July 10 2013

Sustainable Campuses: Universities Acting Locally and Educating Globally

One of the main concerns of urban planners nowadays is designing for a more sustainable environment. As planners, we commit to provide innovative ideas for sustainable urban design – but what about the others?

When it comes to these sustainability principles, universities play a strong role in educating the next generation. Can universities educate a lifestyle towards more sustainable behavior?

Redesigned outdoor spaces for students

For Milan, Città Studi- Campus Sostenibile is the answer. How? By providing quality lifestyle transformation and environmental sustainability using different themes (People, Energy, Environment, and Accessibility), and connecting them at the city level. The project emerged from a collaborative work between Politecnico di Milano and University of Milan, and intends to transform the campus neighborhood into an area that can serve as an urban model for the entire city.

Environmental design is implemented at different scales, from energy efficient building interventions to managing pedestrian accessibility at the campus level. Particular attention is given to open spaces and the well-being of people.

Bikelanes and pedestrian paths with friendly design

Professor Eugenio Morello of Politecnico defined the project as an “incremental process, open to innovation, and highly inclusive – a continuously updated and shared vision.” The idea of the campus as a ‘living lab’ provides a bottoms-up approach through a digital platform for participation with the support of researchers, students, and all campus citizens. This provides the possibility to share different opportunities, problems, and proposals and bind them into the master plan. At the city level, this is providing research for the service of urban life and widening the effectiveness of the project at the urban scale.

Città Studi-Campus Sostenibile is not the only university- driven project acting towards sustainability. Universities in Arizona, Maryland, and Melbourne have different approaches, but they all have the same goal: acting locally to educate at a higher level.

Does your home or university have a campus sustainability program?

Credits: Photographs by Alexandra Serbana. Data linked to sources.

Alexandra Serbana

Because of her strong background in Urban Planning and Design, from her bachelor’s at “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism, in Bucharest, Romania, Alexandra decided to pursue planning from the perspective of policy and decision-making. She is passionate about traveling and experimenting with new cities, and moved to Milan, Italy where she is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Urban Planning, Policy, and Design at Politecnico di Milano. The experience of working and living in the multicultural city of Milan has sparked her interest in the reaction of urban places to new real-estate developments, as well as conflict resolution for urban design projects that reorganize urban city life. She hopes to make an improvement on the way cities deal with physical urban changes and their effect on the quality of social and environmental life.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 10th, 2013 at 9:06 am and is filed under Education and Careers, Energy, Environment, Environmental Design, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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One Response to “Sustainable Campuses: Universities Acting Locally and Educating Globally”

  1. Cheating on Vespa with BikeMi in Milan, Italy | The GRID | Global Site Plans Says:

    [...] like train stations, the historic center, and business districts. University programs such as Campus Sostenibile are also bringing BikeMi to their neighborhood as a way of [...]

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