“Change Strategies for Sustainable Cities” Class Provides Recommendations for PlaNYC

*Reposted from the Sustainable Milano blog:

planyc-300x300In the Spring 2014 semester, Professor John Clinton, founder of the Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management M.S. program, taught a one-time offering called “Change Strategies for Sustainable Cities”. In class, graduate students from Milano and Parsons engaged in discussions of what “sustainability” really means, what it looks like when cities take sustainability seriously, and how New York City can be more sustainable. The class encouraged collaboration between students, and sought to understand the many dimensions of shaping public policy. Guest lecturers from across the university joined the class to lend their expertise to the process.

Guest lecturers and topics included:

Brandon (Biko) Koenig, PhD Student at The New School for Social Research – Research Methods

Ricardo Gotla, Director of Public Engagement at Regional Plan Association, Milano alumnus –  The role and influence of the New York League of Conservation Voters

Nevin Cohen, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, The New School for Public Engagement – The power, role, and legality of various city “plans”

Timon McPhearson, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, The New School for Public Engagement – The interplay of people and environment in urban ecologies

Jeff Smith, Assistant Professor of Politics and Advocacy, Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy – Navigating the political arena

Mary Watson, Executive Dean, The New School For Public Engagement – Implementing change through collaboration and identification of individual strengths

Students examined the 2013 Progress Report on PlaNYC  and supporting documents in order to identify opportunities to strengthen the city’s efforts to be more sustainable and resilient. Over the course of the semester, each student translated class discussions and personal research into policy memoranda with the intent to engage Mayor Bill De Blasio’s administration with issues of sustainability, and connect the identified opportunities to promote sustainability with the Mayor’s goals for increasing social justice in the city.


Student Memos by Topic:

Community Building and Public Engagement

NYC Community Sustainability Empowerment – It’s my New York. It’s Our New York. Initiative    [Poster]

Spaces of Safety & Social Agency by PlaNYC and Vision Zero    [Poster]

Using Economic Development Hubs as a Platform for Participatory Planning

Sustainability Curriculum in NYC Public Schools    [Poster]

Strengthening the Public Engagement Efforts of PlaNYC

Public Participation in PlaNYC

Housing and Energy

Building Support for a Better Greener Greater Buildings Plan

Home Energy Reduction Competitions    [Poster]

PlaNYC and buildings not covered by the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan    [Poster]

Passive Affordable Housing- A Proposed Addition to PlaNYC    [Poster]

PlaNYC Initiative 17 – Development of a Smarter & Cleaner Electric Utility Grid    [Poster]

New York City Carbon Challenge    [Poster]


Making Biking in New York City Safer and More Convenient    [Poster]

Car Sharing for New York City    [Poster]

Waste Management

Market-Based Management of Organic Waste    [Poster]

Enhancing the Solid Waste Management Plan


Addressing Food Policy Effectively in PlaNYC

Regional Food System Plan for New York City


Brownfield Redevelopment

PlaNYC Brownfields and Phytoremediation

Water Quality

Addressing Non-point Source Pollution in New York City

Implementation of Constructed Wetlands in New York City    [Poster]

Expansion of PlaNYC Outreach    [Poster]


Strengthening the Biodiversity Initiatives of PlaNYC


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