USC University of Southern California

Center for Sustainable Cities


The Center for Sustainable Cities welcomes Prof. Dan Mazmanian, who in the Fall of 2012 became the Director for New Initiatives at the Center. Prof. Mazmanian is among the top national experts on environmental policy and we are delighted with his appointment.

Hilda Blanco has been selected as a Lead Author to prepare the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). Over 800 scientists have been selected to prepare the 2014 global assessment. Hilda Blanco is one of only 3 U.S. urban planning academics to be selected for this global assessment.

Dan Wei was appointed a Research Assistant Professor at USC Sol Price School of Public Policy in August, 2010 affiliated with the Center for Sustainable Cities. She was previously a Postdoctoral Research Associate at USC Price working with Prof. Adam Rose. Her research focuses on analyses of state/regional climate action plans, modeling of economic impacts of greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation policies, design of market-based GHG mitigation policy instruments, and other technical issues related to policy assessment of GHG control strategies. She has participated in the analysis of cap and trade and/or carbon tax policies for several regions, and applied the REMI Policy Insight Model to analyze the macroeconomic impacts of climate action plans for several states. She is currently participating in a U.S.-China cooperative project to facilitate capacity building of low-carbon development planning in Guangdong Province, China.

Marina Alberti, Professor of Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington is a Visiting Professor at the Center for Sustainable Cities Winter 2011. She is collaborating with Prof. Blanco on a Haynes Foundation funded study on water scarcity in Southern California. Prof. Alberti directs the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Urban Designand Planning and the Urban Ecology Research Laboratory at UW. She teaches courses in Urban Ecology,Environmental Planning, Geographic Information Systems, and Group Dynamic and Conflict resolution. She also teaches an Advanced Course in Research Design. Her research interests are in the impacts of alternative urban development patterns on ecosystem dynamics. She is the Principal Investigator on a number of grant-funded research projects including an NSF Biocomplexity Grant project aiming to study the emergent properties of urban landscapes in Seattle, WA and Phoenix, AZ. Her research also focuses on measures of urban environmental performance that can be used to monitor progress and inform policy-making and scenario planning. She is especially interested in advanced interdisciplinary approaches to urban ecological problems. Her most recent book entitled Advances in Urban ecology (Springer 2008) synthesizes the state of knowledge on the complex interactions between of urbanization and ecological function and articulate the challenges for scholars of urban ecosystems.

CSC participated in the Australian Consulate’s Sustainable Cities Conference held in Los Angeles on January 19, 2011. The conference brought together Australian and U.S. academics, business leaders and government officials to address successful strategies as well as challenges in developing more sustainable cities. Genevieve Giuliano moderated the Panel on Mass Transit and Long Range Planning, and Mark Bernstein moderated the Panel on From Smart Grids to Smart Fuels and Clean Air.

Hilda Blanco participated in a jury of environmental projects at a Fulbright event held in Los Angeles on February 6th, 2011. The Fulbright Enrichment Seminar on “Greening the Planet: Global Challenges, Local Solutions,” brought together 140 Fulbright students from over 80 countries and 10 recently returned U.S. Fulbright alumni.

Genevieve Giuliano presented a paper on Balancing Freight Movement Needs in Livable Urban Areas at the annual Transportation Research Board Conference held on January 24th, 2011.

Hilda Blanco presented a paper at the International Conference on Managing the Urban Rural Interface held at the University of Copenhagen on “Towards a Sustainable Urban Form Theory” on October 20, 2010. She was part of the scientific committee organizing the Conference and responsible for the conference track on Growth management, governance systems, locally adapted strategies

Hilda Blanco participated in two panel discussions at the International Conference on Urbanization and Global Environmental Change held in Tempe, Arizona, October 15-16, 2010. The first panel was on the “Urban Climate Change Research Network, First Assessment Report on Climate Change in Cities (ARC3): Research Inventory, Opportunity for Engagement, and the Science-Policy Linkage”. The panel was focused on the forthcoming publication of the first assessment report of this research network, in which she has been active. She is the lead author of the chapter on the role of urban land in climate change. At the second panel, “Higher Education as a Catalyst for Urban Sustainability”, she reported on the work of CSC.

Hilda Blanco and Newell presented their proposal for joint research at a Workshop on Comparative Urban-Scale Greenhouse Gas Inventories: Beijing and Los Angeles hosted by Prof. Gu, Chaolin and held at Tsinghua University, Beijing held on Sept. 21, 2010. Prof. Gu and several other faculty at Tsinghua presented papers at the workshop.

Hilda Blanco presented a paper on “The Role of Urban Planning in Creating Low-Carbon Cities” on Sept. 17, 2011 at the Urban Development Forum 2010 held in Zhengzhou, China and jointly hosted by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Zhengzhou’s Municipal People’s Government.


USC Center for Sustainable Cities
University of Southern California
Von Kleinsmid Center
3518 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0048

Phone: (213) 821-2431