Sustainable Development

Map & App Help People Track Transit in Nairobi

Commuters and others traveling in and around Nairobi often rely on an unofficial network of minibuses and minivans, called matatus, that have no centrally controlled schedules, fares or route plans. But a new application developed for use on cellphones with Google Maps can now help them find their way.

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The Big City, Subdivided for Sustainability

Two-thirds of people on the planet will live in cities by 2050. But few cities are prepared for this population boom. An upcoming research project will explore new, localized models for urban infrastructure to make cities cleaner, healthier and more enjoyable places to live.

by |August 12, 2015
Hurricane Sandy satellite image

The Disaster Profiteers

In his new book “The Disaster Profiteers,” Earth Institute professor John Mutter argues that natural disasters are bad for the poor–and can be great for the rich, who often seize resources meant for recovery, when no one is looking.

by |August 10, 2015
Sorghum is a vital crop for some 500 million people in Africa and Asia, but may be vulnerable to climate change. (Courtesy Jesse Lasky)

How Genomics Can Help Famine-Prone Nations Weather Climate Change

A team of biologists and agronomists has identified genomic signatures in plants indicating they are resilient to stresses such as drought or toxic soils. The multi-year study, expected to help developing-world farmers, was done with sorghum, one of the world’s most common crops.

by |July 8, 2015
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New 5-Year Program in Sustainable Development & Sustainability Management

Columbia University’s Earth Institute and School of Continuing Education, in collaboration with Columbia College and General Studies, are pleased to announce the launch of an Accelerated Program in Sustainable Development and Sustainability Management. Through this new program, majors and special concentrators in sustainable development can earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in just five years, saving time and money.

by |June 14, 2015
SDSN, International Conference on Sustainable Development

Getting Started with Sustainable Development

Later this year, the member states of the United Nations will launch an ambitious set of goals for sustainable development. But how will we get there? The International Conference on Sustainable Development will tackle that question.

by |May 7, 2015
Beijing, Beijing Week 2015

Beijing Program to Tackle Energy, Environmental Issues

The Earth Institute is taking an extra step to contribute to China’s environmental future by sponsoring the first Beijing Week on Energy and Environment, a week-long program this summer for emerging leaders and professionals in the fields of energy and environment.

by |May 1, 2015
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Unforeseen Dangers in a Global Food System

Michael Puma considers what can happen when events such as long-lasting droughts or volcanic explosions interrupt production of these crops. He has begun to assess the fragility of the intricate network of trade relationships that move important basic food items across national borders.

by |April 29, 2015
Amazon River Delta Courtesy NASA, Johnson Space Center

A Climate Battle Cry for Earth Day

A group of 17 renowned scientists from around the world are appealing for dramatic action to forestall the worst effects of climate change, issuing an “Earth Statement” that calls for a world powered with zero carbon emissions by mid-century.

by |April 22, 2015
The liberal use of water for irrigation by farmers cultivating rice is contributing to a rapid drop in groundwater levels In the northern Indian state of Haryana.

Overuse of Water by Indian Farmers Threatens Supply

Convincing farmers that it’s worth it to reduce their water consumption will rest on our ability to help develop local groups to manage aquifers at the community-level.

by |April 14, 2015