#135 | The Sustainable City: The Future Of Urban Living w/ Steven Cohen

In this episode, I speak with Steven Cohen — former executive director of Columbia University's Earth Institute, a professor in the practice of public affairs at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs, and the author of ‘The Sustainable City,' 

Steven, in this interview, provides an overview of the broader trends in sustainable technological development, particularly within the context of the ongoing urbanization of human life, with “54 per cent of the world’s population liv[ing] in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 66 per cent by 2050.”☨ Steven provides an overview of these technological trends regarding their application in city planning within major urban areas around the world. Steven details the increasing efficiency of battery storage, the evolution of solar and wind power, and the rise and growing prominence of the electric automobile — and ties these evolving technologies to the ongoing development and planning of “sustainable cities.” Toward the end of the interview, Steven provides a nuanced perspective on the ongoing policy decisions by the Trump Administration, under the former Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt, to deregulate environmental protections enforced by the EPA, and how these decisions will ultimately play out into the near future. 

In this interview, I attempted to challenge some of the underlying assumptions presented in Steven’s work, regarding the notion that sustainability can really be achieved within the socio-economic paradigm we exist within — a system that demands infinite growth in order to function. I don’t really know how successful I was in this regard, but I greatly appreciate Steven’s input and perspective in this episode.

Steven Cohen is the former executive director of Columbia University's Earth Institute and a professor in the practice of public affairs at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. He is the director of the Master of Public Administration Program in Environmental Science and Policy and the Master of Science in Sustainability Management at Columbia. His books include ‘The Sustainable City,’ ‘Understanding Environmental Policy,’ ‘Sustainability Management,’ and ‘The Effective Public Manager.’ He has written numerous articles on public management, sustainability management, and environmental policy. Dr. Cohen also writes a weekly blog for the Earth Institute’s ‘State of the Planet’ website.✧

☨ Source: http://bit.ly/2LqeutH
✧ Sources: http://bit.ly/2LriR7C / http://bit.ly/2LDvdsP

Episode Notes:

- Learn more and purchase Steven’s book ‘The Sustainable City’ at Columbia University Press: http://bit.ly/2LDvdsP

- Learn more about Steven and his work at The Earth Institute: http://bit.ly/2LriR7C

- Visit Steven’s frequently updated blog ‘State of the Planet’: http://bit.ly/2LIe6px

- Steven on Twitter: https://twitter.com/StevenACohen

- The song featured in this episode is “Sincerely, Future Pollution” by Timber Timbre from the album Sincerely, Future Pollution.