Sustainable Design in Cities and Mass Transportation

With more of the world’s population living in metro areas, a sustainable future will depend on better design in our cities and transit systems. 


We seek solutions to urbanization and climate challenges that:

  • Use design to enable climate change adaptation through building and construction
  • Enhance the environmental and social sustainability of cities
  • Reduce weight
  • Improve fuel efficiency
  • Minimize the environmental footprint of mass transit 

Environmental sustainability goes beyond wildlife, conservation and recycling and is closely tied to the products we use and the places we inhabit. Starting in 2010, Alcoa Foundation initiated a portfolio of partnerships focused on the role of architecture and transportation in regards to the environment. As global megatrends like urbanization create new challenges, we must build innovative systems for cities that maximize the use of resources and reduce waste.


We’ve elected to focus on two areas that share opportunities for sustainability improvements.

  • Transportation: Alcoa Foundation-sponsored projects seek solutions that reduce weight, improve fuel efficiency, and minimize the environmental footprint of mass transportation.
  • Urbanization: We’re helping explore the role of architecture and design in building and construction to enable adaptation to climate change, while enhancing the environmental and social sustainability of cities.