Sustainable urban development

Urban regions are essential for the sustainability issue. Worldwide, more people will live, work and recreate in and around cities. An estimated percentages is 75% of the world population by 2050.

How do we maintain a good balance between economic growth, the environment and the welfare of people? This requires knowledge and innovation in diverse areas. The activities of the Utrecht Sustainability Institute (USI) are clustered in the following themes related to integrated urban challenges.

USI strives for innovative solutions and new business in cooperation with knowledge institutes, governments and companies. We connect regional knowledge and innovative solutions to regional sustainability ambitions of governments, institutes and companies by developing innovation and research projects and disseminating the knowledge and best practices resulting from these projects. 

Energy neutral living and working

Energy neutral living and working in urban areas is one focus area. This includes energy savings in buildings and areas, local production of renewable energy, smart grid solutions for local use of renewable energy, sustainable mobility, liveable cities and engaging citizens and stakeholders to achieve this in co-creation.

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Climate robust cities

The focus area climate robust cities adresses integral challenges and climate-proof living in urban areas. In particular, attention is given to quality and quantity of water in the city, innovative techniques and integral solutions to optimise the use of water, energy and resources in the city. 


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From waste to resource - circular economy

The focus area waste as a resource addresses high quality recycling of materials and products in the realisation of a circular economy. Themes include identification of prioritised raw material flows, socio-economic opportunities of high quality recycling, mobilising sustainable procurement and creating cooperation in order to actually close material loops.


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