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.

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.


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Join us on January 21st, on a masterclass not to be missed! Christopher Holloway will explain how using public resources for private profits, and private resources for the public interest creates an inherent tension as well as the potential for conflict of interest.


A New Urban Configuration After the Current Health Crisis

by Carlo Ratti and Martha Thorne

In this conversation, Carlo Ratti , Director of the MIT Senseable City Lab, and Dean Martha Thorne, discuss how this new configuration is being generated as a result of the current health crisis.

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Towards More Efficient Buildings

by Fernando de Roda

There is a major source of hidden value in construction, related to energy and therefore not visible, which is being wasted: green equity.

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Las ciudades post-Covid-19 que se rediseñan

by Cristina Mateo

¿Qué medidas estamos viendo a este respecto en distintas ciudades, ahora que estamos planteando el regreso a una nueva normalidad? ¿Cómo varían las propuestas alrededor del planeta?

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Monthly Editorial Pick

Maybe it's Time... by Camilo Restrepo

by Camilo Restrepo

Maybe this as a unique opportunity to place architecture as a discipline that cares for others, irrespective of the idea of growth

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‘Living Architecture’ Key to Post-Pandemic Cities

by Ingrid Woodrow

Lessons can be learned from the Covid-19 pandemic to design people-friendly buildings and cities that embrace the natural environment and make us more resilient to future pandemics.

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This is how coronavirus could reshape our cities forever

by Sophie Davies

With city dwellers forced to stay home during lockdowns, some architects are rethinking urban infrastructure to promote a more local lifestyle and help people adapt to a post-pandemic world.

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The Post-Pandemic Urban Future Is Already Here

By Ian Klaus

The coronavirus crisis stands to dramatically reshape cities around the world. But the biggest revolutions in urban space may have begun before the pandemic.

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8 Ways COVID-19 Will Change Architecture

by Nathan Bahadursingh

The way we design, build and inhabit cities may never be the same.

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Crisis – a great opportunity for a sweeping review of cities

“No other generation of architects has had such an opportunity as the current generation.” Coming from architect Sérgio Magalhães, who chairs the UIA2021RIO Executive Committee, this statement is not exactly upbeat.

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Ideas for Designing – Cities of the Future

By Martha Thorne

When Covid-19 pandemic took over the world like wild-fire, it made us realize that the world is even more connected then we could have imagined and that we are less prepared for an uncertain future than perhaps we thought we were.

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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.