Center for Sustainable Cities

Every action we take today will affect our world tomorrow. The processes that architects and designers use to understand a current situation, propose ideas for the future, and evaluate them, allow us to understand and measure impacts. The key to sustainability is this holistic understanding of the changes that we will cause and taking actions to reduce the negative impacts while proposing and implementing positive ones.
IE School of Architecture and Design imparts this crucial comprehensive approach to sustainability across all of its academic programs and extra-curricular initiatives to address the importance of mitigating  environmental degradation and climate change in the built  and natural environment.  As an educational institution we have a responsibility to train future leaders who will have to shape a more humane, sustainable world and to create and disseminate knowledge.
Understanding that urbanization is increasing at a pace and scale never before experienced in the history of the our world,  IE School of Architecture and Design has established the Center for Sustainable Cities.  Urban areas more than any other arena are feeling the effects of climate change and these pose serious threats to quality of life,  urban infrastructure, and other urban systems, in both developing and rich countries.   The Center for Sustainable Cities embraces the United Nations  Sustainable Development Goals and seeks to further their implementation through research, education and outreach.

The Inclusive City; the Sustainable City; and the Missing Urban Developer

by Cem Kayatekin

In June of this year, New Yorkers bore witness to a rather unfamiliar historic moment. In the persistent urban struggle between real estate lobbies and tenant protection organizations, surprisingly it was the latter who found their hands raised.

Read more JAN 06, 2020

Three ways in which data visualization can make better cities

by Ruxandra Iancu Bratosin

Data is a controversial issue in the 21st century. Policies on data collection and use are slow and the value of the data continues to increase, which makes any initiative in the sector a big business.

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by Cristina Mateo

Cities are not Amazon but those that work well are those in which the infrastructure and built environment favors interactions.
It is the paradigm of 'third spaces"

Read more JAN 27, 2020

About us

The Center for Sustainable Cities highlights the commitment of our community to good and responsible city-making. It will do so focusing on climate change and the role of cities, in order to assess current and future risks, make choices and propose new ideas that enhance resilience. The Center will also provide a space (physical and virtual) where different agents involved in the process: government, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, the community, and academia can come together in the search for collaborative answers.

The world’s cities are growing fast: within 30 years, 70% of the global population will live in cities, a shift that is already having a huge impact on developing countries, where 95% of all urban growth is taking place. At the same time, climate change poses serious threats to urban infrastructure, quality of life, and other urban systems, in both developing and rich countries.  Recognizing the seriousness of the current situation, the United Nations, has defined 17 Sustainable Development Goals that address the challenges that we face globally, with a specific focus on climate change and environmental protection.

These goals are interconnected and can help to create a roadmap for any educational institution. The Center for Sustainable Cities at IE School of Architecture and Design will  use the city (both as “cities” in general and using specific examples) as we seek to  address how to insure sustainable, livable cities for the future.  As an educational institution we have a responsibility to train future leaders who will have to shape a more humane world and to create and disseminate knowledge.


Those third spaces that people need

by Cristina Mateo

The cities of the planet are diverse and distinct, occupy a scarce 3% of the earth's surface, but consume between 60% and 80% of energy, in addition to emitting 75% of carbon emissions.

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December 08, 2019

The price we pay for inefficient buildings

by Fernando de Roda

CO₂ concentration measured by the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii, at 3 400 m altitude and in one of the cleanest, driest and most intact environments on the planet, reached a record level of 415.64 ppm on May 15.

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December 11, 2019


We need to harness the green equity in our buildings

by Fernando de Roda

This urgently needed measure can help us combat climate change, writes Fernando de Roda

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December 23, 2019


Sustainable cities is by no means a concept exclusive to IE School of Architecture and Design—but it’s something we take very seriously. Whether heading up a roundtable at the UN Climate Summit or tutoring the next generation of environmental lawyers, our academics and professionals are on the front line to promote education as a driving force for sustainability.
City Makers is a unique area of our website designed to create and strengthen cross-faculty student networks to ensure a bright future for our cities. This space is meant to serve as a source of inspiration, showcasing the work of both students and teaching staff in the fight against climate change.


What innovation inspires you to contribute to a better life in cities in the future?

Students sustainable projects

Multifaceted assignments that demonstrate student´s acquired learnings throughout their studies, and their knowledge for tackling complex problems. Quality, coherence, feasibility, sustainability, and innovative aspects of the project are evaluated.