• 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 ecosystem services should policy makers use green infrastructure to maximize? How will new networks of 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 infrastructure systems in one urban sector have on the infrastructure systems of another? What do policy, design, and technology innovations mean for the future performance of urban infrastructure systems?

Societal Outcomes


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


How do infrastructure systems impact local health outcomes in cities? What changes to which infrastructure systems present the greatest opportunity for improving local health outcomes?


How do urban infrastructure systems affect environmental sustainability both locally and globally? When is in-boundary action within a city sufficient to advance environmental sustainability, and when is 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 affect--positively or negatively--other sustainability outcomes? How should urban decision makers weigh outcome co-benefits and tradeoffs?

Pathways of Change

Technology & Design Innovation

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

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 how should they be arranged? 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 be made both profitable and sustainable?

Policy & Governance

How can policy shape and encourage infrastructure transitions? Are current governance institutions well positioned to encourage infrastructure transitions? How might future governance institutions 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 transitions be modeled within a single city as well as across regional or national cohorts of cities? Can scenario modeling 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