Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is both a local challenge and a global imperative, says Rohit Aggarwala, the director of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability for New York City. Nate Berg caught up with Aggarwala to talk about his office's sustainability plans and the possible dangers posed by federal intervention.
New York City is America's most iconic metropolis. It's the biggest, the most famous and in many ways the most exciting. Beyond the glitz, New York is also exciting because it is instituting some very forward thinking programs and policies like the city's long-term sustainability plan, PlaNYC. New York's leadership on environmental sustainability has been a model for the nation.
Oil is running out and the climate is changing. How this impacts cities will largely be determined by how the urban design field reacts.
By name, the field of urban design is only about 50 years old. It was born at the 1958 "Conference on Urban Design Criticism" held at the University of Pennsylvania, attended by such legendary urban thinkers as Jane Jacobs, Kevin Lynch, Lewis Mumford, Ian McHarg and Louis Khan – each before publishing the seminal works that cemented their places in the history of urban planning practice and theory. They gathered together to discuss a new vision for American cities, one in response to the wide-scale urban renewal focus that was destroying communities across the country.
If one were to step back and take a look at the world as a whole, without international borders, the health and efficiency of this one entity would appear very poor. It’s a dismal view, but might this be a better way to approach the challenge of climate change?
This is the hypothetical view of Adil Najam, of Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future. “In some ways I don’t think you can understand the city if you’re too close too it,” he says at a morning plenary session of the Urban Design After Oil symposium at the University of Pennsylvania. “It’s kind of like forests.” ...
Live blog from the Re-imagining Cities: Urban Design After Oil symposium at the University of Pennsylvania.