Rosie Sherman (MCP '12) argues that there is a growing trend in cities toward establishing localized, shared energy infrastructure. As existing energy infrastructure ages and demand increases, cities face rising energy costs and security risks combined with mandates to decrease carbon emissions. Local energy infrastructure provides cities and neighborhoods with greater control over their energy production and consumption, including the ability to lower the cost of energy, move to low-carbon energy technologies, and improve energy reliability and security.
Alice Shay's (MCP '12) thesis explored the Internationale Bauausstellung or International Building Exhibition (IBA) is a planning methodology implemented over the course of the 20th century and into the 21st century in Germany. The IBA is unique and characterized by a mix of seemly contradictory conditions. In composition, IBAs are characterized by being site- and time-specific by a mix of seemly contradictory conditions. In composition.
Melissa Sapuan's (MS '12) thesis explored coastal cities, where much of the world's population and economic activity is concentrated, are vulnerable to sea level rise and other impacts of climate change. While there has been increased attention on taking action to reduce the adverse impacts of climate change at the city-scale, one of the obstacles local authorities face is the inherent uncertainty in climate change projections.
Lindsay Reul's (MCP '12) thesis seeks to deploy landscape design as a regional economic development strategy. It investigates the relationship between economic activity and the built environment. Economies transition from one trend to the next at a faster pace than urban stock, meaning the landscape and infrastructure, is able to adjust. Thus, flows of ephemeral economic phases leave patterns of durable infrastructure elements that may not serve as relevant or useful purposes in the emerging economic movements.
Stephen Kennedy's (MCP '12) thesis explored information visualizations, especially those utilizing web-based platforms, are becoming an increasingly common medium for exchanging ideas. This emergent class of tools enabling web-based, interactive platforms for visualizing data should be considered by urban planners and designers as an opportunity to create new modes of disseminating and communicating information. This thesis provides an overview of new visualization tools: how they are being developed and combined, their applications, and their potential future uses.
Larry Susskind co-published an opinion piece in a Chilean newspaper yesterday with Daniela Martinez, a Chilean attorney and recent graduate of Harvard Law's LLM program.
Vignesh Krishnamurthy's (MCP/SM '12) thesis found that the last eight decades of urban transportation planning and engineering in the United States have been dominated by the hegemony of the automobile. Auto-oriented planning of the transportation and land use system has had a profound impact on the built environment both in greenfield developments and neighborhoods that predated the auto. The pedestrian quality of cities has been eroded by the automobile, and urban renewal in the United States erased many neighborhoods strongly oriented around walking and transit use.
Seunghyun Kang's (MCP '12) thesis investigates the current situation of public space in the city of Seoul through public libraries. The public library has been one of the most Important civic spaces since the invention in the 19th century in the US or UK. While roles of public library are changing due to advances in digital technology, the physical and visible presence of public library spaces in the city remains significant in the privatized urban situation.
Amy Jacobi's (MCP '12) thesis came to an important conclusion that the current fiscally conservative climate on Capitol Hill, as the next surface transportation bill is being negotiated, may possibly carry over to a greater dependence on fiscal federalism for funding public transportation. With local governments already straining their resources, an examination of how a greater reliance on local funds for public transit is a prudent topic.