• Our Mission: Advancing Sustainability, Health and Livability,
  • In Diverse Cities Across the World,
  • Through Infrastructure Innovations,
  • In Energy, Water, Transportation, Green Infrastructure, and Food Systems,
  • Linked with Social, Behavioral and Policy Change.
Our Mission: Advancing Sustainability, Health and Livability,1 In Diverse Cities Across the World,2 Through Infrastructure Innovations,3 In Energy, Water, Transportation, Green Infrastructure, and Food Systems,4 Linked with Social, Behavioral and Policy Change.5 6

Sustainable Healthy Cities Network for Integrated Urban Infrastructure Solutions

We are a US National Science Foundation-supported network of scientists, industry leaders, and policy partners committed to building better cities. We examine physical changes in the scale and scope of infrastructure design, the role of new technologies, as well as the changes in public attitudes and policy that can help achieve the infrastructure transitions needed to build healthy, sustainable, and livable cities today and in the future. Click below to explore the sectors, outcomes, and pathways of change that are the subject of our work.


Infrastructure Sectors

Buildings & Energy

How can existing and emerging power supply networks best leverage a mix of renewable and non-renewable energy sources as well as generation capacity at multiple scales, from the household to the central grid? What will an increasingly electrified future mean for urban energy provision?

Food Systems

What mix of urban and non-urban food production will most appropriately meet the needs of modern food systems in cities while returning broad sustainability benefits? How do food producers and consumers work together to achieve that optimal mix?

Green Infrastructure

Where and by what means should the intentional greening of cities be prioritized? Which eco-system services should policy makers use green infrastructure to maximize? How will new networks of decentralized green space be managed and maintained?


What modes of travel and urban land use configurations best deliver sustainable mobility futures? What will the advent of self-driving technology and widespread electrification of vehicles mean for urban mobility and city form?

Water & Waste

Can new technologies change the way water is consumed and treated in cities? How do systems of urban water supply interact with the food and energy needs of cities?

Cross-sector Interactions

What effect do the infrastructure systems of one urban sector have on the infrastructure systems of another? What do policy, design, and technology innovations and disruptions mean for the future performance of urban infrastructure systems?

Societal Outcomes


What does wellbeing mean subjectively for different types of urban residents in different types of cities? How do infrastructure systems interact with and effect a persons's understanding of his or her own subjective wellbeing?


How do infrastructure systems impact local health outcomes in cities? Which infrastructure systems present the greatest opportunity for improving local health outcomes across various types of cities?


How do urban infrastructure systems affect environmental sustainability and degradation both locally and globally? When is in-boundary action within a city sufficient to yield environmental sustainability outcomes, and when is trans-boundary, external action needed?


How do urban infrastructure systems shape access to key resources, basic services, and livelihoods? Can infrastructure transitions be mobilized to relieve stress on overburdened or underserved populations?


How do environmental, health, and wellbeing outcomes converge in a particular place to make that community 'livable'? How do specific infrastructure system configurations support or impede that convergence?

Co-Benefits & Tradeoffs

Do infrastructure actions to support one sustainability outcome impact--positively or negatively--other sustainability outcomes? How should urban decision makers measure and evaluate outcome co-benefits and trade offs?

Pathways of Change

Technology & Design Innovation

What are the technology and design innovations that will enable urban infrastructure systems to deliver enhanced sustainability outcomes? How can innovation across sectors be encouraged and widely disseminated?

Spatial Reconfiguration

Can cities and their infrastructure be physically reconfigured to better support sustainability outcomes? What infrastructure systems should be located within city boundaries and where? What infrastructure systems should operate at a scale larger than the level of a city?

Business & Finance

How will the public and private sectors individually or jointly finance infrastructure transitions? How can the business of urban infrastructure provision be made both profitable and sustainable?

Policy & Governance

How can policy shape and encourage infrastructure transitions? Are current governance institutions well positioned to encourage and manage infrastructure transitions? How might future governance institutions need to evolve to adapt to new infrastructure landscapes?

Behavior Change

What individual, collective, and institutional behavior changes will be necessary to foster urban infrastructure transitions? How can those behavior changes most effectively be brought about?

Integrative Scenarios

How can the effects of infrastructure transition across all sectors be modeled within a single city as well as across regional or national cohorts of cities? Can scenario modeling of either single cities or groups of cities encourage more effective sustainability decision-making?


Our network is dedicated to advancing the science of integrated urban infrastructure solutions by sharing new data and methods with a broad community of researchers and practitioners.



Developed with support from the US National Science Foundation's Sustainability Research Network (SRN) program, our network connects across nine research universities, major metropolitan cities in the US and India, as well as infrastructure firms and policy groups to bridge research and education with concrete action in cities.

University Partners City Partners Industry Partners Education & Diversity Partners Policy Partners

University of Minnesota
Columbia University
Georgia Institute of Technology