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9/8 THUR 16:00 | Educating the Sustainability Planner 1
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9/8 THUR 16:00 | Educating the Sustainability Planner 1


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Christopher Silver …

Christopher Silver

This session draws upon the teaching, research and consulting experiences in sustainability drawn the perspectives of an architect, planning lawyer and an international planner. Through a series of case studies, it explores how the global community
is undertaking legal, regulatory and other measures to realize sustainable urbanism, promote sustainability in various parts
of the world, and how these efforts can influence the work of Florida planners. This comparative perspective not only provides a source for innovation in practice, but can also serve as
a measure of success locally in the face of the global challenges faced by the sustainable urbanism movement.

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  • 1. Greening Planning Education: Lessons from International Experience
    Christopher Silver, FAICP
    Dean and Professor
    College of Design, Construction and Planning
    University of Florida
    September 8, 2011
  • 2. Key Points
    Pervasiveness of “greening” and “sustainability” in contemporary discourse
    Disconnect between the rhetoric of “greening” and “sustainability” and current planning education and planning practices in US
    Efforts in other parts of the world to more closely link “sustainability” education and “sustainability in practice”
    Discovery of this through a new and still trial program at UF, Masters of Sustainable Design
    Also, forthcoming online Masters of Arts in Urban and Regional Planning with a concentration in Sustainability
    How should we approach sustainability education for planners so that it represents a fundamentally different practice
  • 3. The Buzz and the Reality
    Sustainability is one of the hot topics in business, in development, in public discourse, in higher education – it is everywhere
    Significant array of public programs to implement green agenda, especially in US, Europe and parts of Asia and Latin America
    Private sector and governments at all levels are embracing and advancing it
  • 4. The Buzz and the Reality
    Renewable energy sources accounted for only18% of global electric production in 2009
    Yet, less than 10% of all energy produced in US is from renewable sources, such as hydro (7%), wind (1%), solar (less than 1%), Geothermal (less than 1%), Biomass (2%)
    Carbon production not slowing
    Current patterns of urbanization and development run counter to sustainability
    Global ecological crises connected to poor planning and climate change
    According to economist Paul Krugman, developed world needs market-based approach to deal with climate change, one that limits carbon emission by putting a price on them
    Urbanization is the great challenge
  • 5. Preparing Planners for Sustainability
    Development of new educational programs to prepare professionals for sustainability
    Widely varied approaches reflects the widely varied interpretations of sustainability
    The term “sustainable development” means everything and nothing” – Feiden and Hamin (2011)
  • 6. Inventory of Sustainability Programs
    Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
    11 MA programs (Urban Sustainability, Cultural Sustainability, Sustainable Communities, Design for Sustainability, Global Sustainability, etc.)
    17 MS Programs (several in business field, several just in Sustainability, several in environmental studies, and one MS in Regenerative Studies at California State Polytechnic, Pomoma:
    Regenerative studies is a unique descriptor for the interdisciplinary field of inquiry concerned with a sustainable future. While closely aligned with environmental, economic and social sustainability projects, regenerative studies places emphasis on the development of community support systems which are capable of being restored, renewed, revitalized or regenerated through the integration of natural processes, community action and human behavior. It is argued that the development of regenerative systems is the most promising method for ensuring a sustainable future - not merely conserving critical natural resources, but even enhancing them over time.
  • 7. Inventory of Sustainability Programs
    12 specialized MS degrees (many in business but run the gamut from Architecture to Sustainable Development)
    MS programs range from management, business, education, engineering, environmental management, industrial ecology, and sustainable systems
    Includes three from Europe at Leiden, Delft and Erasmus, all in the Netherlands
    Others in Germany and Italy
  • 8. Where is Sustainability Education for Planners?
  • 9. International Greening Education Event
    “Educating for Sustainability,” sponsored by Etechand Hamburg U. of Applied Sciences, and University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy (with financial support from the European Union
    To be held this October in the green city of Karlsruhe, Germany
    Theme of gathering: “Are educational institutions preparing themselves effectively and sufficiently to respond to the fast changing global scenario? What needs to be done to make sustainability an integral part of teaching and learning, and not just consciousness awakening”
  • 10. Conditions for a Sustainability Curriculum for Planners
    Greening existing courses
    Addressing green agenda and sustainability at multiple scales, namely the building, the neighborhood/community, the district, city metropolitan and regional levels
    Case studies of best practice drawn from international examples
    Basic reconstituting of legal and foundational practices to ensure that they yield sustainability outcomes
    As with the building of modern planning practice, new approaches need to be sanctioned through legal scrutiny and based upon foundation principles of health, safety and welfare
    Ecologizing the curriculum – Paul Hawkens “The first rule of sustainability is to align with natural forces, or at least not try to defy them.”
  • 11. Ecological Design
    Van derRyn & Cowan 1996:
    • “design …the intentional shaping of matter, energy, and process to meet a perceived need or desire…a hinge that inevitably connects culture and nature through exchanges of materials, flows of energy and choices of land use.”
    • 12. “any form of design that minimizes environmentally destructive impacts by integrating itself with living processes”
  • David Orr 1992:
    • “two versions of sustainability
    • 13. technological sustainability and
    • 14. ecological sustainability
    • 15. necessary parts of a sustainable world”
    Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth
    Herman Kahn
  • 16. The Sustainable Blueprint contains the strategies and initiatives we believe are needed for Singapore to achieve both economic growth and a good living environment over the next two decades.
    The government will, actively and imaginatively, draw up policies, regulations and incentives to promote this. However, for us to succeed, our business leaders, our community leaders and our people, have to share a common vision, and work together to bring about changes needed in our households, our communities, our businesses and our country.
    Ultimately, Singapore will be our best home if each one of us has contributed to its development, and together shaped a sustainable city that reflects our shared aspirations and our values as a society.
  • 17. Models of Sustainability Education
    University of Nottingham, UK, Department of Architecture and Built Environment (within the Faculty of Engineering)
    MSc in Sustainable Building Design
    Oriented to individual building scale but with some attention to other site factors – incorporates technology/ecology
    Curriculum addresses:
    bioclimatic design
    urban design
    renewable energy technologies and solutions
    energy efficient services and systems
    computer modeling and simulation
    total building performance solutions
  • 18. Model of Sustainability Education
    MSc Sustainable Building Design offered in collaboration with the Building Construction Authority, Singapore
    Not currently offered in UK; has a campus in Malaysia
    Other offerings in UK by University of Nottingham
    March in Sustainable Tall Buildings
    MSc in Sustainable Building Technology
    MSc in Sustainable Energy and Entrepeneurship
    MSc in Renewable Energy and Architecture
    MSc in Energy Conservation and Management
  • 19. National University of Singapore
  • 20. UF Master of Sustainable Design
    Done in collaboration with the Center for American Education, Singapore
    Much more multi-disciplinary than the Nottingham program
    Deals with sustainability issues at the building, neighborhood, metropolitan and regional scales
    Covers both regreening existing urban fabric as well as creating new sustainable urban fabric
    Grounded in ecological concepts and values
  • 21. UF Master of Sustainable Design Curriculum
    Program and Course Structure
    Semester 1 12 CR
    International Sustainable Development 4 CR
    Sustainable Design Problem Solving 4 CR
    Ecological Issues in Sustainability 4 CR
    Semester 2 12 CR
    Design Studio in Sustainability 6 CR
    Comparative Law and Policy for Sustainability 3 CR
    Greening Existing Buildings 2 CR
    Capstone Project Proposal Development 1 CR
    Semester 3 12 CR
    Sustainability Capstone Project 6 CR
    Electives in Sustainable Design 4 CR
    Cases of Sustainability in Practice (study tour in US) 2 CR
    TOTAL 36 CR
  • 22. How Do We Recast Planning Education to Promote Sustainability?
    Ecological economics
    Ecological systems
    Ecological design
  • 23. Purview of Environmental Macroeconomics or
    Ecological Economics
    Closed System
  • 24. Ecosystem Services from Costanza et al, Science 1997
    Ecosystem serviceExamples
    Gas regulation CO2/O2balance
    Climate regulation greenhouse gas regulation
    Disturbance regulation storm protection/flood control
    Water regulation provisioning of water for ag/industry
    Water supply Provisioning of water by watersheds and aquifers, “drinking water”
    Erosion control/sediment retention prevention of soil loss
    Soil formation weathering of rock
  • 25. Ecosystem serviceExamples
    Nutrient cycling N, P and other cycles
    Waste treatment pollution control/detoxification
    Pollination pollinators for plant reproduction
    Biological control predator/prey equilibria
    Refugiahabitat for plant & animal species
    Food Production fish, game, crops
    Raw materials lumber, fuel, fodder
    Genetic resources sources of medicines, food crops, biodiversity
    Recreation ecotourism, outdoor recreation
    Cultural aesthetic, artistic, spiritual
  • 26. Sustainable Design is more than Green Design
    Dan Williams, 2007:
    • “Green design is an element of sustainable design. Green buildings that efficiently use …non-renewable energy slow the …. crisis, but if the energy sources ….are unsustainable, the design is not sustainable”
    • 27. “Sustainable design differs from green design in that it includes continuing, surviving, thriving and adapting.”
  • 3 Strategies from Van derRyn and Cowan
    Degree of
  • 30. Conservation
    slows the rate of resource depletion:
    • recycling materials
    • 31. building denser communities to preserve agricultural land
    • 32. adopting energy efficient mechanical systems including transportation
  • Regeneration
    Regeneration of living tissue:
    • restoring an eroded stream
    • 33. re-creating habitat
  • Stewardship
    maintains natural capital by spending frugally and investing wisely
  • 34. Ecological Principles for Sustainable Planning
    Solutions grow from place
    Ecological accounting informs design
    Design with nature
    Everyone is a designer
    Make nature visible
  • 35. Your comments
    How do we ensure that planning education will yield professionals capable of advancing sustainable development?
  • 36. Dawn Jourdan, esq., Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor, Urban Planning and Law
    University of Florida
    Sustainability and the Law
  • 37. What is the role of law in sustainable development?
  • 38. Emerging Area of the Law
    Environmental and natural resources law are foundational.
  • 39. Existing environmental laws…
    Fail to address the “gamut of sustainability challenges” (Dernbach, 2011).
  • 40. Existing environmental laws…
    Are typically focused on preserving the quality/quantity of resources.
  • 41. Existing environmental laws…
    Do not deal with cumulative impacts of unsustainable development practices.
  • 42. Sustainable Development Laws are emerging!!!
  • 43. Sustainable Development Laws…
    Are evidence and performance based.
  • 44. Sustainable Development Laws..
    Focus on reducing the ecological footprint of a city, region, or nation by
    Reducing consumption and
  • 45. Sustainable Development Laws…
    Reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • 46. Sustainable Development Laws…
    Encourage green building.
  • 47. Sustainable Development Laws…
    Cautiously embrace technological substitutes for energy production.
  • 48. Sustainable Development Laws…
    Seek to minimize risk.
  • 49. Sustainable Development Laws…
    Relocates development from hazard-prone areas.
  • 50. Sustainable Development Laws…
    Promote the efficient use of land and other natural resources.
  • 51. Sustainable Development Laws…
    Extend beyond jurisdictional boundaries.
  • 52. Sustainable Development Laws…
    Create employment opportunities in environmental protection and restoration.
  • 53. Sustainable Development Laws…
    Do not discount issues relating population growth.
  • 54. Sustainable Development Laws…
    Are built on the principles of environmental justice and intergenerational equity.