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Sustainability Research

Faculty and student researchers at Portland State are on the leading edge in the quest for applied solutions for our community, city, and region.

Because sustainability can't be confined to a single field, the next generation of solutions requires unprecedented collaboration across disciplinary lines and with off-campus partners. This is where Portland State shines, with our seamless transition between campus and community, learning and service.

Set in the heart of the city, our campus is a vibrant urban living laboratory. From green buildings to smart transportation systems, we are transforming our place even as we learn and test new innovations.

The Institute for Sustainable Solutions is PSU’s focal point for sustainability research, education, and outreach, administering the Miller Foundation’s 10-year investment in sustainability at PSU.

Focal research areas

The Institute for Sustainable Solutions is helping advance three research focal areas at PSU, with the goal of making our region more equitable, resource efficient, and economically vibrant:

  • Urban Sustainability: Building smart cities

    From sustainable transportation options to greening whole neighborhoods, we are tackling important issues of urban livability.

  • Ecosystem Services: Understanding nature’s benefits

    The challenge to sustain ecosystems—and the vital services they provide—alongside growing human populations is one that deserves our best minds and efforts. PSU is taking whole-systems approaches to tackle these complex problems.

  • Social Determinants of Health: Connecting wellness, place, and equity

    PSU research is helping redefine the term "health care" to include the conditions in which people are born, live, work, and age, and how these social factors affect equity and access to opportunities.

Learn about PSU's other research expertise »