The fall 2013 Haiti Dialogue Series focused on the multi-dimensional aspects of implementing Haiti’s National Strategic Development Plan after the 2010 earthquake and featured Frantz Verella, the former minister of public works, transportation and communication of the government of Haiti.
Developing countries are more likely to see a drop in agricultural productivity and increased food prices due to climate change, particularly in tropical regions, according to a set of new studies out this week.
Large investments in extractive industries such as oil, gas and mining have the potential to be a springboard for development, but these investments often have been a source of corruption, social degradation, resource dependency and environmental catastrophe. How can resource-rich countries faced with this double-edged sword make informed decisions about how to effectively leverage these resources? An executive training program coming in June at Columbia University will be tackling this question.
Where does London get its fruit? Where are the “food swamps” in Los Angeles? Where do tomatoes from Spain wind up? Where are the composters in New York City? For lovers of geography, and of the sociology of food, “Food: an atlas” offers lots of informative and curious distraction.
When Hurricane Sandy hit last October, the vulnerabilities of the New York/New Jersey region to extreme weather were made all too clear. The Rebuild by Design challenge was launched to find the most innovative ways to make the region more resilient and sustainable.
With the end of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s tenure drawing near, many are speculating which of his policies will survive the next administration. New York City’s comprehensive environmental plan, PlaNYC 2030: A Greener, Greater New York, has been championed politically by Bloomberg, but is grounded in science and data, and performance management. It has demonstrated progress, achieving multiple goals for the city, making it appealing to any administration. On Oct. 22, we hosted an event where we posed the question “Is Sustainability Sustainable?” to our guest experts, Rit Aggarwala and Sergej Mahnovski. The answer is simply that it needs to be.
To combat urban air pollution and traffic problems, some propose congestion pricing as a cost-effective policy to reduce pollution and improve productivity through improved travel speeds. Cities in China could implement this policy and ameliorate some of the negative effects of congestion-caused pollution. So why is congestion pricing dead on arrival in China?
Americans are paying more for water than they did a decade ago, even as water utilities fall into debt and water infrastructure deteriorates, according to a Columbia Water Center report.
Cities already lead the action on responding to climate change. And cities are utilizing groups such as the Urban Climate Change Research Network to share lessons from implementation and scholarly research on urban climate change.
Earth Institute scientists across many disciplines are playing key roles in helping New York move forward following Hurricane Sandy. Many were already advising the city about the potential effects of sea-level rise, storm surge, climate change and related issues before the storm hit, For better or worse, their predictions were vindicated, and they now continue efforts to help make infrastructure and population more resilient and sustainable.