The Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems’ Work in China

China is urbanizing at an unprecedented level.  Highways, energy grids, water treatment facilities, indeed, entire cities seem to be springing forth from the Chinese landscape.  One of our main topics for research at the Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems is what we call Infrastructure Ecology.  It is becoming obvious to many that the way we have been building infrastructure is not sustainable.   At the same time, much of the infrastructure in the developed world is nearing the end of its designed lifespan.  Urbanized lifestyles are not going away, in fact, they are accelerating.  It stands to reason, then, that we need new ways to think about how we build, operate, maintain, and inhabit our cities. 

For BBISS researchers, the explosion of urban growth in China presents a unique opportunity to propose, design, test, and build more sustainable infrastructure systems whose elements behave more like organisms within an ecological system than machines along a conveyor belt.  Please take a look at a survey of BBISS’s work, past and present in China.

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Brent Verrill, Communications Manager, BBISS