Faculty Bio: Lily Baum Pollans

Associate Professor

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Sustainability, urban infrastructure, environmental justice, municipal solid waste, qualitative research methods

Common Courses Taught

URBG 702: Structure of the Urban Region
URBP 787.17/URBS: 403.1E Sustainable Environment: Issues and Challenges
URBS 102: Structure of the Urban Region


PhD, MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning
MCP, MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning


Lily Baum Pollans is Associate Professor of Urban Policy and Planning at Hunter College in New York City. As an urban planner and scholar, her interests lie in sustainability, infrastructure, and environmental justice. As a practicing planner, she has worked in both municipal and institutional settings on public transportation, public space design, and brownfield redevelopment. In her most recent contract, she collaborated with Boston-area sustainability professionals on a study of the jobs-development potential of companies that use recycled materials as inputs in manufacturing processes.

In her current research, Pollans looks at the potential and limits of urban-scale action in the face of global climate change and structural inequality at all scales. A main thread of her work examines institutional and infrastructural transformation of solid waste systems in U.S. cities, and the evaluates the ability of municipalities to influence consumption. A second set of ongoing projects examines urban food systems and food waste, and explores the consequences—technological, social, economic and ecological—of ongoing change in urban food provisioning systems.