The Program on Global Environment (PGE) fosters undergraduate study of the complex intersections of urbanism, environment, and society. The program is home to the Environmental and Urban Studies BA major and minor program, which motivates a deeper theoretical understanding of urbanism and nature, as well as practical strength in addressing urban and environmental challenges and opportunities for sustainable development. PGE augments its curricular initiatives with engaged activity including the Chicago Studies Program, Frizzell Learning and Speaker Series, Student Advisory and Research Council, Urban Environment Working Group and support of collaborative research projects, student internships, fellowships, and international experiences.
Urban and environmental issues are inter-connected. Urbanization, climate change, habitat loss, pollution, food and energy needs, and issues of social justice and economic stability are among the most pressing issues facing contemporary societies. Environmental and urban processes operate at multiple scales, involving natural and human consequences that cannot be addressed solely from within a single discipline. Students will gain an understanding of the interconnected natural and urban realms, building their understanding of what sustainable development means and how opportunities and challenges can be met. The major motivates a deeper theoretical understanding of urbanism and nature, as well as practical strength in addressing urban and environmental challenges. It brings a spatial and place-based perspective to the study of these challenges, using built form and environmental context as key, conceptual lenses to investigate the social, cultural, economic and humanistic dimensions of urbanism.