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A team of experts representing the three campuses of the University of Illinois System discussed urban sustainability and resilience during Night of Ideas Chicago 2020 on Thursday, Jan. 30 at The Field Museum.

The Night of Ideas Chicago 2020 is part of La Nuit des Idées, a global series coordinated worldwide by the Institut Français, and is taking place Saturday, Jan. 25, through Sunday, Feb. 2, at more than 120 locations around the world, including seven major U.S. cities. The Chicago event included bright minds from academic, artistic, scientific, and civic communities for a six-hour marathon of ideas on this year’s theme, “Alive!”

The U of I team represents some of the breadth of expertise from the Center for Urban Resilience and Environmental Sustainability (CURES), a research center stretching across the U of I System, in a program titled “Cities 2020 and Beyond: Intelligent, Resilient, and Sustainable.” The team includes:

From the University of Illinois at Chicago: Elizabeth Kocs, director of Energy Innovation; Elena Grossman, BRACE-Illinois program manager; Michael Stachyra, graduate student for energy engineering; and Joe Bozeman, PhD candidate for environmental science and policy.
From the University of Illinois at Springfield: Anne-Marie Hanson, assistant professor of environmental studies, and Carolee Rigsbee, assistant professor of strategic management.
From University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Yu-Feng Lin, Director at the Illinois Water Resources Center; Ashish Sharma, adjunct professor in atmospheric sciences and Illinois Research Climatologist, Illinois State Water Survey; Zhonghua Zheng, PhD candidate for civil and environmental engineering; Laura Gray, graduate research assistant for civil and environmental engineering; and Michael B. Reiter, clinical assistant professor for the Carle Illinois College of Medicine.
CURES combines the unique, holistic research capabilities of the University of Illinois System with applied learning, education, and a land-grant tradition of public engagement to help cities of all sizes to be more livable, prosperous, resilient, and sustainable. Within its mission, CURES addresses global change, resource provisioning, health, and equity and justice by working with cities on developing integrated sustainable solutions to improve community-wide health and prosperity now and in the future.

The University of Illinois System presenters were joined by others from Northwestern University, Indiana University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Purdue University, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Fermilab, Argonne National Laboratory, Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Lincoln Park Zoo, and more.