Crittenden to host lecture on "Gigaton Problems" January 16 in Klaus Building

Via Gatech calendar:

Open Lecture: Developing Sustainable Urban Infrastructure to Solve Gigaton Problems

Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 12:05pm to 1:25pm, Klaus 2456

CEEatGT's John. C. Crittenden will discuss how sustainable infrastructure can help solve some of the world's grandest challenges.

Abstract: Gigaton problems refer to those most severe problems challenging humanity, which can often be measured at the “gigaton (billion tons)” scale. For example, the annual world energy consumption is around 12 billion tons of oil equivalent (Gtoe), 80% of that from nonrenewable fossil fuels. The combustion of these fossil fuels emits approximately 29 billion tons (Gton) of CO2. In addition, the world uses more than 14 Gton of materials each year, only about 5% of which are renewable. These gigaton problems call for solutions which can meet the gigaton scale, or gigaton solutions.

In response to the urgent need of solving the gigaton problems, the urban system plays a critical role as the primary sink of resources and source of wastes. In particular, urban centers are complex, adaptive systems that act like organisms: They process resources (water, energy, and materials) and information, create infrastructure and services, and produce wastes. Worldwide, urban centers dominate resource consumption as well as waste and pollution generation. By examining the complex interactions among social decision making, economic drivers, (re)development, sustainability metrics, and surface transportation, a simulation-based decision support tool and strategies are developed to allow stakeholders to design and choose infrastructure solutions that consume fewer resources and generate less waste. Case studies are presented for Atlanta, GA as an example to illustrate the ability of this tool to support the decision-making in constructing more sustainable cities.

NOTE: this event is run as a guest lecture in a graduate special topic CSE class on Computationally Sustainability, but all are welcome to attend. See course website for more information.

John C. Crittenden is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, director of the Brook Byers Institute of Sustainable Systems, Hightower Chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar of Sustainable Systems.

Contact Information
Bistra Dilkina
, Assistant Professor

We hope to see you there!