Nighttime birds eye view of a city with interwoven web of lines that connect the city in an energy grid. iStock/Chaay Tee

Advancing Sustainable Urban Infrastructure Workshop

By 2050, urban areas will be home to some two-thirds of Earth’s human population. The size and growth rates of today’s cities are unprecedented in human history. Climate change poses additional challenges in the design, development, and management of urban areas.

About the Sustainability Research Conference Series

The Stanford Initiative on Business and Environmental Sustainability Research Conference Series is hosted by Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability.


February 24–25, 2023


Stanford University campus

Against this dynamic backdrop, researchers and practitioners from public, private, and nonprofit organizations came together to identify opportunities for high-impact collaborations that advance sustainable design, functioning, growth, and management of cities.

Thematic sessions included:

  • Climate-sensitive infrastructure systems: Building and managing distributed and integrated infrastructure; mobilizing public and private investment in climate-resilient infrastructure
  • Decarbonizing the city: Advancing smart sensing and digital technology; developing lower-carbon materials; innovating with policy incentives to green business
  • New models of urban governance: Public-private partnerships, co-production, and citizen engagement to advance environmental, economic, and social sustainability goals; developing policies and regulations that integrate climate resilience as a priority
  • Understanding and managing risk: Forecasting future risk from climate change, aging infrastructure, and urbanization; partnering with cities to ensure equitable recovery from shocks
  • Equity and well-being: Distributional effects of investment strategies; ensuring access to basic services; developing and testing indicators to track progress


Friday, February 24, 2023: 12:30pm–8:00pm
Saturday, February 25, 2023: 8:00am–5:00pm

Full Conference Agenda

Stanford Initiative on Business & Environmental Sustainability: Podcast

Listen as professor William P. Barnett and Stanford student Ingrid Ackermann host a discussion with Sarah Billington, UPS Foundation Professor and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment, to discuss the takeaways from this conference.

Conference Organizers

UPS Foundation Professor and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment