Faculty Biography

Gregory Trencher, PhD

Gregory Trencher, Ph.D.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Policy
Department of International Development, Community, and Environment
Clark University
Worcester, MA 01610-1477

Phone: (508) 793-7292
Email: gtrencher@clarku.edu


Ph.D. in Sustainability Science, University of Tokyo, 2014
M.A. in Global Environmental Studies, Sophia University (Japan) 2011
B.A. in Graphic Design, Monash University (Australia) 2000

Research Interests

City-level policies for climate change and energy efficiency in buildings; university-industry-government collaboration for sustainability, universities and sustainability, innovation for sustainability, urban living laboratories, smart cities.


A key area of Gregory Trencher’s research examines various types of city-level policies targeting existing, private sector buildings. This research is a collaborative project with Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. It examines various approaches, challenges and impacts of recently implemented policies in large C40 cities such as Tokyo, Shenzhen, New York, Mexico City to advance energy efficiency in large, existing buildings.

An emerging research agenda concerns smart cities in Japan and China, and in particular, innovation to advance health, well-being and sustainable lifestyles.

An established area of research focuses on how university partnerships with stakeholders in industry, government and civil society can function as triggers for environmental, technological and societal transformations in urban and semi-urban settings. This process is framed as “sustainability co-creation” and has a simultaneous global (Europe, Asia and North America) and case-specific focus. In particular, this research examines core characteristics such as partnership objectives, types of university and societal stakeholders involved, motivations for participating partners, key partnerships mechanisms for pursuing objectives, and potential impacts towards enhanced sustainability.

Selected Publications

Trencher, G., Castan Broto, V., Takagi, T., Sprigings, Z., Nishida, Y., Yarime, M. 2016.
"Innovative policy practices to advance building energy efficiency and retrofitting: Approaches, impacts and challenges in ten C40 cities." Environmental Science and Policy (forthcoming) 10.1016/j.envsci.2016.06.021

Mozafari, M., Trencher, G., A. Beynaghi. 2016. "Returning blue skies to Iran." Science. 352(6292): 1404.

Trencher, G., Nagao, M., Chiashin, C., Yarime, M. et al. 2016. "Sustainability co-creation    between universities and society: Models, challenges and strategies."
Submitted to Sustainability (Submitted October 20, 2016).

Luederitz, L. Schäpke, N., Wiek, A., Lang, D. L. Bergman, M., Bos, J., Burch, S., Davies, A., Evans, J., König, A., Farrelly, M., Forrest, N., Frantzeskaki, N., Gibson, R., Kay, B., Loorbach, D., Mccormick, K., Parod, O., Rauschmayer, F., Schneidewind, U., Stauffacher, M., Stelzer, F., Trencher, G., Venjakob, J., Vergragt, P., von Wehrden, H., Westley, F. 2016. "Joint Learning through Evaluation — A Tentative Evaluative Scheme for Sustainability Transition Experiments." Journal of Cleaner Production (forthcoming).

Beynaghi, A., Trencher, G., Moztarzadeh, F., Maknoon, R., Mozafari, M. and Filho, W. 2015. "Sustainability scenarios for future universities: Going beyond the UN DESD." Journal of Cleaner Production 112(4): 3464–3478.

Trencher, G., Rosenberg Daneri, D., McCormick, K., Terada, T., Petersen, P. Yarime, M. Kiss, B. 2016. "The role of students in the co-creation of knowledge and societal transformations towards sustainability: Experiences from Lund, Tokyo and Ohio." In: Filho, W.L. (ed) Engaging Stakeholders in Education for Sustainable Development at the University Level. Springer, Switzerland. pp. 191-215.

Trencher, G. Bai, X. 2016."The role of university partnerships in urban sustainability experiments: Evidence from Asia."In: Brauch, G., Spring, U., Grin, J. et al. (Eds.) Handbook on Sustainability Transition and Sustainable Peace. Springer, Switzerland. pp. 631-654.

Trencher, G., Terada, T., Yarime, M. 2015. Student participation in the co-creation of knowledge and social experiments for advancing sustainability: Experiences from the University of Tokyo. Current Opinions in Sustainability 16: 16:56–63.

Rosenberg, D., Trencher, G., Peterson, J. 2015. Students as change agents in a town-wide sustainability transformation: The Oberlin Project at Oberlin College. Current Opinions in Sustainability 16: 14–21.

Beynaghi, A., Moztarzadeh, F., Trencher, G., Mozafari, G. 2015. Energy in Sustainability Research: A Recent Rise to Prominence. Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews. 51: 1794–1795.

Trencher, G., Bai, X., Evans, J., Yarime, M. and McCormick, K. 2014. University partnerships for co-designing and co-producing urban sustainability. Global Environmental Change 28: 153-165.

Yarime, M., Trencher, G. 2014. Innovation for urban sustainability and the role of the university. Journal of Science Policy and Research Management 29(2/3): 118-131 (in Japanese)

Trencher, G., Yarime, M., McCormick, K., Doll, C. and Kraines, S. 2014. Beyond the third mission: Exploring the emerging university function of co-creation for sustainability. Science and Public Policy. 41(2): 151-179.

Trencher, G., Yarime, M. and Kharrazi, A. 2013. Co-creating sustainability: Cross-sector university collaborations for driving sustainable urban transformations. Journal of Cleaner Production 50: 40-55.

Yarime, M., Trencher, G., Mino, T., Scholz, R. W., Olsson, L., Ness, B., Frantzeskaki, N. and Rotmans, J. 2012. Establishing sustainability science in higher education institutions: towards an integration of academic development, institutionalization, and collaborations with stakeholders. Sustainability Science 7(1): 101-113.