OCS Conference Funding Submission

Event Photo:

Building Energy Efficiency

Green New Deal to tackle climate crisis.

Decarbonizing Delivery session

Name: Yujin Lee


Specialization: MUP-City and Community Planning

Conference Host Organization/Institution: Smart Cities New York (SMNY), Cornell Tech, CIV:LAB

Conference/Competition Name: Urban Tech Summit

Conference Term: Fall Conference Start Date: 2022-10-24 Conference End Date: 2022-10-25

What were your takeaways from this conference/case competition?
In dense urban cities, replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy is less cost-effective and more time intensive, which creates a huge barrier to the transition. It is crucial that everyone understands the long-term benefit.

One interesting innovation discussed was rethinking building performance. A new project is being developed, considering load shifting, demand management, and occupant-responsive building operations.

Industries are generally more efficient than the government at implementing new design and construction methods for energy retrofitting. It’s important to quantify the benefit of retrofitting, leveraging data to get an insight into how people interact and use different spaces throughout the day.

How will your participation in this conference/case competition support your professional development?
The conference broadened my understanding of climate challenges and how different stakeholders are coming up with innovative technologies to tackle them. Initially, my understanding of climate risks was limited to the problems, not the solutions. It was a great opportunity to explore the big ideas that are being developed by the industry, city, and non-profit leaders that will help shape the recovery of the cities. I gained a more well-rounded perspective on various urban challenges since at school I am more frequently exposed to the policy side of the issues.

What are some next steps or action items this conference/case competition inspired?
My next steps are to do more in-depth research on some of the interesting innovations that are being led by academia, start-ups, and private-nonprofit partnerships. There was a flood of new information that I got to learn and reading materials that I was given, and I will spend some time digesting them over the next few weeks.

What are some tips or best practices that you would like to share with other Wagner students who attend a conference/case competition?
The conference that I attended was a 2-day, intensive series of seminars, group discussions, and panel discussions. So, it was necessary for me to spend some time re-visiting the materials given and information learned, otherwise I would not retain them. Also, it was physically challenging to attend a series of back-to-back sessions for 8 hours. On the first day, I did not want to miss any sessions, so I attended them all, but it was very draining and not effective. I would recommend taking a break as needed and not feeling pressured to attend every single session.

Wagner Areas of Impact: Cities, Government, Inequality, Race, and Poverty, Nonprofits, Social Innovation, Transportation