Advanced Economic Policy Analysis

How to make decisions in light of pervasive uncertainties? How to think about incentive structures faced by decision-makers, and think through unintended consequences of one’s decisions?

Economics, for better or worse, is organized common sense. No more, also no less. This class makes use of the toolkit given to us by economics and applies them to real-world policy problems.

Environmental Infrastructure for Sustainable Cities

Sustainability requires the efficient use of resources.  The least carbon- and energy-intensive pattern of settlement today is in compact, walkable cities whose integrated networks of infrastructure that allows us to move, eat, drink, play, and survive extreme weather.  As our population shifts to urban and coastal areas, we will need to build more infrastructure systems to accommodate growth and to increase sustainability.  Yet we are building too little, too slow to maintain our existing infrastructure, let alone to facilitate next generation systems that will accelerate our society to a

Climate Economics

Economics—misguided market forces—is at the core of most environmental problems. Economics—guiding market forces in the right direction—is also fundamental to the solution.

In this course we develop some of the fundamental economic tools for environmental policy analysis and management: Economics 101 applied to environmental problems—often, though not exclusively, focused on climate change.

We will also go well beyond that initial Econ 101 take, narrowly defined. In fact, focusing exclusively on Econ 101 may sometimes be positively misleading.

Environmental Finance and Social Impact

This course will provide students a thorough understanding of how key environmental challenges can be addressed through innovative financing and investment strategies.  Topics will include an overview of the main financial instruments and the key thematic areas of the growing field of environmental finance.  Students will be introduced to instruments, structures and investment approaches to achieving positive environmental outcomes and impact including, but not limited to private market investments, renewables, climate and green bonds, water investments, and conservation finance.

Managing for Environmental Sustainability

This 7-week short course provides a general introduction to environmental sustainability and touches on the science, concepts, and strategies used to “green” businesses, organizations, and individuals’ lifestyles. Modern consumers are demanding sustainability from organizations where they utilize or buy goods and services and in which they invest. Modern management and policy leaders, then, need to know what environmental sustainability is and which tools are available to improve the footprint of their organizations and businesses. 

Planning for Emergencies and Disasters

The consequences of disastrous events are escalating across the world, for example, in terms of lives lost, injuries, adverse social conditions, economic costs and environmental destruction. Furthermore, the rapidity of action required when an emergency arises poses unique challenges to traditional planning and the provision of public services.

Water Sourcing and Climate Change

In the coming decades, water will be the central issue in global economic development and health. With one in six people around the world currently lacking access to safe drinking water (1.2 billion people), and more than two out of six lacking adequate sanitation (2.6 billion people), water is already a critical factor affecting the social and economic well-being of a sizable proportion of the world's population.