college of fine and applied arts at university of illinois-uc
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University of Illinois
at Urbana–Champaign

The Urban & Regional Sustainability Lab (URSULA), founded in 2012, aims to:

  • promote and support high-quality applied research at the intersection of planning and sustainability issues
  • assist local, regional and state agencies in Illinois and beyond on plan-making and evaluation projects

The scholars at URSULA bring expertise in:

  • rural planning
  • land use planning
  • affordable housing
  • regional transportation
  • urban modeling
  • economic analysis
  • environmental assessment

URSULA’s mission is compatible with the emergence of sustainability issues as a priority at both the state and federal levels.

We believe that collaboration is essential to achieving a sustainable future. The URSULA provides a forum to facilitate interdisciplinary research and creates linkages that foster engagement with community members and decisionmakers. We are especially interested in translating scholarly research into practical and implementable solutions.

On this website, you will find information related to ongoing projects and resources that can help make sustainable decisions.  Students and emerging scholars at Illinois will also find course information to further integrate sustainability into their curriculum and ideas for projects and further research.


Planning For Sustainability

Sustainability planning engages the future, but not simply as a means of perpetuating the status quo. The sustainability concept is only meaningful when used as a framework for improving the environmental, social, and economic well-being of all members of a community.

News & Announcements

URSULA researchers awarded funding for pilot study

New directions in sprawl research