More than 65% of the world's population are projected to live in cities by 2050, with major implications resource use, energy, water and sanitation, and health and well-being. At the same time urbanization can bring benefits, especially efficiency gains. SEI examines these challenges in the round to advance sustainable urbanization.
Our research recognizes that disaster risk and development are closely linked: it is development processes that largely determine who and what is exposed to risk as well how much, and how effectively they can respond. SEI works to integrate disaster risk reduction with equitable, sustainable and resilient development.
How can we meet the nutritional needs and expectations of a growing world population? And how do we do it without compromising long-term sustainability? SEI research explores the transition to sustainable food and agricultural systems.
Around 2.4 billion people use biomass fuels – wood, charcoal and animal dung – for their domestic energy needs. These are typically burned in inefficient stoves or on open fires, with serious consequences for health and the environment. SEI identifies and designs actions to help households transition to cleaner technologies and energy sources.
Pollution from human activity threatens both human health and vital ecosystems. SEI looks at issues of air pollution from household up to global levels, for example how pollution links to climate mitigation, urbanization and public health, and the potential role of citizen science in pollution monitoring.
Building on a long legacy of pioneering work, SEI explores ways to provide equitable, universal access to hygiene and sanitation, with a focus on systems that offer multiple benefits in terms of health, environmental sustainability, livelihoods and food security.