Healthy Communities

people in a park

The world’s population is growing. According to the United Nations, the world’s population is expected to grow by 2 billion in the next 30 years. This growing population is increasingly moving to cities where resources and opportunities are more present.

These growing urban regions will place new demands on our infrastructure systems and create new stress for our environment. People need clean water to drink, cook and bathe. They need clear air to breathe. They need systems to safely remove wastes from their neighborhoods and communities.

Creating healthy communities is not just a problem that’s coming; it’s already here. To be prepared for the future, we must find ways to provide safe drinking water to the roughly 2.2 billion people without access to it today. Diarrheal disease, often transmitted through contaminated water, remains a leading cause of childhood illness and death in many parts of the world.

Likewise, air pollution has been linked to a variety of health issues, from respiratory diseases like asthma to cardiovascular problems. In many of these same communities, pollution exists not just outdoors, where a combination of human activity and natural processes can lead to unsafe air. It also extends indoors as a result of cooking practices, building materials and natural gases and molds.

Already, researchers in CEEatGT are working to engineer solutions to these and other challenges to ensure we live in a future where all people can thrive.

We are leading efforts to:

  • Provide clean air and water for a growing global community, especially in emerging economies where the health effects of pollution are most stark.
  • Efficiently and safely remove, recover and utilize waste from our communities while minimizing its impact on natural resources.
  • Harness the power of microbes and natural processes to clean up pollution and protect human health.
  • Understand how the built environment shapes our mobility, lifestyles and personal well-being so we can design healthier communities.
  • Capitalize on emerging technologies that promise to reduce transportation-related injuries and deaths, more efficiently clean our air and water, and safeguard our food supply.