The 21st century is marked by a necessary reengagement of Architecture, Building Science, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture with the environment. Buildings, infrastructures, and the landscapes in which they are situated are inextricably linked. Energy, materials, water and land are all consumed in the development and operation of cities and infrastructure, while the urban environment itself affects our living conditions, social wellbeing and health. This course will focus on the urban environment: infrastructures, landscapes and buildings, and their many interdependencies within the context of natural and human ecologies.
In pursuit of a renewed focus on inter-departmental collaborative teaching and application, the seminar is an inter-disciplinary forum for dealing with contemporary issues facing urban environments such as; increasing density, land use, energy and resource scarcity, CO2 emissions reduction, ecosystem restoration, climate adaptation / resiliency, food deserts, environmental quality (indoor and outdoor), public health / environmental justice, mobility, and the economic viability of sustainability alternatives.
Course Description: Working with established and emerging environmental management frameworks, this course aims to explore and apply practical (and measurable) approaches to address urban sustainability challenges at the street, neighborhood, district, and municipal scale with a focus on regions within the greater Los Angeles area as laboratories for investigation. The course generates an overall picture of L.A.'s metabolism to map and analyze resource flows and to examine the city’s ecological footprint. It evaluates where and how resources are used and where action might be taken to transform existing infrastructures, landscapes and buildings to meet sustainability performance goals established by the city of Los Angeles, the State of CA, and the class.