Sustainability Education

Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Sustainability

In spring 2013, Clincal Associate Professors Lisa DiCaprio (NYU-SCPS, Paul McGhee Division) and Mary Leou (Steinhardt School of Culture Education and Human Development) were awarded a Green Grant from the NYU Office of Sustainability to launch an initiative to help faculty integrate sustainability in their curriculum. This initiative was a response to the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) that has been signed by 671 college university presidents including NYU President John Sexton.

The grant supported a faculty workshop entitled "Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Sustainability: Transforming Curriculum in Higher Education" attended by over 40 NYU faculty from 5 NYU Schools, graduate students and guests. The workshop included a panel discussion from three NYU faculty members, who presented sustainability concepts from their discipline areas.

Jennifer Berg, NYU Steinhardt, Food Studies

Rae Zimmerman, NYU Wagner, Urban Planning

Constantine Kontokosta, Center for Urban Science and Progress

The workshop enabled attendees to share information, discuss future projects and consider ways in which they might integrate sustainbility concepts into their work. Workshop materials included a list of sustainability concepts and websites which might be useful in integrating sustainability into courses and projects. 

The second workshop featuring Ecological Footprints was held on March 12, 2014.  

Upcoming Event:  A Three-Day Sustainabiltiy Summit for high school students is being developed for 2017. 

Sustainability Concepts and Terms 

Anthropocene Age




Built and natural environments

Certifications for sustainability

Clean/green economy

Climate change/climate destabilization

Climate change mitigation

Climate change adaptation

Cradle to cradle/closed loop design


Ecological footprints: carbon, water, forest.

Embedded sustainability

Energy efficiency and conservation

Environmental Education

Environmental justice

Food systems: food footprints. 

Fossil fuels

Green buildings

Green consumption

Green procurement

Green products

Green spaces

Greenhouse gas emissions

Life cycle assessments and supply chain analysis

Limits of growth/planetary boundaries

Natural capital

Renewable energy

Resiliency Sustainable agriculture

Sustainability literacy

Sustainable urbanism

Transportation systems

Urban Planning


Educating for Sustainability: An Emerging Purpose of Education by Charles Hopkins, July 30, 2013

Greening Universitites Toolkit by United Nations Environment Program, 2013

Additional Helpful Links

American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment

New York Academy of Sciences

NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress

NYU Department of Nutrition and Food Studies

NYU Environmental Studies Program

NYU Marron Institute on Cities and the Urban Environment

NYU Metropolitan Studies

NYU Sustainability Office

NYU Wagner Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems (ICIS)

NYU Wagner Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management

Stockholm Resilience Centre