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Achieving Sustainability and Environmental Resilience

When: Wednesday’s, January 17th- April 19th
Time:
6:00 pm to 7:30 pm ET
Where:
West Village F, Room 020, Northeastern University

Synopsis

Recent reports raise issues about slow progress in achieving sustainability, climate justice, and environmental resilience. This interdisciplinary lecture/workshop course includes case studies, quantitative and qualitative measurement tools, and research from scholars, practitioners, advocates, and data analysts to examine metrics for achieving progress in these areas, with a focus on water, heat, planning, policy, ethics, equity and climate racial justice. The course will focus on the challenges and opportunities associated with the use of sustainability rating systems, and is offered in conjunction with partners including the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI). We will cover ISI sustainability rating system (ENVISION) credits, certification, and project audits requirements. The course is co-taught by public policy (Prof. Ted Landsmark) and engineering (Prof. Abdel Mustafa) faculty, and is intended to assist in addressing issues of environmental justice, social equity, and the impacts of environmental interventions that may generate measurable social consequences.

Matriculating students seeking academic credit must register for SPPUA 5225/5226, and participate in class discussions on Wednesdays from 4:35 pm to 5:50 pm. The class is also offered in conjunction with Honors section HONR3310, Racial Dialogue. Matriculating students will write short exploratory papers and a semester-long research paper. There is no final examination.

Weekly lectures and on-line presentations are open to the general public without registration.

Please reach out to neupolicyschool@gmail.com with any questions.

Upcoming Sessions

Boston’s Climate Progress Report: achieving net-zero emissions, climate resilience, and equity

This Wednesday’s open classroom speakers are Policy School Prof. Joan Fitzgerald (Ph.D.) and Michael Walsh, Ph.D, Founding Partner, Groundwork Data.

Dr. Walsh was the co-PI on the Boston Climate Assessment and oversaw the execution of the Carbon Free Boston and Massachusetts 2050 Decarbonization Roadmap studies where he obtained an unmatched familiarity with Boston’s and the Commonwealth’s historical emissions data and climate progress, and the technical, policy, and equity strategies needed to achieve the City’s and State’s targets. He has also overseen local climate action projects for Boston University (waste) and the Rose Kennedy Greenway (assessment of natural carbon stocks). Currently, he is leading a municipal-focused gas transition study (for HEET, GRC, and RMI) and developing a framework for the analysis of urban waste-to-energy pathways (for Pacific Northwest National Lab). Dr. Walsh also served on the Livable Street’s Go Boston 2030 Progress Report Advisory Committee. He will be responsible for quantitative data analysis and reporting and serve as a technical expert.
Prof. Joan the co-author of the inaugural Boston Climate Progress Report, which first time in the history of Boston, examines Boston’s progress toward achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, its resilience to future climate disruptions, and the equity of climate response. In her book, Greenovation: Urban Leadership on Climate Change (Oxford Univ. Press, 2020), she argues that the climate strategies of most cities represent random acts of greenness rather than integrated and aggressive action. She points to leading cities in North America and Europe and offers strategies for cities to accelerate their action. She is co-authoring a new book, Cities and the Struggle for Climate Justice. Fitzgerald also blogs on urban climate action on Planetizen. She teaches The 21st Century City, Cities, Sustainability & Climate Change, and Intro Environmental Science & Policy at the Policy School.

There will be no public portion for tonight’s open classroom.

Envision Rating System for Sustainable Infrastructure 

This week’s guest speaker Anthony Kane is President & CEO of the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure in Washington, DC where he oversees the organization’s overall operations and leads the development of the Envision framework for sustainable infrastructure. Kane also sits as a commissioner on the Washington DC Commission on Climate Change and Resiliency. He will talk about ISI and particularly the Envision rating system, designed to help infrastructure stakeholders implement more sustainable, resilient, and equitable projects. Envision helps communities cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, create good-paying “green” jobs, address environmental justice, and meet climate-change targets. Infrastructure owners and design teams, community and environmental groups, constructors, regulators, and policymakers can all benefit from using Envision.

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Spring Break! Class will resume next week.

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