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Higher Ed Teaches Sustainability to Cities

By Sharon Chen
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In Baltimore, two universities are taking the lead on creating a more sustainable future for the city. The University of Maryland and the University of Baltimore are working with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and with Climate Nexus, to ensure that Baltimore has a greener future. This initiative is part of the U.N.’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

This partnership with higher ed will focus on social and environmental issues, and graduate students will be involved in data analysis. As a university student put it, she has seen many sustainability initiatives on campus, but not around the city – “it’s great that we are taking what we do on campus and taking it to a larger level.”

This partnership highlights higher ed’s sustainability leadership. As an incubator for many climate innovations and a testing ground for green policy, higher ed leads the way when it comes to climate progress. By working with municipalities to show them that sustainability is feasible, efficient, and cost effective, universities and colleges are driving large-scale climate solutions. 

UMD, UN, University of Baltimore work to make Baltimore more sustainable

Lindsey Feingold | The Diamondback | November 23, 2015

The University of Maryland, in partnership with the United Nations and the University of Baltimore, is aiming to make Baltimore more sustainable and will hold its first meeting Dec. 3.

This university’s National Center for Smart Growth is working with University of Baltimore’s College of Public Affairs and the Jacob France Institute, as well as the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network and Climate Nexus — a strategic communications group — to ensure Baltimore becomes more sustainable in the next few years.

This initiative is part of the U.N.’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and has the same goal of being more sustainable by 2030.

Baltimore is one of three cities that are a part of a pilot program for the new USA Sustainable Cities Initiative, which is head by the U.N. The other cities are New York and San Jose, California.

“We hope that the results of this are that the residents will have more opportunity to live in a clean environment and have more economic prosperity,” said Gerrit Knaap, the National Center for Smart Growth executive director.

The specific sustainability plans for Baltimore are still in the process of being created and will include a combination of social and environmental issues, Knaap said. The overall USA Sustainable Cities Initiative plans to cover poverty, jobs, security, education, health, housing, infrastructure, low-carbon energy and environmental protection in each of the three model cities, according to the U.N. sustainable development website.  

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