A Better Way to “LEED” in Energy Ratings

Sep 25, 2012. Posted by Nina Tamburello

Energy efficiency measures in residential buildings are some of the lowest-cost means of cutting energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. According to experts, by 2020, residential buildings will consume 20% of U.S. total energy use – more than the commercial sector – and will contribute 1,350 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) to the U.S.’s annual carbon emissions.

Susskind's New Book Details Model for Sharing Water

Aug 19, 2012. Posted by Ezra Glenn

From the American Southwest to the Middle East, water is a highly contested resource: Many neighboring nations, and several states in the United States, have fought decades-long battles to control water supplies. And that need for water only seems likely to increase. "Out in the world, there's growing demand for fresh water, especially where there is urban development," says Larry Susskind, the Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning in MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning. "At the same time, climate change is altering in unexpected ways how much water there is.

Spring 2012 EPP Newsletter: DUSP & Energy

Aug 19, 2012. Posted by Site Admin

The Spring 2012 newsletter of the Environmental Planning and Policy Group (EPP) is now available at

DUSP Students Win DOE "Better Buildings Case" Competition

Aug 19, 2012. Posted by Site Admin

An interdisciplinary team of ten MIT students won two awards in the Better Buildings Case Competition sponsored by the DOE. Nineteen schools competed and each team was assigned two cases; the results, announced by DOE Secretary Steven Chu at the White House, revealed that MIT won both its cases, the only team to do so. DUSP participants included Elena Alschuler, Brendan McEwen, Nikhil Nadkarni, Christopher Jones and Wesley Look, plus Kate Goldstein from architecture, Nan Zhao from the Media Lab, and Patrick Flynn, Neheet Trivedi, and Michael Zallow from Sloan.

Joann Carmin: Latin American and Asian Cities Lead in Climate Change Planning

Aug 19, 2012. Posted by Ezra Glenn

An MIT survey shows, 95 percent of major cities in Latin America are planning for climate change, compared to only 59 percent of such cities in the United States. Leadership on climate adaptation "can come from cities of many different sizes and ilks," says JoAnn Carmin, an associate professor at DUSP and lead author of the survey's report. While international climate policy measures -- such as potential agreements limiting greenhouse gas emissions -- require agreement among national governments, Carmin says, "cities are able to make some important strides in this area.

Addressing Climate Change Risk Through Role Play Simulations

Aug 11, 2012. Posted by Ezra Glenn

The Science Collaborative Program of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (a partnership of NOAA and the coast states) has awarded a two-year, $637,000 grant to MIT and the Consensus Building Institute (CBI). The funds will be used to help build the capacity of coastal communities to address climate change risk.