delware environmental institute

Two-day 'smart cities' gathering looks at issues of justice, sustainability in urban development

Phil Barnes looked around the Trabant Center Theater during a break and saw exactly what he hoped to see at the University of Delaware's two-day Smart Cities and Sustainable Energy symposium. "I see two Newark City Council members talking to faculty members, we just listened to a state transportation director and now I see him shaking hands with an urban planner," he said.

Those kinds of connections and conversations were every bit as important as anything said from the podium or during panel discussions at the symposium, which was designed to explore the challenges facing urban development and energy needs around the world, especially in the global South.

Many disciplines from throughout the University were represented - including engineering, public policy, energy, environment, finance and materials science - demonstrating the complexity of the challenges facing cities and developing nations in the future.

"The value of having this in Delaware, with the smallness of this state and a venue like this, is that you get so many different practitioners and academics together at the same time," said Barnes, associate policy scientist and assistant professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration.