Sustainable Urban Environments Icon

Sustainable Urban Environments

Aerial view of downtown Buffalo

Downtown Buffalo

Cities are vital to our collective future. As our planet becomes increasingly urbanized, the College of Arts and Sciences, a key player in the ongoing Buffalo renaissance, is uniquely positioned to engage our city as a living laboratory in an effort to create the sustainable city of the future. The lessons we learn in Buffalo will change the world.

Did You Know?

The vision for the Sustainable Urban Environments Initiatives is informed by the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals: ambitious global targets that include zero hunger, global access to affordable, clean energy and the eradication of poverty.

UN 17 sustainable development goals
Why Buffalo?

> Buffalo is a post-industrial, “Rust Belt” city situated on an international border at the nexus of two Great Lakes and Niagara Falls. This offers key opportunities to study scientific and social issues related to complex, changing environments (both natural and human-made).                                                                  > Buffalo is poised to change patterns of energy use, land use, transportation and manufacturing in ways that can serve as sustainable models for cities around the region, country and the globe.

> As a community that continues to grapple with segregation and poverty, and as a leading U.S. resettlement hub for refugees, Buffalo provides the impetus and opportunity to develop and implement plans for promoting resilience, equity and growth.

Why the College?

True sustainability is achievable only through the intersection of social and environmental impacts. Here, we have tremendous strength in research. Our professors are already pursuing improvements to the urban environment across numerous disciplines, including:

> Anthropology
> Biological Sciences
> Chemistry
> Communication
> Geography
> Geology
> Global Gender and Sexuality Studies
> History
> Materials Design and Innovation
> Philosophy
> Political Science
> Psychology
> Sociology
>Transnational Studies

Why Now?

Cities constitute humanity’s certain destiny and our brightest hope. Covering just two percent of our world’s surface, cities house half of the world’s population and use 80 percent of the world’s energy. And in the coming decades, even more people and power will flow to cities. Human prosperity—indeed, human survival—depend on our ability to create healthier, more livable and more sustainable cities. 

The Sustainable Urban Environments Initiative will reshape our planet as we work together to create a comprehensive, holistic vision of urban sustainability. It will provide the critical training, invaluable resources and inspiration needed to turn today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders, passionate in their determination to, quite literally, change the world.

Arts Collaboratory Icon

From performers and technicians to educators and advocates, passionate people form the heart of our creative community. The Arts Collaboratory unites artistic endeavors across UB, Buffalo and beyond.

Center for Diversity Innovation Icon

By emphasizing support of current diversity-focused research and activities, the Center for Diversity Innovation will help transform UB's students, faculty and staff into more empathetic global citizens.

Digital Humanities icon

In a rapidly evolving digital society, the Digital Humanities Initiative represents a pioneering effort to use emerging technologies as instruments of a revolutionary humanities education.

Strategic Communications Hub icon

From our language to our methods to our tools, the ways we communicate today are strikingly complex. Through the Strategic Communications Hub, we will come together to talk, teach, explore and grow.

Experiential Learning Icon

We challenge our students to make a difference through research, study abroad, internships and service programs. These hands-on, real-world activities further their professional development while prepping them to become engaged, proactive citizens.