Environmental Policy and Planning

The Environmental Policy and Planning Group (EPP), located in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP) at MIT, seeks to improve the way society conserves and manages natural resources and pursues sustainable development, particularly (though not exclusively) in urban and metropolitan settings around the world. Some specific areas of research and teaching include the adoption and diffusion of technologies that aim to mitigate or remediate environmental problems, particularly renewable energy, energy-efficiency, and water-conservation technologies; the efficacy of efforts to prevent and reduce air and water pollution and manage the disposal of toxic and hazardous wastes; the prospects for international, national, state-level, and local strategies for mitigating and adapting to climate change; the resolution of conflicts surrounding facility siting and the allocation of transboundary water resources; the pursuit of environmental justice; and the development of more flexible forms of urban infrastructure.

We invite talented undergraduate and graduate students to work with our world-renowned faculty to become problem-solvers and leaders in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Our diverse community of scholars and activists share a commitment to the development of sustainable and resilient urban regions, as well as a thoughtful integration of science and values into environmental planning and policymaking. Our aim is to find better ways of harmonizing science, policy and politics.

In addition to working with faculty on research and planning projects, EPP students are welcome to sample from the array of courses and resources available across MIT and at other Boston-area universities. Many students also play critical roles in environmental initiatives on the MIT campus and in Cambridge, Boston, or other nearby cities. In the process, they gain a deeper understanding of the complexities they will face in the course of their careers and learn to become reflective practitioners.

Janelle Knox-Hayes
Lister Brothers Associate Professor of Economic Geography
Head, Environmental Policy and Planning Group



For inquiries, please contact Professor Janelle Knox-Hayes

Mailing address

  • MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning
  • Environmental Policy and Planning (EPP)
  • 77 Massachusetts Avenue
  • Cambridge, MA 02139
  • tel: (617) 253-1509
  • fax: (617) 253-7402