2024 Investiture Information

ENGS 45 - Sustainable Urban Systems


Today, more than 50% of the world population lives in cities on less than 2% of the planetary surface. This urbanization is expected to remain a megatrend for the next decades. The resulting concentration of infrastructure and activities has created human ecosystems distinct from natural ecosystems, and their future depends not only on their internal sustainability but also on symbiotic interactions with the natural ecosystems on which they ultimately depend. This engineering course addresses the technological aspects of urban sustainability, including energy procurement, energy consumption and green energy, air quality, water supply, use and treatment, building infrastructure, transportation, resource conservation, decarbonization, city planning and the role of automation and information technology in modern sustainable cities. In the context of the triple bottom line (the framework that considers financial, social and environmental impacts), the course further addresses, but to a lesser extent, the aspects of sustainable economics and urban social wellbeing and cities as a hub for innovation. Berlin - as a rapidly growing dynamic urban space - has experimented with several solutions and has made significant progress toward sustainability. In Berlin, sustainability is a lived practice where green living deeply permeates everyday life. As such, Berlin presents a unique and unparalleled opportunity to study and understand the green system that is given by this environmentally friendly city. Berlin will be used extensively as an example and site for field work throughout the course. Institutions and political decisions which facilitated advancement of urban sustainability in Berlin will be addressed and their impact will be made visible during the field trips. The course is geared toward engineering majors who have previously taken the course ENGS 37, an introduction to environmental engineering, and develops the students’ proficiency, solution design and quantification abilities across a wide range of issues regarding sustainable cities.


ENGS 37 (may be taken concurrently)