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?
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.
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.