News: Summer Update 2018

The Summer High School Pilot Program “Sustainable Urbanization: New Designs for the Future City” ended on July 13th with a final presentation to the CEO of Harlem’s 125th Street Business Improvement District, Barbara Askins; the Columbia VP for Communication Victoria Benitez; Community Board 9 representatives; local architects, and education professionals. The students researched bridges between the Harlem community and Columbia’s Manhattanville campus – and their design thinking results were praised for rigor and creativity.

Richard Plunz, Urban Design Lab Director, was quoted in an article in The New York Times on July 9, on the future of New York City Public Housing; relating that in spite of difficulties NYCHA is “a model of how to survive…to adapt to attrition.”

On June 22 Maria-Paola Sutto, UDL Senior Program Manager, participated in the Mildred Complex Town Fridays at the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance, with an “Edible Installation” linking the “egg archetype to the current body commodification in the age of data abundance.”

On June 20 Richard Plunz lectured on “The Apartment in a Garden: Queens Typologies” for the Institute for Public Architecture Summer Residency Program at the Plaxall Gallery, Long Island City.

Richard Plunz was featured in a video discussing the “next generation urban development” in Seoul and the planning for the Jamsil Stadium Complex.

On June 1, Maria-Paola Sutto participated in the workshop CITYtrans: Energy Efficient City Transformation, a cooperative initiative aimed at building a bilateral US-EU network for applied urban research.

On May 30, fourth grade students from P.S. 114 Luis Llorens Torres Children’s Academy, a Bronx public school, visited the lab with their teacher, mentor and social worker Caroline Rostant. They engaged with the UDL “Biosmiles” app for green infrastructure monitoring, and with UDL social media sentiment analysis related to NYC parks. There were many questions, and the kids’ pleasure was mirrored by the researchers having to produce fun answers to explain quite complicated processes. This visit launched the summer ‘Give Back to Society’ campaign of the UDL, with a goal to distribute scientific findings to the New York City communities and to advance scientific knowledge in society.

On May 21 the UDL was in Puerto Rico for the first site visit to Vieques. The goal was to assess the situation, and launch the “Vieques Community Innovation Hub,” an initiative that aims at developing a comprehensive set of planning strategies to answer to the immediate needs of the residents of this Puerto Rican island, the first to be hit from Hurricane Maria.

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