Center for Sustainable Development


The Center for Sustainable Development provides relevant and innovative applied research and education to students, District residents, and the world in the areas of sustainable infrastructure, sustainable spaces, urban economics and entrepreneurship, and behavioral and social change.


Program Overview

Two broad themes guide the community education programs within the Center of Sustainable Development: green jobs and green infrastructure.
Both themes recognize that sustainable development is complex; programs and services must therefore prepare individuals and organizations for the changing, complex conditions within the social, cultural, environmental, and economic systems that shape our local communities. Green entrepreneurship focuses on the opportunities that the private sector faces, and the impact of changing conditions. Green infrastructure focuses on the public sector and the challenges of urban communities in relation to issues such as water resources and energy consumption.

Whether the focus is on private sector businesses and green technology or on the public sector, the center is committed to building healthy, livable, equitable communities in the District of Columbia and beyond.

Green Entrepreneurship

  • Small Business Development
  • Green Technology

Green Infrastructure

  • Air
  • Water
  • Soil/Waste

The UDC Farmers Market brings local, fresh, sustainable food to campus on Saturdays from mid-May to mid-November. Operating hours are 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Vendors include farmers, bakers, and artisans from the District, Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Nutrition educators and chefs from the Center for Nutrition, Diet, and Health distribute information about food sold at the market and provide cooking demonstrations onsite each week. CAUSES students serve  as managers for the market. – Farmers Market Manual

East Capitol Urban Farm addresses the lack of healthy food access for the 71,000 residents of Ward 7. To help address these and other challenges, CAUSES partnered with the DC Housing Authority to lease a vacant lot located at 5900 East Capitol Street SE DC. The land is being  transformed into the District’s largest-scale urban farm and aquaponics facility. The facility serves as a national model for temporary use of vacant lots while demonstrating on-site stormwater management and local food production. East Capitol Urban Farm will promote urban agriculture, improve food access and nutrition, offer nutrition education, provide community gardening, create opportunities for entrepreneurship, and serve as a research and demonstration site for UDC.

Waste Management Assessment partners with agencies and organizations to develop comprehensive approaches to materials management that go beyond the “three R’s” to work toward zero-waste goals. Through trainings, consultations, and workshops, educators work to develop and implement strategies for increasing waste diversion rates, reducing overall waste, and engaging stakeholders.

Environmental Literacy Training and Assessment provides technical assistance and tools to businesses, schools, and other organizations to improve and evaluate a range of competencies in environmental sustainability. Informed by CAUSES’ research, teaching, and community outreach, the center’s environmental literacy resources are designed to create greater depth of understanding and to measure competency across an array of topics.

East Capitol Urban Farm:
A Ward 7 Community Enhancement Project

The Center for Sustainable Development (CSD) provides relevant and innovative applied research and education to students, District residents, and the world in the areas of sustainable infrastructure, sustainable spaces, urban economics and entrepreneurship, and behavioral and social change.

Led by Dr. Dwane Jones, under the direction of Dean Sabine O’Hara, the Centers’ latest endeavor seeks to aid in the continuous effort to clean the Anacostia River and to offer a clean, stable, and nutritious food source to Ward 7 residents.  For more information about this and the many other projects of CSD, please visit the website at or contact Dr. Dwane Jones, at or on 202.274.7182.

“Dr. Dwane Jones featured in Smithsonian’s Urban Waterways Newsletter – In “How Community Engagement Works as a Critical Component of Urban Sustainability and Design Curriculum,” Dr. Jones offers key principles for integrating community engagement in urban design and the planning of public spaces. The upcoming Ward 7 Urban Farm is the case study used to illustrate these principles. (page 9)

CSD Director Published in National Wetlands Newsletter
CSD Director Dr. Dwane Jones recently published “Advancing Green Infrastructure in the District: Opportunities to Enhance the Green Economy,” in the January/February edition of the National Wetlands Newsletter:
Efficient and effective implementation of green infrastructure (GI) as an element of sustainability offers many opportunities to enhance the green economy. While GI has historically been an important element of stormwater management programs, recent efforts in urban areas have shifted its use to create employment and career pathways. Despite this change, many barriers and challenges must be collectively considered and collaboratively addressed to establish a green economy that is equitable, profitable, and environmentally sound. Read the full article click here.






Apply Now

Join our Mailling List

Workshops & Trainings

Upcoming Events

Give to UDC

CAUSES Academic Programs

RN to BS in Nursing – Dr. Pier Broadnax, Program Director
Nutrition and Dietetics - Nancy Chapman, Program Director
Urban Architecture and Community Planning - Dr. Susan Kliman, Program Director
PSM in Water Resources Management - Dr. Tolessa Deksissa, Director
Health Education - Dr. Wilmer Johnson, Program Director

CAUSES Land-grant Programs

Center for Urban Agriculture & Gardening Education – Che' Axum, Director
Center for Sustainable Development & Resilience – Dr. Dwane Jones, Director
Water Resources Research Institute – Dr. Tolessa Deksissa, Director
Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health - Dr. Lillie Monroe-Lord, Director
Institute of Gerontology - Claudia John, Director
Center for 4-H and Youth Development – Rebecca Bankhead, Director
Center for Architectural Innovation and Building Science (CAIBS) - Clarence Pearson, Director

News Archive

CAUSES TV Broadcast Schedule