About the Sustainable Infrastructures Initiative

Initiative-Icons-2016_SI - lockupHighways, electrical wires, and water channels are just a few examples of the various often-overlooked systems that underpin societal infrastructure in providing basic human needs. Information technology can weave these interrelated systems—transportation, energy, and water—into a sustainable fabric for the next generation, enabling resiliency and addressing climate change.

Projects in the initiative will build on the momentum of current developments in cyber-physical systems and the “Internet of Things.” An important part of our agenda is support for UC President Janet Napolitano’s goal of carbon neutrality for the UC system by 2025. Another element of the research agenda is critical infrastructure which must be built to withstand acute events such as natural disasters (earthquakes, wildfires) or human-instigated disruptions (whether by intentional attacks, error, or negligence). Research will also address long-term consequences of climate change such as increasing temperatures and sea-level rise, not only in the United States but also in the Global South, which is expected to hold 60% of the world’s population within the next 50 years—much of it concentrated in urban areas.

CITRIS and the Banatao Institute researchers have contributed foundational research in energy-efficient building and grid management and technology; energy harvesting, storage and distribution; and open-source platforms for control as well as collecting, analyzing and visualizing energy data. IT research in water includes the deployment of wireless sensor networks in the Sierras and American River Basin for monitoring the snowpack, water availability and flow. Other key CITRIS and the Banatao Institute faculty apply models and analytics on transportation systems and technology related to urban growth and mobility.