People & Sustainability


Two contrasting urban fabrics in Cairo, Egypt

People shape their cities in many ways and on many scales. Describe how socioeconomic factors can shaped the built environment from the entire city to the single public space.  Discuss the most relevant example from the class/reading material and bring your own example from your own experience and observations

(Sustainable Development in Cities, USP 514 Class Discussion)


Urban Forest of Africa | Johannesburg, Lagos & Cairo

By: Joe McBride

The urban forests of Johannesburg, Lagos, and Cairo were surveyed to provide a data base for a comparison of their composition, structure, and condition.  Tree species diversity in these three urban forests was compared to the species diversity of trees in each biome in which the city occurred and to climatic parameters of each biome to measure the correlation between urban forest characteristics and the characteristics of the biomes.  Structure of the urban forest was examined in relation to historical precedents for urban design in each city.  Current problems of urban forest condition and management are discussed.

To obtain a copy of the presentation, click on the link below:

Urban Forest of Africa (Johanesburg, Lagos & Cairo)

Urban Growth, Heterogeneity and Activism in Mexico’s Cities | Mexico


Most often, sustainability is associated with questions pertaining to the natural environment or, in the urban context, with ways to mitigate the problems associated with rapid demographic growth and its associated troubles. But how might the concept of sustainability help us frame questions of racial, ethnic and cultural belonging in today’s rapidly expanding urban centers in the Global South? How is the articulation of ethnic and cultural identities amongst the growing urban indigenous population in Mexico a matter of sustainability? This talk will examine the experiences and mobilizations of Wixárika indigenous youth who are living, studying, and working in Mexico’s western cities of Guadalajara and Tepic. My ethnographic and archival research explores state and popular perceptions of racial belonging in these two cities and the challenges these imaginaries face. Specifically, this talk will discuss the ways that Wixárika university students and young professionals negotiate these perceptions, increasingly through forms of activism that assert the rights of indigenous people to be heterogeneous urban citizens. These acts of activism and visibility on university campuses, government buildings and private offices manifest a push away from observing racial alterity in cities as a relation of “negative difference” to one of “positive heterogeneity.”