Blog Archives

Public awareness: living in complexity—A reflection on travel to China

In May, the Global Transit Innovations program coordinated a study-abroad course that took 16 University of Minnesota students to China. The intensive two-week course focused on high-density urban and regional development and included visits to five cities in the Yangtze and Pearl River Delta regions.

Over the next several weeks, students will be sharing their personal observations and reflections on the course in a series of guest posts.

In this post, student Emilie Hitch focuses on issues surrounding the environment and sustainability planning, offering her perspective on the differences in how these concepts are perceived in China and the United States.

Posted in Education, Environment, Planning, Sustainability

New all-electric vehicles added to U of M fleet

U of M Chevy Bolt parked in front of the Minnesota State Capitol building The University of Minnesota has added four all-electric Chevrolet Bolts—some of the first available in the region—to its vehicle fleet. The vehicles get an estimated range of 238 miles per charge and have lower life-cycle costs than comparable gas-fueled vehicles.

The vehicles are among a group of 22 Bolts purchased as part of a partnership between the Minnesota Department of Administration, U of M, Metropolitan Council, Ramsey County, and City of Minneapolis. The partnership allowed for a volume purchase that reduced costs for vehicles that will also lower fleet carbon emissions—a benefit for all Minnesotans.

Posted in Sustainability

New associate dean shares ideas on engagement, sustainability

CarissaCTS Scholar Carissa Slotterback has been appointed associate dean of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs effective June 12. She succeeds Laura Bloomberg, who held the associate dean position for four years and transitioned to the role of dean last month.

Slotterback, an associate professor, has been a member of the Humphrey School faculty for 13 years and previously served as director of research engagement in the Office of the Vice President for Research. Her academic work focuses on stakeholder involvement and decision making related to environmental, land-use, and transportation planning. In this Q&A, she shares thoughts about engagement and sustainability.

Posted in Planning, Sustainability

Researchers invent process to produce renewable car tires from trees, grass

shutterstock_514166950A team of researchers, led by the University of Minnesota, has invented a new technology to produce automobile tires from trees and grasses. The new process could shift the tire production industry toward using renewable resources found right in our backyards.

Conventional car tires are viewed as environmentally unfriendly because they are predominately made from fossil fuels. Using the new process, tires produced from biomass that includes trees and grasses would be identical to existing car tires, with the same chemical makeup, color, shape, and performance.

The team included researchers from the U of M’s Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (CEMS) and the Center for Sustainable Polymers (CSP) and from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. CSP is funded by the National Science Foundation.

Posted in Sustainability, Transportation research
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