The pace and magnitude of contemporary urbanization is unprecedented, and urban areas are central to both environmental challenges and their solutions. Finding ways to inform and influence urban growth and development will be key to a sustainable future. Students electing the Urban Specialization at YSE focus on two key themes: 1) how environmental change affects urban areas, and 2) how urban areas and the process of urbanization affect the environment at local to global scales. This specialization will prepare students with the scientific basis to understand and assess environmental issues in towns, cities and other urban areas (e.g., urban heat islands; climate change impacts) and how urban processes contribute to global environmental change (e.g., biodiversity loss and climate change). The specialization also includes a human-policy dimension that focuses on how local strategies can address these issues. The specialization crosscuts the existing YSE specializations by placing a specific urban lens on the thematic aspects of environmental issues.