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Housing Sustainability and Affordability Conference

Sunday, June 4 | 8:00am Monday, June 5 | 4:00pm

Housing Sustainability and Affordability Conference Banner

About the Conference

Academic experts, public officials, industry professionals, and community groups will converge at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on June 4 and 5 for the Sustainable Real Estate and Affordable Housing Research Conference. Participants will share cutting-edge research and engage in vibrant discussions on two of the most complex challenges in the world today: sustainable development and affordable housing.  The conference is being organized in support of a special issue of the Real Estate Economics, the leading journal in real estate research.

As workplace and residential location choices influence the degree of exposure to environmental harm and risks from with climate change, real estate markets play a critical role in determining a household’s access to a clean, safe and sustainable environment.  However, race and class intersect with real estate markets for space and assets in complicated ways.  The conference will address these complex issues and feature research presentations by academic experts from around the world on the topics such as:

  • The interaction between zoning, segregation, exposure to pollution, and the development of affordable housing.
  • Access to affordable/voucher housing and neighborhood quality.
  • Housing quality, energy efficiency, and energy injustice.
  • Asset market implications of environmental and social sustainability issues.
  • Green finance to increase level of financial flow from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors to sustainable development priorities.

The conference is comprised of research presentations, a panel session, a keynote, and networking events designed to encourage substantive interaction among participants. The conference will provide an important venue to share valuable feedback with the authors to improve the quality of their research.

Location & Agenda

Sunday, June 4

  • 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
    Research presentations approximately every 45 minutes
  • 3:30 – 4:45 pm – Panel Session moderated by Stephen Malpezzi, Real Estate Professor Emeritus, UW-Madison
  • 5:00 – 6:30 pm – Reception

Monday, June 5

  • 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
    Research presentations approximately every 45 minutes
  • 11:30 – 1:00 pm – Keynote Presentation
  • 4:00 – Adjourn

Keynote Presenter

Diana Hernandez, Associate Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University

Dr. Diana Hernandez conducts research at the intersection of energy, equity, housing and health. A sociologist by training, her work focuses on the social and environmental determinants of health and examines the impacts of policy and place-based interventions on the health and well-being of socioeconomically disadvantaged populations.

Diana Hernández

An innovator in the field, Dr. Hernandez has operationalized and conducted foundational research on the concept of ‘energy insecurity’ defined as the inability to adequately meet household energy needs. Her pathbreaking work on energy insecurity has explored the multiple dimensions of this phenomenon identifying sociodemographic disparities, adverse consequences and promising interventions toward energy equity and justice.

A noted visionary, Professor Hernandez’ work is broadly dedicated to exploring the links between housing and health and reimagining how multiple unit housing can support public health as a site of intervention and health promotion. Much of her community-oriented research has been done in collaboration with community groups and government agencies around the country. Moreover, several of her projects have been conducted in her native South Bronx neighborhood, where she has led small-scale housing redevelopment projects.

An accomplished scholar, Dr. Hernandez has published over 75 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and policy briefs. Her high-impact and policy-relevant work has appeared in leading academic journals including the American Journal of Public Health, Energy Policy, Social Science and Medicine, and Health Affairs. Having secured over $8 Million of external funding, her work has been supported by National Institutes of Health, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Sloan Foundation and JPB Foundation, among others. In the 2021-2022 academic year, Professor Hernandez was a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation during which time she drafted a book about energy insecurity in the United States due to be published in 2023. The Roosevelt Institute Fellows Program has supported her research on housing and clean energy policy.

Aside from research, Diana Hernandez is a recognized leader and public servant. She serves as the Deputy Director of the Center for Environmental Health and Justice in Northern Manhattan where she previously served as the Director of the Community Engagement Core. A celebrated instructor, Professor Hernandez teaches graduate level courses on qualitative research methods, design and analysis, public health leadership, and energy justice. In 2018, she was appointed by the Mayor and City Council to New York City’s first-ever Environmental Justice Advisory Board. Dr. Hernandez has been profiled in the New York Times, StatNews and WNYC. She has written op-eds in USA Today and NY Daily News, and has been featured in the Washington Post, ABC News, Consumer Reports, and BBC among others. She has delivered over 200 invited lectures and presentations reaching academic, policy and general audiences.

Dr. Hernandez was the inaugural recipient of the Dean’s Junior Faculty Excellence in Leadership Award in 2016 for her efforts leading Mailman’s Faculty Innovation Group. She also received the Junior Faculty Teaching Award in the same year. In 2019, she received the Public Health Service Award from the New York League of Puerto Rican Women. In 2022, she was the recipient of the Public Health Catalyst Award from the Boston Congress of Public Health and a Distinguished Alumni honoree from Hunter College.

Professor Hernandez grew up in subsidized housing and is a product of the New York City public school system. She earned a BA in Sociology from Hunter College- City University of New York (2002) and a PhD in Sociology at Cornell University (2010).

Join Us as a Sponsor!

As a conference sponsor, your organization will be supporting an innovative research conference attended by top academics from around the world in the area of sustainable real estate and affordable housing.  Specifically, the sponsor funds will support:

  • Travel and lodging expenses incurred to bring academic authors and other experts to Madison, Wisconsin. 
  • Operating costs, including food and beverages for networking breaks, the luncheon and reception.
  • Sponsorship Levels: $2,500, $5,000, and $10,000
  • Questions? Contact Professor Christopher Timmins, at

Hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Real Estate and the Graaskamp Center for Real Estate in partnership with AREUEA, UCLA, Tel Aviv University and ESCP Business School.

975 University Avenue
Madison, 53706 United States
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