News

Sustainable Urban Environments: A new program for a new crop of students


  Professor Richard E. Wener, Ph.D.

Poly will welcome its first class of undergraduate and graduate Sustainable Urban Environments students next fall. The new, interdisciplinary program will provide a balanced liberal arts education with a focus on the social and technical issues that affect a healthy and satisfying urban life.

Humanities and Social Sciences Department Head Richard E. Wener, Ph.D., Jonathan Soffer, Associate Professor of History, and Nancy Kwak, Assistant Professor of History guided the development and design of the program which brings together technology, planning, economics, psychology and history. “The program is unique,” Wener said. “Similar programs are pretty rare at other universities, but they’re growing in popularity.”

Upon graduation, students will be prepared to work in positions where they can bridge the divide between social and technical planning issues. Wener explained that “graduates will be employable at a range of private and public agencies, working with architects, urban planners, and others involved in city building.”

The structure of the Sustainable Urban Environment program gives students a foundation built on general education courses. As they progress through the program, students explore the technical, policy, and civil engineering issues involved in maintaining and creating urban environments. The program also encourages students to study abroad as a way to develop a richer perspective on urban life.