Center for Sustainable Cities - Research

Center for Sustainability Cities


The following are selected articles published by the community of experts and professionals from the Center for Sustainable Cities, IE school of Architecture and Design and IE University at large. As the Center aims to tackle and address the key challenges around sustainable cites; the below articles address three areas of action and intertwined environments: the natural, the social, the built and the digital.

IE University designs the world’s first indicator to optimize the impact of logistics on cities

Designed by IE School of Architecture and Design’s Center for Sustainable Cities in collaboration with Prologis, the tool analyzes urban management challenges and proposes sustainable solutions.

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The Impact of Logistics in Cities

By Manuel Pérez Romero.

Early in the morning, before dawn, a group of vans is waiting in a warehouse in the outskirts of Madrid. They are waiting to load their trunks with the packages for delivery that arrived at the warehouse the night before. Meanwhile, inside somebody is distributing the according to delivery areas for the drivers. Once the vans are filled with the goods to deliver, the race starts.

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A study about the Spanish consumers’ attitude and knowledge to face climate change

A study commissioned by ENGIE Spain and carried out by GAD3, in collaboration with the Center for Sustainable Cities , shows that more than 90% of Spaniards say they are willing to change their habits in order to combat climate change. IE University's Center has prepared a White Paper interpreting this data.

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The Replacement of Asphalt

by Manuel Pérez Romero

The City Prosperity Index, CPI, evaluates urban prosperity according to five parameters.

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A Tale of Two Urban Systems

by Cem Kayatekin

Finance and equity within urban infrastructures—is this an irreparable tension or a constructive partnership? How do we refine our urban systems and models? How do we mobilize data in meaningful ways?

Read more MARCH 29, 2021

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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The Most Outstanding Sustainable Constructions of the Last Decade

by Martha Thorne

From a vertical forest rising in a busy metropolis to a power plant that doubles as a ski slope, Dean Martha Thorne selects some of the most influential buildings.

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New Spaces for New Life Habits

with Martha Thorne and Paul Priestman

Our habits have evolved, generating new needs in relation to the environments where we live our lives.

Read More MAY 30, 2019

Are the Tech Giants Taking Over As Our City Leaders?

by Cristina Mateo

Our cities are increasingly being used as laboratories for countless innovations.

Read more DECEMBER 6, 2018

IE Center for Sustainable Cities assists RENAZCA in a unique place-making project for a key area of Madrid

by IE School of Architecture & Design

RENAZCA, formed by companies that own buildings in the superblock area of Madrid known as AZCA, has selected a design team to lead the transformation and reactivation of this central, but deteriorated, part of the city.

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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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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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A new city after the crisis

A new city after the crisis

By Cristina Mateo

The COVID-19 pandemic has suspended the social interaction that forms the essence of our cities. Now more than ever, we are looking towards the future of urban planning.

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Hall of Nations | IE Architecture and Design

Raj Rewal and the importance of sustainability

By Raj Rewal

During the Hay Festival 2019 celebrated in our Segovia Campus, visiting speaker Raj Rewal spoke with Architectural Record about how using natural materials and sustainable design, has given his work a timeless appeal.

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Lessons learned from times of crisis

By Manuel Pérez Romero

As urban models have evolved, the guiding objective has been to reduce the risk of disasters—such as fires, floods, earthquakes and epidemics—taking hold. These prevention strategies have been shaping our cities over the course of history.

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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

Cem Kayatekin | IE School of Architecture and Design

Architecture Has Limits to Achieve Urban Equity. What Should We Do?

by Cem Kayatekin

Accessibility and mobility. When perceived through the architectural lens, these terms often evoke a range capped by two extremes.

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September 26, 2019

Martha Thorne - Cities of the Future: Challenges of Architecture and Design | IE


by Martha Thorne

Growth pressure is having an impact on the functioning of cities, on their governance, and on quality of life.

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June 2, 2017

Carmen Panadero - More Human Cities | IE School of Architecture and Design


by Carmen Panadero

With cities growing at a relentless and ever-increasing pace, urban development models are more important than ever.

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June 28, 2019

Cem Kayatekin - How to Achieve a Resilient City? First, Let It Shape Itself | IE

How to Achieve a Resilient City? First, Let It Shape Itself

by Cem Kayatekin

The city is both the object and the jungle. Yet, when we speak of urban resilience, we often forget about the jungle, and focus on the object.

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July 9, 2019

Cristina Mateo - Towards

Towards "Happy Airports"

by Cristina Mateo

Airport terminals have long been viewed as indistinguishable and anonymous places of transit. But now, at the height of globalization, airport terminals are fighting to differentiate themselves and become veritable meeting points that offer an attractive value proposition to passengers.

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April 17, 2019

Martha Thorne - There is so much to learn from India | IE

There is so much to learn from India

by Martha Thorne

The Challenge for countries like India and Japan, with ancient living traditions, has been the confrontation with modernization and technology.

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March 15, 2019