Re-engineering Cities for Good (CFG)

The project examines how a city’s infrastructure can be re-engineered to restore the natural ecosystem services that existed on the land before the city was built.

© Fantasycreationz |

© Fantasycreationz |

The Good Cities project explores ways to re-engineer large cities to make them environmentally neutral, or possibly even a positive force in the environment. Re-engineering a city so that its carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and other footprints are almost non-existent requires answers to two questions:

  • How can a city’s water infrastructure be re-engineered to restore the natural capital and ecosystem services of the system that occupied the land before the city?
  • How can urban infrastructure be re-engineered to enable a city to act as a force for good, deliberately compensating for such non-urban interventions in nature as dams and water diversion for agricultural irrigation?The questions will be investigated in the context of the changing environmental impact on urban areas of global warming. Another aspect of the research will consider how emerging cities in developing countries can “leapfrog” the waste-water infrastructure of established cities and forgo the human-waste-into-the-water cycle. 

IIASA researchers will examine these questions as part of a networked project that includes scientists from the US, Belgium, and Nepal.

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Last edited: 25 September 2015


Michael Thompson

Senior Research Scholar

Risk and Resilience

T +43(0) 2236 807 287


2011 - 2014


CoMind Consultancy (Belgium)

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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