To advance sustainability, fight inequality, researcher says

Friday, February 17, 2017 - 12:41 in Mathematics & Economics

Unless social and economic inequalities are addressed, sustainability efforts in urban centers will likely stall or never take hold, according to a new Harvard study. Authored by Robert Sampson, the Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences, the study suggests that technological approaches must be accompanied by efforts to reduce those inequalities, create strong, long-lasting neighborhood social networks, and foster greater citizen interaction with government if sustainability projects are to be successful. The research is described in a recent paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “With the advent of big data and explosion in computing power, there’s been a great deal of attention paid to the notion of ‘smart cities’ that coordinate the operation of the various municipal systems, like power, energy, water and transportation,” he said. “While that is important, it needs to be balanced with the social structure of cities.” Drawing on multiple studies conducted in...

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