The annotated case studies below are well-suited to courses across Georgia Tech that hope to engage their students in sustainability. Review the options available for your class, and don’t hesitate to recommend a new case study to SLS! Let us know of a case study pertinent to your discipline, or click here to create your own.

Bridgeport, CT: Aiming to the Be “New England’s Greenest City”

“The Partnership for Sustainable Communities in Bridgeport is an example of collaborative problem-solving and unified government at its best. This collaboration has encouraged HUD, DOT, and EPA to work together to focus resources not just on transportation, housing, or the environment, but on how to coordinate all three.”

The Environmental Protection Agency: Models for Success

Here, find five case studies compiled by the EPA that emphasize collaborative problem solving in real-world communities. The case studies examine the cities of Tacoma, WA; Pacoima, CA; Mebane, NC; Anahola HI; and Brooklyn, NY.

Hands on Greater Portland’s E4 Sustainability Teamworks

“Eight students from Portland Community College (PCC) and four community members joined a Hands On Greater Portland TeamWorks team, in April and May, 2014, to explore education for sustainable development. They participated in a series of lectures, readings, and service projects focused on the 4 “Es” of sustainability: Education; Environment; Economy; and Equity.”

Partnership for Sustainable Communities Case Studies (HUD, DOT, EPA)

On June 16, 2009, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) joined together to help communities nationwide improve access to affordable housing, increase transportation options, and lower transportation costs while protecting the environment.

The Partnership for Sustainable Communities (PSC) works to coordinate federal housing, transportation, water, and other infrastructure investments to make neighborhoods more prosperous, allow people to live closer to jobs, save households time and money, and reduce pollution. The partnership agencies incorporate six principles of livability into federal funding programs, policies, and future legislative proposals.

Pathways to Urban Sustainability

This report from The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, & Medicine  includes four city profiles. The writers examine Los Angela, New York City, Vancouver and Philadelphia “to understand how and if sustainability practices could contribute to the development, growth, and regeneration of major metropolitan regions in the United States.” The report’s findings have also produced a PowerPoint lecture, which reflects the findings of nine cities.

The Troost Metro Area Express

This case study examines the Troost Metro Area Express (MAX) line in Kansas City, MO. MAX “will provide bus rapid transit (BRT) service along Troost Avenue, providing a significant service upgrade to Metro’s highest ridership route, while also helping to revitalize the corridor. The line will utilize innovative “green” technologies, including hybrid buses, solar powered lighting and trash receptacles, and pervious concrete paving. The project will also include sidewalk repair and construction, ADA compliant ramps, bus pullouts, traffic signal upgrades, bridge reconstruction, and other passenger amenities.” 

University of California, Santa Barbara Case Method Website: Case List

This portal provides “teaching materials developed primarily at UC Santa Barbara since 1996-97. [Its] purpose is to facilitate for teachers around the world the use of the case method of learning as a pedagogy in their own teaching.  This website thus contains a section on teaching with cases, and a set of cases for classroom use.” The case studies available here explore sustainability in national and international contexts.

Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching: Student Case Studies

This site contains several exemplary student cases that have been used in multiple classes.  They were written by students at Bowdoin College and Vanderbilt University, and come from a wide array of courses, from “Environmental Sociology” to “Globalization and Social Change.”  In each there is an introduction, the case debate itself, and notes for instruction.