Sea Change — NYC after Sandy

Sea Change — NYC after Sandy

Monday, September 30th 2013:  New York City Conference

As extreme weather events increase in frequency, so too does concern about the resilience of our cities and the buildings we inhabit. Through our work leading the Building Resiliency Task Force, we’ve noticed a shift in the approach to sustainable buildings, one that more frequently includes resilience.  It’s a change that could strengthen the relationship between sustainable strategies and resilience measures or expose contradictions between the two.  As the building industry prepares to meet the challenges of a changing climate – rising sea levels, increased precipitation and drought, more frequent and intense storms, and higher temperatures – we ask, how do we maintain our efforts to mitigate climate change while simultaneously responding to its inevitable consequences?


The Science behind the latest Climate Change report

The Science behind the latest Climate Change report

A new IPCC “climate change” report is due out soon, but behind the battling headlines, the science is clear: While the impacts of climate change are worrying, on the upside we are currently experiencing perhaps the most rapid acceleration in humanity’s understanding of  our planet.

The knowledge gained from the frontiers of basic research—particularly crosscutting,  interdisciplinary research—will be essential to creating the decision support systems needed to manage society in the future.

Paying a Price for Public Space

Paying a Price for Public Space

Cities all over the world are trying to replicate the runaway success of parks such as New York City’s High Line and Chicago’s Millennium Park. These state-of-the-art parks are credited with pumping up real estate values and drawing hordes of tourists.

But unlike the great public parks built in previous eras, the new generation of flagship parks is almost completely dependent upon massive private support for its survival. Design decisions and the responsibility for maintenance and operations budgets have been outsourced to quasi-governmental organizations and “Friends” groups. The problem? It’s unclear whether these kinds of public-private partnerships can be financially self-sustaining without completely selling out.

Adapt, Transform, Re-Use

Adapt, Transform, Re-Use

People have passionate feelings about their environment, sometimes expressed as a love for the buildings or landscapes that currently surround them, other times as a desire for change. Land use policy is one lens through which these often-conflicting desires resolve themselves. Preservation can speak to immediate concerns about the value of places that are special to people today, serving as a guide not just to the past, but also to the future of the city.