More than 50% of the world’s population now lives in cities. And this number is only growing. How do we meet not only the basic needs of this new urban world, but actually surpass them, creating vibrant, sustainable and strong communities?

Urban life is often thought of as devoid of the natural, but cities may hold the potential to create true environmental sustainability if managed correctly. We seek to create awareness and understanding of the connections between the everyday lives of urban citizens and their natural world. With New York as our learning laboratory, we aim to understand the needs for a sustainable future for cities worldwide. Imagine cities that are as green as a forest, streets that are as pleasant as beaches, communities that inspire and revive their citizens.

Our Mission

The CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities (CISC) works to realize cities as part of the solution to global sustainability challenges. By merging the science of sustainability with innovative public programming, we examine opportunities available to cities—and their residents—for proactive responses to on-going environmental change. We harness the potential of formal and informal means to inspire a new generation of environmental thinkers. In doing so, we seek to understand and influence the evolution of the urban environment, while connecting the CUNY community, decision makers and the general public to these critical issues.

CISC explores the nature and complexity of cities through the following themes and questions:

Consumption: What are the elements, patterns, and impacts of urban consumption and how do they change over time?

Vulnerability and Resilience: How are cities impacted by global environmental change and what are their response capacities?

Ecosystem Services: What services do urban ecosystems provide to cities and how can their maintenance and restoration benefit urban areas?


Connect with CISC on Social Media

Join the CISC Mailing List


The Institute for Sustainable Cities | CUNY Hunter College
695 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10065
Tel: (212) 396 - 6264 | Fax: (212) 396 - 6137
contact form