Urbanization is creating an array of contemporary, and interconnected, environmental, physical and societal challenges related to the planning and design of roads and bridges, water and sewer systems, telecommunications networks, airports and subway lines, and buildings of all sorts. In fast-growing cities, governments struggle to build infrastructure to maintain pace with population growth. In slow-growing and declining cities, they must contend with replacement and on-going maintenance in the face of stagnant or declining tax revenues. At the same time, technological advances make existing systems obsolete while current consensus supports thinking in terms of sustainability, not just solving the problem now, but addressing longer time frames to make buildings and infrastructure adaptable, ecologically sensitive, and resilient to natural disasters, the effects of climate change, and even acts of terrorism.
This IGERT program seeks to address the growing challenges of urbanization through a PhD program that integrates architecture, engineering and planning perspectives to focus on adaptive, ecological and resilient urban planning and design. Each IGERT trainee will be empowered to conduct research at the emergent boundaries between architecture, urban planning, and engineering, and will be uniquely capable of contributing to the advancement of technological and scientific solutions that can address the grand challenges of urbanization.