From the American Southwest to the Middle East, water is a highly contested resource: Many neighboring nations, and several states in the United States, have fought decades-long battles to control water supplies. And that need for water only seems likely to increase. "Out in the world, there's growing demand for fresh water, especially where there is urban development," says Larry Susskind, the Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning in MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning. "At the same time, climate change is altering in unexpected ways how much water there is.
An interdisciplinary team of ten MIT students won two awards in the Better Buildings Case Competition sponsored by the DOE. Nineteen schools competed and each team was assigned two cases; the results, announced by DOE Secretary Steven Chu at the White House, revealed that MIT won both its cases, the only team to do so. DUSP participants included Elena Alschuler, Brendan McEwen, Nikhil Nadkarni, Christopher Jones and Wesley Look, plus Kate Goldstein from architecture, Nan Zhao from the Media Lab, and Patrick Flynn, Neheet Trivedi, and Michael Zallow from Sloan.
An MIT survey shows, 95 percent of major cities in Latin America are planning for climate change, compared to only 59 percent of such cities in the United States. Leadership on climate adaptation "can come from cities of many different sizes and ilks," says JoAnn Carmin, an associate professor at DUSP and lead author of the survey's report. While international climate policy measures -- such as potential agreements limiting greenhouse gas emissions -- require agreement among national governments, Carmin says, "cities are able to make some important strides in this area.
Students from the School of Architecture + Planning (SA+P) traveled to Israel in January, 2012, for a 10-day collaborative workshop with Tel Aviv University's Laboratory for Contemporary Urban Design (TAU LCUD).
Quick: Name a great parking lot. You probably cannot think of one offhand. If you did, it would certainly surprise Eran Ben-Joseph, a professor of landscape architecture and urban design at MIT. A few years ago, teaching MIT's venerable site-planning class, Ben-Joseph found himself confronted with the problem of explaining to students why parking lots are so often nothing but vast fields of asphalt occupying prime urban and suburban real estate. So Ben-Joseph started asking people if they could name parking lots that even had a few good qualities to them.
When Brent Ryan started doing academic research on Detroit, in the 1990s, he was immediately taken aback by the city's plight: derelict commercial buildings, burnt-out homes and whole neighborhoods being abandoned. "I was really struck by the amount of physical decay I saw there," says Ryan, the Linde Career Development Assistant Professor of Urban Design and Public Policy in MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning.
DUSP honored two alumni, Benji Power (MCP '09) and Stefanie Ritoper (MCP '11), for their commitment to public service. Benji is the Director of Community Building and Organizing for Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida, where he is working on federally funded redevelopment projects in the Brownsville neighborhood of Miami. Stefanie is the Communications Director at the California Construction Academy in the UCLA Labor Center. The Center recently published the book Beyond Green Jobs: Building Lasting Opportunities in Energy Efficiency.
The Urban Information Systems is open to all PhD candidates in the Department. Applications are made to the Department. For information on admissions and financial aid and instructions on how to apply, please visit the Admissions page.
The International Development Group is open to students of all degree programs in the Department. Applications for the MCP and PhD degree programs are made to the Department. For information on admissions and financial aid and instructions on how to apply, please visit the Admissions page.