Research Guide on Sustainability Topics: A Post from Professor Nilda Sanchez-Rodriguez

Sustainability in the Urban Environment program at the City College of New York is fortunate to have the support of two knowledgeable liaisons to a trove of sustainability-related information:  

  • Professor Nilda Sanchez-Rodriguez, Chief Librarian of Architecture division 
    [; Drop-In Zoom; (212) 650-8767]

As the librarian liaison for Sustainability in the Urban Environment, I am pleased to provide library services and support for an extremely diverse population of students, faculty, and alumni. Providing equitable access to digital resources is increasingly critical to as CCNY Libraries continue to serve their communities amid rapidly evolving circumstances. With this in mind, I am hoping to ensure that students and faculty will have access to the library’s electronic resources in support of your teaching and research needs. Libraries are much more than books and study spaces. 

Information Literacy skills are taught and tailored to your individual class topics:
Learning Outcomes

  • Find full-text sustainability journal articles and digital books.
  • Locate online maps – including historical Sanborn Maps.
  • Search easily across the library’s electronic databases for that hard-to-find resource.
  • Make Google Scholar really work for you.
  • Off Campus access to online databases
  • Citing sources / Citation management

Make an appointment:  Contact either Professor Sanchez-Rodriguez or Professor Barnett, depending on whether the topic is largely architectural, or science/engineering related. If the  topic spans both areas, not to worry, both librarians are aware of related databases. Request a virtual appointment for a one-on-one research consultation. Working on a capstone project? Consider scheduling a group consultation with the liaison librarian.

Recommended Databases on Sustainability and the Environment

Following are recommended databases that may be of special interest to students researching Sustainability topics.

Use your CCNY email credentials for off-campus access to CCNY Library Databases and Journals. Also, get access to Interlibrary Loan services with CCNY credentials.


  • Building Green Suite: Full-text Resource. Features comprehensive, practical information on a wide range of topics related to sustainable building—from  energy efficiency and recycled-content materials to land-use planning and indoor air quality.  Many case studies including over 300 from the High-Performance Buildings Database.
  • GreenFILE: An INDEX. Features scholarly and general interest titles, as well as government documents and reports to provide a perspective on the positive and negative ways humans affect the environment.
  • Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals: (From Columbia University’s Avery Library) Features a comprehensive listing of citations to journal articles published worldwide on architecture and design, archaeology, city planning, interior design, and historic preservation. Avery indexes not only the international scholarly and popular periodical literature, but also the publications of professional associations, US state and regional periodicals, and the major serial publications on architecture and design of Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Australia. Coverage:  early 1900s to date.  
  • SpringerLink. Full-text and Index Resource.  Provides indexing and abstracting for over 2,500 scholarly journals and magazines. Full text articles are available for nearly 300 journals and 100,00 eBooks. 
  • Wiley Online Library. Full-text Resource. This database consists of over 1,000 journals, reference works, and online books available to members of the CCNY community in full text. All subject areas are covered. Sustainable Development is one of the covered areas including numerous architecture books.
  • Architecture Research Guide: Visit guide for more in-depth assistance with architecture, urban design, landscape architecture, and related subjects.
  • Google Scholar: Use search engine from the CCNY libraries Database list.  Set your electronic device (smartphone, laptop, etc.) for online access to full-text CCNY or CUNY library subscriptions. 

(a). Click: on top left corner, then go to Settings

(b). Click: Library Links.

(c). Type: City College of New York in the search box, and check box.  

Use your CCNY email credentials for off-campus access to CCNY Library Databases and Journals. Also, get access to Interlibrary Loan services with CCNY credentials.

Science and Engineering:

  • EBSCOhost Databases: A portal to 50+ databases providing indexing and abstracting for tens of thousands of scholarly journals, magazines, and reference sources in all areas of study. Many of these databases include full text articles. 
  • Web of Knowledge: Covers over 22,000 journals, 23 million patents, 12,000 conference proceedings, 5,000 books, and now scholarly Web content via the Web Citation Index. The searchable databases include: Web of Science (Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Sciences Citation Index, Arts & Humanities Citation Index) and Medline.
  • Engineering Village: Covers a comprehensive bibliographic database covering all aspects of engineering, including some computer science. It indexes over 5,000 sources, including magazine and peer-reviewed journal articles, conference papers, and other documents.