MEPD students on winning team of Emory University Sustainability Case Competition


On November 12th Catie Sauer and Christopher Wisener (current CED MEPD students) were part of the first place team, along with three Emory students (Christian Wayne, Pari Majd, and Shreya Kothari), in Emory University’s Sustainability Case Competition for addressing Georgia’s water crisis. The team will share a $2000 prize and be eligible for paid internships with the city of Atlanta’s Department of Watershed Management next summer.

The entry was a PowerPoint presentation that outlines a five-year plan for Georgia to mitigate the state’s water needs. Ideas proposed by the team included revenue-neutral taxes, several mandates for water conservation, rebate programs for water-saving measures, and a method of replacing failing infrastructure. Eight teams and six judges comprised the competition and the teams had a limited amount of time at the gathering to come up with cohesive, interdisciplinary suggestions.

Both Wisener and Sauer are in their first year of the MEPD program here: “I chose the MEPD program because I believe that good planning will help us develop sustainably and equitably and I want to ensure that as the country continues to grow, we do so in a way that benefits both people and the environment,” explained Catie Sauer.

Wisener, who agrees with Sauer that planners will be on the frontlines of addressing climate change in the world, noted that the competition also prepared him “for working with people of other disciplines and viewpoints, which is an essential skill for being a planner.”