WC-6 Innovative Solutions in Cities Part 1

This session will explore innovative solutions for addressing the water-food-energy nexus in urban settings, focusing on the emerging collaborative framework and practice method of Bioregional Urbanism. This framework is designed to support scientists, design, policy and community practitioners as they collaboratively evaluate bioregional resources of food-water-energy, and develop projects to improve stewardship of these resources in urban contexts. Bioregional Urbanism aims to 1) improve understanding of water-food-energy resource systems at urban and regional scales; 2) facilitate innovation for living and thriving within renewable limits of these resource systems; 3) translate understanding and innovation into action scale projects 3) benchmark towards one planet living. Representing different disciplines, each panelist will present perspectives on bioregional urbanism theory, practice and case studies.

Moderator: Carol Miller, Professor and Chair, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Wayne State University


  • John Berg, Professor of Government and Director of Environmental Studies, Suffolk University
  • Antje Danielson, Director, Institute of the Environment, Tufts University and President, Council of Environmental Deans and Directors
  • Sarah Howard, Executive Director, Earthos Institute
  • Philip Loheed, President, AIA, Earthos Institute
  • Ninian Stein, Director, Earthos Institute and Professor, Environmental Studies Program, Tufts University

Carol Miller is an active water resources researcher, having received grants from the National Science Foundation, Great Lakes Protection Fund, and Engineering Foundation, amongst others. Her research includes both surface and subsurface water supplies and has recently focused on topics with a water/energy interface. She is especially interested in urban environmental issues, having helped launch the Urban Watershed Environmental Research Group (UWERG) at Wayne State University. Dr. Miller received all her academic degrees from The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Michigan and past chair of the State Licensing Board. (313-577-3842; cmiller@eng.wayne.edu)

John Berg is a Professor of Government and the Director of Environmental Studies at Suffolk University. He is interested in the development of new political forms that can move humanity ahead toward solutions when the ordinary political channels are blocked or dominated by anti-environmental forces. His current projects include a book titled Leave It in the Ground: The Politics of Coal and Climate and an evaluation of the environmental policies of the Obama Administration. (617-899-7324; jberg@suffolk.edu)

Antje Danielson is the Administrative Director at the Tufts Institute of the Environment, as well as the graduate interdisciplinary Water: Systems, Science and Society(WSSS) program. She came to Tufts from Durham University (UK), where she served as the Deputy Director for Sustainability, in May 2008. Previously, she worked with the Harvard Green Campus Initiative. A long-time resident of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Antje co-founded the innovative carsharing company Zipcar. She holds a Ph.D. in Geology from Free University, Berlin.

Sarah Howard, LEED AP, is a Co-founder and Executive Director of Earthos Institute. Howard brings expertise in community education and planning, regional resource planning and resiliency, and sustainable design tools and protocols. Her current research focus is the development and usability of the Bioregional Resiliency Index, an index that measures a region’s current resource security in food, water, energy, land and biodiversity. Howard is currently authoring a book chapter titled “bioregional perspectives on transformative harmony for sustainable development,” exploring the importance of developing citizen-practioner tools for managing core resources such as water, energy and food at different scales to reduce conflict and improve just sustainability. (401-787-1686, sarah-earthos@LDParch.com)

Philip Norton Loheed, AIA, NCARB, Assoc ASLA, is co-founder and President of Earthos, and award winning practicing architect, educator, and researcher. Loheed has master planned, designed and built hundreds of projects worldwide over the last forty years including Union Station in Washington, Grand Central Terminal in NYC, residential projects, mixed use waterfront urban designs. He is also principal of DP+ Architects and a member of the academic and practice faculties of the Boston Architectural College, teaching architecture since 1972. With expertise in architecture, urban design and natural systems analysis for land planning, he has contributed core principles and concepts to Earthos’ Bioregional Urbanism methodology, actively applying it to community projects. He is currently co-authoring a book on the method and design applications. (617-312-0717, phil.loheed@earthos-institute.us)

Dr. Ninian R. Stein is a Director at Earthos Institute and a Professor in the Environmental Studies Program at Tufts University. Trained as an anthropological-archaeologist and environmental scientist, Stein’s research and teaching spans environmental policy and communication, landscape change, and environmental justice. Her work focuses on the idea of “landscape literacy”— if we can read the past of a place we are better able to plan for its future. Stein has taught at Smith College, Wheaton College, University of Massachusetts Boston and San Jose State University. Her current research draws on systems thinking, science and design to create collaborative frameworks and methods for communities seeking to increase sustainability and effectively utilize and preserve environmental resources. Her team is partnering with communities in the New England bioregion to co-develop the methodology, with a manuscript in progress titled ‘Bioregional Urbanism 1.0’. (617-710-5937, Ninian.Stein@tufts.edu)

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