Together in Climate Action Summit: Nature and Cities Get Together

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This special episode is part of MIT’s Together in Climate Action Summit, which is focused on sharing climate leadership strategies and exploring pathways forward in Northeastern North America.

In this episode, we interview Professor John Fernandez, Director of MIT's Environmental Solutions Initiative (ESI) and an expert in urban metabolism  – the flows of material and energy that sustain growing cities and their ecosystems.

We discuss how natural systems can mitigate and help society adapt to climate change as urban areas expand rapidly and globally. John highlights how healthy forests, wetlands, and soils help limit carbon, keep air and water clean, and limit risks from extreme weather.  We also discuss how technology (e.g. sensors, artificial intelligence) can work in service of nature. John stresses the need to understand and manage our urban metabolism by coordinating natural systems policies across states and regions.

The episode ends with a discussion of the educational and research activities in the MIT ESI program, including their just-launched undergraduate minor in Environment & Sustainability.

If you’d like to learn more about the Together in Climate Action Summit, which runs December 7th & 8th 2017, visit