When architect Fernando Arias first arrived in Kumasi, Ghana last year, he saw unpaved roads, trash burning, garbage everywhere, and shoeless children running all around. He knew he needed to act on their behalf.
Graduate students in architecture and urban design recently presented their findings and design work issuing out of a collaboration between the Urban Design Lab (UDL) and MCI in the Millennium City of Kumasi, Ghana. At the city’s invitation, and with MCI’s facilitation, the UDL came to Kumasi in early February, to devise solutions to revitalize the severely degraded and impoverished areas of Akrom, Adukrom and Sewabah and to design a comprehensive Women’s and Girls’ Center for the vibrant downtown commercial neighborhood of Bantama.
The NYC Department of City Planning has proposed new zoning rules to make it easier to retrofit buildings for energy efficiency – including a provision on rooftop greenhouses.
It is no surprise that New York City holds one of the world’s densest agglomerations of people and infrastructure; but according to a new report, it is also hides a huge archipelago of potential farmland. The report, by the Earth Institute’s Urban Design Lab, identifies some 5,000 scattered acres of private and public vacant land suitable for farming–plus [...]
Patricia J. Culligan is a professor of civil engineering and engineering mechanics at Columbia University and the Vice Dean of Academic Affairs for Columbia Engineering. In part two of this interview she talks about the challenge of quantifying the economic benefits of green roofs, the potential for rooftop agriculture, and what it means to “solve urbanization challenges by design.”
Patricia J. Culligan, professor of civil engineering and engineering mechanics, discusses her work with the Columbia University Green Roof Consortium to quantify the benefits of green roofs.
How much is your trash worth? Using various visualization instruments, design ideas, engineering, and environmental science research, a team of designers, engineers, and scientists at the Urban Design Lab (UDL) are trying to find out. A new initiative for 2010, Plastic TrashPatch, seeks to raise awareness of ”trashpatches,” thick areas of concentrated marine debris that [...]
With an Italian background, from a culture of food, as biologist and one time theatre producer, to me it makes sense to work with a research group that has the courage to break many taboos and re-discuss academic assumptions in an open and innovative way.
Contributed by Richard Plunz and Michael Conard On September 10th, Michael Pollan, author of “In Defense of Food” and “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” highlighted the work of designers at the Earth Institute’s Urban Design Lab (UDL) in his Op-Ed Contribution to the New York Times, titled “Big Food vs. Big Insurance.” Since 2007, researchers at the [...]
Scientists warn that many cities around the world may soon face big climate-change challenges: rising seas; shrinking water supplies; killer summer heat waves; rises in water-borne diseases as temperatures go up and sewers are swamped. No one is predicting that, say, London or Miami will simply drop beneath the waves–but these and other cities will probably have to be redesigned if [...]