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Adapting the Physical City: Innovations in Energy, Transportation and Water

Course Description

The future has just begun: we can proactively change the way energy, water and transportation are provided to urban communities and transform our infrastructure in response to the challenges of climate change, social inequality and resource scarcity. Our cities were built on a foundation that never imagined the changes in the physical and political environment that we currently face, but new technology and innovative planning approaches offer the potential to fundamentally improve urban infrastructure. Today, these innovations are helping energize social and environmental movements and are slowly, if steadily, being included into standard business practice globally. This course will explore how these new technologies and planning strategies can be further incorporated into our current and future urban environment, encourage the transformation of individual behavior, promote environmental protection, and reinforce the stability of essential services across the urban landscape. We will explore how these innovations can lead to neighborhoods and communities that conserve resources, promote environmental benefits, and adapt to the risks of climate change. In this course, students will learn to evaluate performance characteristics, resource demands, and the comparative impact of these innovations relative to conventional infrastructure. The course focuses on how combining strategies for smart growth, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and innovative alternatives for energy, water and transportation can lead to greener, more sustainable cities.

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