News: Fall Update 2018

On October 10 the Urban Design Lab (UDL) was an important presence to the celebration of the 125th Street Business Improvement District 25th year anniversary. The work of the pilot Columbia SPS summer course on Sustainable Urbanization was displayed at the BID’s Annual Meeting. The projects included design proposals from Morningside Drive to the Hudson River waterfront, and attracted real interest within the Harlem business community, including a competitive bid for financing in 2019.

On October 6 Maria Paola Sutto joined local researchers in a visit to the recent interventions in the Barrio Holaja Herrera, Nelson Mandela, and Caras de Albornos in Cartagena, Colombia. New play areas for children, made with colorful recycled materials, were built by the community creating new social dynamic for these barrios, among the poorest in Latin America. At present 51% of the Cartagena population lives in barrios. Colombia has one of the highest rates of income inequality in Latin America.

On October 4 and 5, UDL Director Richard Plunz spoke to the World Congress of the International Real Estate Federation in Cartegena, Colombia. Plunz presented “What Data Can Tell Us About Our Cities,” inviting the audience to reflect on the origins of data inequality. In a separate high profile session, he talked about the role of urban infrastructure and technology in the wake of climate change.

On September 28, at the end of an intense week of meetings and site evaluations,  a UDL-GSAPP team presented in Vieques, Puerto Rico, findings and research to the municipality, FEMA representatives, community leaders, and other local participants, who for the first time could reflect themselves on a set of proposals that illustrated new possibilities. A rich discussion followed. On December 13 the finalized projects resulting from the studies will be presented in New York City.

The Urban Design Lab announced receipt of incubator funding from the Haenglim Group in South Korea, that will be dedicated toward research development of innovative solutions for urban living.

Routledge | Taylor & Francis Group recently announced the release of the Chinese language edition of “The Urban Lifeworld” (Routledge 2002). Edited by UDL Director Richard Plunz and Peter Madsen (University of Copenhagen) the new edition is published by the China Architecture and Building Press.

The Urban Design Lab announced the publication of “Sustainable Urbanization. Innovative Designs for the Future City”; representing the work of the 2018 Summer High School Program offered by the UDL through the School of Professional Studies. Six student projects are represented, for the western area of 125th Street between Amsterdam Avenue and the Hudson River. This initiative was made in collaboration with the 125th Street Business Improvement District.

In an effort to inspire students of every background for urban research, the UDL announced the program “UDL Science Ambassador” for public school students. The 2018-2019 school year is open to the participation of Harlem and Bronx public schools.

The Urban Design Lab is promoting a post-Maria initiative in Vieques, Puerto Rico, with the support of the Vieques Conservation and Historical Trust, the Municipal Government of Vieques, Hope Builders and the Institute for Puerto Rican Culture, and in collaboration with the New York Institute for Public Architecture. Richard Plunz is leading the first team of twelve graduate students from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation who will be focusing this semester on the main infrastructural housing problems.

By popular demand this fall the UDL will continue its “UDL Social: an informal event for spirited minds.” UDL Social is a monthly event, and the occasion to reach out to other CU schools, host visiting scientists and discuss common interest/ideas.

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