Winter 2017 @ UDL: Event Highlights

Richard Plunz spoke: on December 13th at the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts, on “The Urban Project,” together with the celebration of the work of Marcel Smets, former Flemish State Architect and Professor Emeritus of Urban Design at the Katholike Universiteit Leuven; and at the University of Ghent about new research, “Toward a Public Space/Social Media Interface,” describing recent social media work, as well as at Southeast University in Nanjiing. He also delivered the Benvenuto Lecture at the University of Genova, on March 15th, entitled “Toward a Public Space Social Media Interface.” The presentation placed new social media in historical perspective related to urban cognitive mapping since the 18th century.

Other relevant lectures took place in Shanghai at the Arcplus Design Research Institute on “Resilient Urban Infrastructure.” In February the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) selected Plunz and five other Research Fellows to identify and develop methods to quantify environmental, economic, and social benefits for The High Line of New York. In March, he led the studio tour of graduate architects and urban planners to Belfast, Northern Ireland, to investigate possible development sites and strategies in the city center within the context of post-conflict rebuilding.

Patricia Culligan led the January workshop with the US-EPA on the stormwater performance of green infrastructure. On February 8th Culligan co-authored an OpEd in The Daily News, focusing on the problem of trash on the streets in New York, and the consequences of cities not taking proactive measures to reduce usage of new plastic bags. Culligan was profiled as a distinguished woman who will play a role in researching climate change and issues of urban sustainability from the Earth Institute’s “State of the Planet” blog Women Leaders Tackle the Urban Climate Challenge – described the UDL’s ongoing work on decision support tools for Green Infrastructure planning and implementation to the University of Minnesota Sustainable City Initiative, in a panel with government experts and industry leaders.

Nilda Mesa continued to distribute generously her expertise in a panel of the Center of Global Energy Policy’s Women in Energy program (February 23rd), leading a team of SUMA students to advise the State of California Governor’s Office and The Climate Group, harmonizing data for the COP22 National Determined Contribution (NDC). She was the keynote speaker at the 22nd Annual Gallivan Conference at the University of Connecticut Law School on Municipal Climate Policy: Local Solutions for a Global Problem (March 3rd), and was a panelist at the Women in the Green Economy: Tackling Institutional Barriers conference for the Clinton Global Initiative(March 9th).

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