When it comes to doing research into sustainable living, Arizona State University is leading the charge. This past January, the university opened the nation’s first School of Sustainability. Makes sense to me, ever been to Phoenix? I always wondered why every house there didn’t have a solar panel on it. Studying smart development also makes sense in an area that, according to the GPEC, had 330,000 people in 1950 and now has over three million. Classes at the newly-opened school look into problems of climate change, water scarcity, pollution, and creating innovative solutions such as alternative fuels. In one project, researchers are investigating using coatings on roads to absorb heat more easily which would reduce the “urban heat island” effect plaguing Atlanta and Phoenix. The Christian Science Monitor carried an article on the school’s development and an interview with ASU’s president about the new curriculum (see below). The implications for urban planning and residential design are inspiring.

Credit: CS Monitor article

ASU School of Sustainability