News: Spring Update 2018

On May 18, Maria-Paola Sutto was an invited participant at the CXI 2018 conference, where she was included in the  project of the artist Juan Miguel Marin. The CXI conference is the leading business conference on innovation in the consumer experience. The art project was a collaboration to remind to all of us that no matter how we push technology during our lifetime, we should never let it overpower our humanity.

On May 12, Richard Plunz was in Seoul leading the project on the new area around the Main Stadium for the International Competition on the remodeling of the Main Stadium in the Jamsil Sport Complex.

On May 7, Richard Plunz gave a lecture at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Department of Architecture, in the Faculty of Engineering Science focused on recent social media research in the Urban Design Lab, “New York City: Toward A Public Space/ Social Media Interface. Evolution of Concepts.”

On May 2, Nilda Mesa, director of the Urban Sustainability and Equity Planning Initiative in the UDL, was a panelist in the concluding session of the  International Conference on Sustainable Cities, hosted by Columbia, Fordham and NYU.


Richard Plunz was the author, with Ayse Sema Kubat and Harun Ekinoglu, of “Modeling Spatial Wholeness in Cities Using Information Entropy Theory” published in AZ ITU Journal of the Faculty of Architecture, Istanbul Technical University. This research was developed during Ekinoglu’s residence as Visiting Scholar in the Urban Design Lab in 2014-15.

Isabel Maria Carrasco, UDL Spatial Planning & Design Associate, has been asked to join the Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory in the research Challenges and Opportunities after the Departure of the UNMIL (United Nations Mission in Liberia 2003-2018.) The research focuses on re-thinking the activity of the UN mission abroad in relation to the existing communities, and the need of a comprehensive approach on deployed facilities and equitable re-use of the residual infrastructure.

Maria-Paola Sutto, Senior Program Manager of the UDL, participated as a guest critic for the Urban Planning and Architecture Studio final review at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. The studio “Genoa, Italy: Negotiating Fragments” was tasked with developing a comprehensive urban proposal to re-think the urban infrastructure of the area of the famous 19th century psychiatric hospital of Quarto in Genova.

The NSF Sustainable Healthy Cities Network, under the direction of Patricia Culligan, and supported by research conducted by Richard Plunz, has launched a new website that complies with the most current research on sustainability in the urban environment. The website launch has been featured in a press release by the NYC DDC reporting on bridging the current gap between the academic and city policy communities.

Richard Plunz was invited in Leuven, Belgium to deliver the keynote talk at the opening of the city exhibition and colloquium “Revival After the Great War: Repair, Rebuild, Remember,” a commemoration of the centenary of the reconstruction of Flanders after World War I. Sponsored by the City of Leuven and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Plunz spoke about Reflections on Leuven as Martyred City and the Realignment of Propinquity.

On Wednesday April 4th, Patricia Culligan spoke on a panel with Dave Turk, IEA’s Acting Director for the Sustainability, Technology and Outlooks Directorate and Head of the Energy Division, about how digitalization is reshaping the energy sector. The panel was hosted by Columbia’s Center on Global Energy Policy and moderated by CGEP Fellow and Senior Research Scholar, Jonathan Elkind.

Richard Plunz participated in the workshop “Urban Futures, Technology and Military Operations,” part of the Think Tank 2020-2040 for Hypothetical Scenarios in Urban Environment, together with the Digital Equity laboratory, NY Army National Guard, US Military Academy, RAND Corporation, and the US Army Training and Doctrine Command Director.

The Urban Design Lab had a poster presentation at Data Science Day on March 28. Data Science Day is an exciting event showcasing Columbia University’s innovative data science applications, technology and research.

On March 18th, Patricia Culligan was featured as an invited panelist during a plenary session at the 9th Annual Global Health Conference. The panel addressed technology in the service of humanity and Culligan presented on affordable sensing technologies for enabling low resource communities to measure their environmental exposures.

Patricia Culligan gave a talk at Princeton University on March 12th entitled “What are the Infrastructure Choices for Climate Change and What Makes Sense”. The talk focused on the potential role of distributed infrastructure in addressing the challenge of long-term climate adaptation in the face of short term political outlooks.

Richard Plunz returned from the University of Genoa, Italy, where he led a GSAPP team of architects and planners focused on sustainable development issues facing the city. Presentations were made to the Mayor and other city officials. Work will continue until June with support of the Municipality of Genoa, the University of Genoa, and Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.

Richard Plunz, Urban Design Lab Director, was interviewed by the Columbia News on the role of social media in Urban Design “Crowdsourcing Urban Design With Twitter”

On Friday February 18th, Urban Design Lab co-Director Patricia Culligan gave a talk at Carnegie Mellon University on the role of Green Infrastructure in Stormwater Management and Climate Adaptation presenting the results from the multi-year research with data collection, modeling protocols and consideration on the potential broader role of green infrastructure in promoting urban sustainability and resilience.











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