Center for Environmental Science Applications (CESA)

Finding solutions to sustainability challenges by linking ideas, people and resources

As agents of sustainability, cities vary greatly in their willingness to innovate. The cities of Metro Phoenix have generally not been recognized for leadership in sustainable practices, in contrast to places like Vancouver, Portland, San Francisco, and Austin. After attending two conferences on sustainable cities in 2008, we proposed to help local municipal governments learn from each other and from other cities around the world about ways to advance their sustainability efforts. The Sustainable Cities Network (SCN), launched in Fall 2008, now has about 30 members that meet regularly, facilitated by ASU staff. CESA works with GIOS to expose SCN members to the latest ideas on sustainable urban management. In exchange, SCN members are supporting some of ASU’s urban-related federal grant applications. 

CESA is working with the World Bank to encourage the members of the SCN to join the Global City Indicators Facility (GCIF) program. Participation in the GCIF initiative would offer central Arizona's cities a way to better connect with their counterparts around the world while raising their own global sustainability profiles.

Anne Reichman directs the SCN, with input from Rob Melnick, Jon Fink, and other faculty members in the School of Sustainability.