The Institute for Sustainability currently focuses much of its attention on two key issues: water resources and urban sustainability. With researchers actively pursuing water-related study in areas as diverse as the natural sciences, engineering, law, medicine and even history, Case Western Reserve brings a broad spectrum of expertise to ecological concerns related to the Lake Erie watershed, drinking water quality, and water technology and infrastructure development.
Researchers associated with the institute are also looking at materials and infrastructure issues relevant to the heavily built environment that forms Cleveland’s urban core. A recently developed program, led by Dorr Dearborn, professor and chair of the environmental health sciences department, aims to improve the inner-city homes of young infant patients and house-bound, elderly individuals, with the goal of making the home environment of these vulnerable populations healthier and safer. A broader group in law, medicine, social sciences and engineering has come together to expand that program to deal with a multitude of sustainability issues associated with the aging, inefficient and unhealthy housing that permeates Northeastern Ohio.