USC Center for Sustainable Cities

Improving cities through research, education, and community outreach

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The USC Center for Sustainable Cities conducts research, education and community engagement to create cities that work 


The USC Center for Sustainable Cities (CSC) conducts multi-disciplinary research, education and community engagement on the sustainability challenges of metropolitan areas.  The Center seeks to develop and propose policies and strategies that make our cities and metropolitan areas more sustainable, just, and economically vibrant.

CSC focuses on the spatial structure of cities – where housing, jobs and public services are located — and how cities can be designed to achieve sustainability goals.  The spatial organization of cities is closely linked with urban transportation and mobility, and urban transportation is a leading contributor to air pollution and other negative environmental impacts. CSC’s focus on spatial structure complements the transportation and mobility focus of METRANS.

Metropolitan areas are at the core of sustainability issues; large populations and extensive, resource intensive economic activity generate environmental pollution and consume scarce natural resources. Disruptive technologies and practices, such as increasing e-commerce, car and ridesharing services, and the emergence of autonomous vehicles, present both challenges and opportunities for experiments in urban form and transportation. The Center is committed to research and planning that advances sustainable urban form, recognizing and responding to social equity problems, and incorporating participatory processes.