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Sustainability in the Urban Environment

Employment Opportunities

NYC SKY TEST

21st Century Jobs

The ability to analyze and propose solutions for sustainability and resilience issues is becoming increasingly important as the 21st century proceeds. Nearly every aspect of industry, commerce and government is being re-evaluated in the context of long-term sustainability, which of course includes strategic adaptation to climate irregularity. (See, e.g., the Building Resiliency Task Force Report of June 2013.)  Entrepreneurs are creating new firms with a sustainability focus, to address issues in energy, water resources, air quality, land use, waste management, transportation, construction, and urban planning. PlaNYC 2030 has achieved critical momentum, and will generate demand for hundreds of project managers, analysts, managers, researchers, and consultants. New job titles are emerging, e.g., Sustainability Manager; Sustainability Plan Examiner; Sustainability Compliance Director; Sustainability Coordinator; Director of Energy Efficiency; Clean Air/Clean Energy Specialist; Renewable Energy Consultant; Green Building Coordinator; LEED Project Supervisor; and Life Cycle Modeling Specialist.
"CCNY's plan for an interdisciplinary Masters degree on sustainability is timely in light of heightened interest in the public and private sector in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving energy efficiency and building performance and developing adaptive strategies to climate change."

Francis J. Lombardi, P.E.
Chief Engineer,
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey 

Potential Professional Settings

  • Local, state, and federal governments
  • Intergovernmental organizations 
  • Non-governmental organizations 
  • Firms that plan and design sustainable buildings, building complexes, and infrastructure for communities, districts, and regions 
  • Construction companies that build sustainable buildings 
  • Consulting firms
  • Regulatory agencies
  • Sustainable energy research and development organization
  • Educational institutions

Actual Program Successes

Our relatively young program has already produced graduates (or in some cases, current students) who are now employed in the following positions:
  • Environmental Protection Specialist for FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Administration).
  • "Green Guru" for a New York City real estate firm that is a leader in sustainable development.
  • Architect for New York City firm involved with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) projects.
  • Architect for Chilean firm working in LEED certification and assessment.
  • Capital Projects Administrator and Projects Manager for New York City higher educational institution.
  • Development and Sustainability Project Manager for a New York City community development corporation.
  • Resiliency Task Force Coordinator for a New Jersey municipality.
  • Architect for Long Island architectural and engineering firm.
  • Project Manager involved in developing sustainability plans for a New York City construction firm.
  • Entrepreneur in Myanmar with a group of engineers attempting to manufacture gasifiers that will use rice husks for fuel.
  • Sustainable Design Associate with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
  • Energy Engineering Consultant for a New York City software startup.
  • Building Resiliency Task Force Member with US Green Building Council.
Further Studies at PhD Level

In addition, four of our graduates are now enrolled in PhD programs (Water Resources Engineering within Civil Engineering; Electrical Engineering with a focus on dynamic solar facades; and Ecology, Economics, and Ethics of the Environment within a Biology and Society program).