Adapting the Physical City: Innovations in Energy, Transportation and Water
URPL-GP.2612, 3 points.
A revolution has been occurring in the way energy, transportation, and water services are provided and used that goes beyond the boundaries of individual buildings and communities, but connects with them. Cities have relied upon traditional infrastructure to provide energy, transportation, water, and environmental services. Now, new innovations continue to emerge that present opportunities to proactively address climate change, resource scarcity, environmental contamination, and social inequities while meeting service needs. These innovations have now become the foundation not only for popular movements but business practices also. Students will obtain knowledge and skills to evaluate the performance, resource demands and selected impacts of these innovations relative to one another and to conventional infrastructure in light of urban needs. The course also covers ways to incorporate these new technologies and adapt user behavior to plan neighborhoods, communities and regions to conserve resources, promote environmental protection, and reduce the consequences of service disruptions. Communications and information technology are often vital links for energy, water and transportation and ways to evaluate their influence on these other services are covered. Methods to balance alternative approaches to service delivery within planning and policy frameworks are also emphasized. The course covers the evolution of physical elements of cities, the environmental consequences and social adaptations to new technologies, and challenges cities continue to face in these areas. Transformations in planning standards and protocols to accommodate these new systems are part of the course. The course combines separate streams of thought in the areas of smart growth, climate change adaptation and mitigation, environmental planning and greening cities with alternatives for energy, transportation and water.