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Sustainability issues manifest differently in communities all over the world. Cities face challenges and opportunities related to evolving modes of mobility, access to renewable energy sources, changing land use, and the health and well-being of residents, among other issues. University of Michigan experts at centers like the Urban Collaboratory and Urban Energy Justice Lab are examining the interplay between cities, communities, and broader global sustainability, and sharing their insights with urban planners, policymakers, businesses, and community organizations.

News and Impact

an illustration of people holding up solar panels
U-M Energy Equity Project to develop first standardized tool for driving equity in clean energy industry
Two people discuss the Alley Activation program
New Catalyst Grants Focus on environment, equity
Larissa Larsen
Larsen: Elevating environmental problems through an interdisciplinary lens
One of the many ways Mark Lindquist, the primary investigator on the 2019 research project The Rustbelt Herbarium, spends his time is thinking about how to better design research so that it will benefit its intended end-users.
The Benefits of Spontaneous Vegetation
In recent years, urine recycling has been studied as a way to produce renewable fertilizers while reducing the amount of energy and chemicals needed to treat wastewater.
‘Peecycling’ payoff: Urine diversion shows multiple environmental benefits when used at city scale
A new University of Michigan-led project, in partnership with four Detroit community-based organizations, will try to lighten that load a bit. Team members will work with residents of 200 low- and moderate-income (LMI) households in three Detroit neighborhoods—Jefferson Chalmers, Southwest Detroit and The Villages at Parkside—to improve home energy efficiency and to lower monthly utility bills.
U-M, community partners tackle energy insecurity in three Detroit neighborhoods
Two greenhouses filled with vegetables sprout alongside the Oakland Avenue Urban Farm’s Community House in Detroit. The 10-year-old, six-acre farm was founded by Jerry Hebron to be a stabilizing presence in the neighborhood and a much-needed source for fresh food, and it has been both. The farm and its “Yellow House” headquarters have become a sort of commons and a regular meeting place for different community groups. Image credit” Michigan Photography
This urban farm is on path to sustainability
Artist’s rendering of a completed “bioretention flower garden” in Detroit’s Cody Rouge neighborhood. The gardens will soak up and store storm water to help reduce overflows during large storms. Image credit: University of Michigan/SNRE
Innovative gardens help manage stormwater while beautifying Detroit neighborhoods