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for a sustainable future

Urban Ecology

To manage cities sustainably, we need to recognize that these buzzing, built environments are ecological systems. Green spaces, waterways, soils, and wildlife are integral to the urban ecosystem. Our actions – how we build, consume goods, manage waste, use water – influence the ecological processes that keep cities and their inhabitants healthy.

Cary scientists are working to understand how ecological process operate in cities, how our actions affect them, and what we can do to make cities sustainable in the face of climate change.

Because cities concentrate people and resources, and they have the ability to impact adjacent areas, urban systems are an important management challenge.

Explore our research


flooded city ©getty images

Climate Change & Cities

Cities are hotspots for climate change impacts like flooding, heat islands, and disease. We are exploring ways to make our cities resilient to the effects of climate change now and in the future. Learn more

baltimore alley

Environmental Justice

Marginalized urban communities experience compromised health and safety due to environmental threats connected to legacies of inequity and segregation. We are working to understand and heal environmental injustice. Learn more

green roof

Green Infrastructure

Green infrastructure can help combat the effects of climate change in cities, while making them healthier and more livable for residents. We’re investigating green infrastructure strategies that have real social and ecological benefits. Learn more