.
Moving society toward a more sustainable future requires contributions from the public, private, and social sectors. Bold, equitable public policies, innovative business practices, and disruptions and adaptations within legacy industries can all help address the climate crisis.
An accessible, equitable, and ecologically sound food system is vital toward a sustainable world. Food systems extend beyond nutrition, and a number of actions must be taken to adequately address food’s role in climate change as well as persisting global hunger.
Climate change and other environmental crises threaten to harm overall human health and exacerbate existing gaps in health equity. In charting the path ahead, public health professionals and sustainability researchers alike must address how our changing global climate impacts air quality, food sources and supply chains, the spread of infectious disease, mental and community health, and other dynamic processes.
Advances in mobility, materials, and landscape architecture pose new opportunities for the world, and especially for the more than half of the global population that now resides in cities. As we face the climate crisis, new strategies for the built environment will be necessary to ensure the health of distinct communities and the natural environment.
Multidisciplinary Leadership from 700+ Experts
U-M faculty are on the forefront of leading research, teaching, and engagement efforts on an array of environmental topics. Researchers contribute their interests and expertise, enabling the university to serve as a nexus for ideas and far-reaching solutions.
Working Toward Carbon Neutrality
Scalable and transferable steps that will enable U-M to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across all three campuses and Michigan MedicineLearn More about the President's Commission on Carbon Neutrality and U-M's Next Steps
Planet Blue Campus
Empowering students, staff, and faculty to get involved in sustainability work on campus, at home, and in the communityGet Involved with Planet Blue
Office of Campus Sustainability
Collaborating with academic and research units, auxiliary units, and student groups to pursue U-M’s Sustainability GoalsLearn More about the Office of Campus Sustainability
The threats posed by the climate crisis extend far beyond the U-M campus and community. By bringing together academics, activists, and community leaders, U-M, as a top public research university, has a distinct opportunity to help chart the path forward.
As the nation's largest public research university, the U-M Office of Research (UMOR) aims to catalyze, support, and safeguard U-M research.
Climate change. Population growth. Food access. Water quality. The world needs bold leaders willing to take on urgent environmental issues, now more than ever. The School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) is focusing on the future, transforming research into action to create a healthier planet for all.
The Graham Sustainability Institute catalyzes and facilitates sustainability-focused collaborations involving faculty, students, and external stakeholders. Graham links knowledge to real-world impact by supporting teams spanning multiple topics, disciplines, and sectors.
The Erb Institute — a partnership between U-M’s Ross School of Business and the School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) — aspires to create a socially and environmentally sustainable world through the power of business. Erb conducts research, teaching, and business engagement; all focused on preparing and supporting bold business leaders who can adeptly transform companies, industries, and entire economies for systemic sustainability.
Michigan Engineering strives to anticipate the changes ahead and provide scientific and technological leadership for the common good. It is home to top-ranked departments that collaborate within the nation’s number one public research institution.
With more than 100 degree programs in over 75 academic units, the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA) is the largest of U-M’s 19 schools and colleges and is still at the heart of the university. The college is built upon the idea that a powerful, pragmatic, broad education can transform hearts and minds, can solve problems in an ever-changing world, and can yield ideas and innovation across every discipline.
The U-M School of Public Health is pursuing a healthier, more equitable world through education, research, and action. The School of Public Health works with compassion, innovation, and inclusion to create meaningful, lasting impact.
The Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan is a community dedicated to the public good. It inspires and prepares diverse leaders grounded in service, conducts transformational research, and collaborates on evidence-based policymaking to take on our communities' and our world's most pressing challenges.
Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan aims to create a more beautiful, inclusive, and better environment for generations to come. Through interdisciplinary education and research, Taubman College prepares graduates for positions of responsibility within a wide spectrum of professions, organizations, and institutions that shape the built environment at scales ranging from local to global.
The University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum promotes environmental enjoyment, stewardship, and sustainability through education, research and interaction with the natural world.
The Institute for Social Research (ISR) is the world’s largest academic social science survey and research organization. It is a leader in developing and applying new social science methods, and is committed to educating the next generation of social scientists.
Learn more about study programs around the world, scholarships and other financial aid resources, the CGIS application process, courses in your major,...
Sept 10: Ken Powell, Aerospace Engineering, U-M Increasing Diversity and Inclusion in Academic Departments Sept 17: Todd Allen, Nuclear...
Earthfest celebrates sustainability initiatives across U-M and the surrounding communities, while providing an inclusive platform to educate and...
In The News
The story of worsening climate extremes — almost every story — is also a story of failing infrastructure. Much of existing human infrastructure was built with the climate of the 20th century in mind, rather than the rapidly worsening climates of the 21st century.
In urban settings, healthy stream ecosystems provide important services, including drinking water, recreation, and natural beauty. Robert Goodspeed, an associate professor of urban and regional planning, and his research team aim to create a first-of-its-kind multidisciplinary framework to approach urban water quality management.