urbanization Archives - Page 2 of 3 - State of the Planet

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 (Somewhat Less Fast) Growing Human Footprint

The human footprint continues to expand, with three quarters of earth’s land surface now experiencing measurable pressures from buildings, roads, crops, pastures and other human structures and activities, according to a new report. But the report also finds an encouraging trend: In recent years, growth in the footprint has lagged far behind population and economic growth.

by |August 23, 2016

Interdependence, Sustainability, and a Sense of Place

As important as global economic and cultural forces may be, I see the push for distinctive identity and a sense of place ensuring that communities and nation states will maintain their power in a more globally interconnected world. Part of it is expressed in Not in My Back Yard (NIMBY) local politics that resists development by local or global forces. This desire for community control of local land uses is powerful and growing.

by |July 11, 2016

Understanding the Sustainable Lifestyle

While I remain convinced that humans require live interaction and in person contact to be effective, a high proportion of communication is electronic and require few incremental resources to be undertaken. I am quite certain that we spend more time than ever communicating professionally and personally.

by |June 6, 2016

By the Numbers: Air Quality and Pollution in New York City

New York City is known for many things, but having clean air isn’t one of them. Explore some of the issues and challenges the Big Apple faces in clearing NYC’s air through interactive maps and data.

Students Assess City Greenhouse Gas Reduction Tools

Students in the Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy (MPA-ESP) program worked this past semester to analyze city-level strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

by |May 18, 2016

The How and Why of Green Building

Buildings account for almost a third of global greenhouse gas emissions and the U.N. Environment Programme projects that if we continue with business as usual in the building sector, these emissions will double by 2030. Fortunately, green building is on the rise around the world.

by |May 3, 2016

This Earth Day, Commute Another Way

This Earth Day, April 22, 2016, New York City residents and commuters are encouraged to leave their car at home and use another means of travel as part of the city’s first year of Car-Free Day. Find out what Columbia University is doing in support of #CarFreeNYC.

by |April 18, 2016
Figure of two images. The one of the left shows 2015 estimates of population density of a coastal region in Kenya from CIESIN’s Gridded Population of the World, version 4 (GPWv4), which is based on census data. On the right, New Facebook estimates of population density in the same coastal region in Kenya. This allocation, which is derived from processing of third party satellite imagery and incorporates GPWv4, provides a higher resolution map of population distribution.

Working with Facebook to Create Better Population Maps

Knowing how settlements are distributed across the landscape—e.g., in clusters, along roads or waterways, or scattered widely—has important implications for designing infrastructure, improving access, and promoting sustainability.

The Sustainable City

By concentrating human population in cities, we will make it possible to preserve land for wilderness, ecosystem maintenance and agriculture. People will travel to these places and will experience nature, but only a fortunate few will live close to nature.

by |February 8, 2016