The workshop was convened to explore the region's approach to urban sustainability, with an emphasis on building the evidence base upon which new policies and programs might be developed. Participants examined how the interaction of various systems (natural and human systems; energy, water, and transportation systems) affected the region's social, economic, and environmental conditions. The objectives of the workshop were as follows:
- Discuss ways that regional actors are approaching sustainability— specifically, how they are attempting to merge environmental, social, and economic objectives.
- Share information about ongoing activities and strategic planning efforts, including lessons learned.
- Examine the role that science, technology, and research can play in supporting efforts to make the region more sustainable.
- Explore how federal agency efforts, particularly interagency partnerships, can complement or leverage the efforts of other key stakeholders.
Pathways to Urban Sustainability: A Focus on the Houston Metropolitan Region: Summary of a Workshop was designed to explore the complex challenges facing sustainability efforts in the Houston metropolitan region and innovative approaches to addressing them, as well as performance measures to gauge success and opportunities to link knowledge with action. In developing the agenda, the planning committee chose topics that were timely and cut across the concerns of individual institutions, reflecting the interests of a variety of stakeholders. Panelists were encouraged to share their perspectives on a given topic; however, each panel was designed to provoke discussion that took advantage of the broad experience of the participants.