Urban Design Archives - State of the Planet

kate orff at a desk

Columbia Landscape Architect Named MacArthur ‘Genius’

Kate Orff designs urban environments for the future by combining ecology, climate dynamics, and community.

by |October 11, 2017

Lessons of Climate Resilience in New York City

The Earth Institute hosted a panel focused on how New York City, and other cities like it, can take steps to become stronger and more resilient in the face of climate change.

by |October 24, 2016
Nilda Mesa

New Faculty: Nilda Mesa joins the Urban Design Lab

Nilda Mesa joins the Earth Institute to launch a new program in urban sustainability and equity planning at the Urban Design Lab.

by |August 29, 2016

The Not in My Backyard Syndrome and Sustainability Infrastructure

As we make the transition to a more sustainable, renewable resource based economy, we will need to build new smart-grid electrical systems, new water infrastructure, coastal resiliency projects, mass transit, public charging stations, and other types of development. This will require innovative efforts to plan, design, build, manage and communicate if it is to succeed.

by |January 4, 2016

The Big City, Subdivided for Sustainability

Two-thirds of people on the planet will live in cities by 2050. But few cities are prepared for this population boom. An upcoming research project will explore new, localized models for urban infrastructure to make cities cleaner, healthier and more enjoyable places to live.

Students Tour Via Verde, New York’s Most Sustainable Urban Housing in the Bronx

By Noah Morgenstein This May, students in the Master of Science in Sustainability Management and the Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development toured Via Verde, one of New York’s greenest housing complexes. From the photovoltaic solar panels to the rooftop gardens and water reclamation system, Via Verde embodies many of the practical approaches to sustainable development that… read more

by |May 1, 2013

Sustainable Solutions for the Brooklyn Navy Yard

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 5-7, M.S. in Sustainability Management students in Professor Lynnette Widder’s SUMA K4162: Responsibility and Resilience in the Built Environment ventured across the East River to complete an interdisciplinary workshop at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The workshop was organized by Professor Widder in collaboration with the Departments of Architecture of the Technical University of Braunschweig in Germany and the Rhode Island School of Design.

by |October 22, 2012

Architecture and Urban Design Students Present Innovative Upgrading Plans for a Millennium City

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.

by |May 29, 2012

New York Roofs: Brighter, Whiter, Cooler

The results are in for the first study to systematically measure the effects of the city’s fledgling effort to introduce more reflective rooftops in order to reduce cooling costs and the overall heat burden on the city.

by |March 7, 2012

Solving Urbanization Challenges by Design – The Science of Green Roofs (part 2)

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.”

by |February 2, 2011