2017 has been a banner year for natural disasters and a brutal one for humanity. Hurricanes, tropical storms, wildfires and earthquakes have evoked devastation on a global scale; this year in the U.S., natural disasters have claimed hundreds of lives, displaced tens of thousands more and have economically crippled entire regions. Tropical storm Harvey alone, which flooded an area around Houston the size of Lake Michigan, caused approximately $180 million in damage and displaced over 30,000 people.
Two new tool kits developed by researchers at the National Center for Smart Growth (NCSG) are providing strategies to help shape neighborhood growth, expand access to opportunity and improve quality of life. Geared toward community stakeholders and policymakers, the tools offer a roadmap to capturing community input, a critical element to planning for better neighborhoods. The tools are part of an online platform by Enterprise Community Partners, a national affordable housing nonprofit, called Opportunity 360.
Andrea Ponsi talks with his hands. In a recent critique of projects in MAPP’s great space, his fluent gestures—combined with a sharp Italian accent—demand attention. Later in studio, working closely with students one-to-one, Ponsi again uses his hands to make a point—this time with a pencil.
In August, URSP graduate student Sofie Rhoads (M.C.P. ’18) and her research group won the award for best collaborative research project, a celebratory nod to their innovative vision for the Chicago community of North Lawndale. The project was the culmination of a two-week “boot camp” at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Summer Institute on Sustainability and Energy (SISE). SISE pools undergraduate and graduate students from around the world to learn, research and collaborate around themes of sustainability.
Historic Preservation students, in collaboration with the Town of Bladensburg, the Aman Memorial Trust and local preservation professionals will soon begin on a two-year project that will document and restore a unique feature of Bostwick House: a late 18th-century buttress.
Fifty years ago, one of the first projects undertaken by UMD’s then-new school of architecture was to make the final major vision of Martin Luther King Jr. a reality. John Wiebenson, the late architect, professor and co-founder of what is now the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, helped designed the plans for “Resurrection City,” a campsite on the National Mall where the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s “Poor People’s Campaign” lived and lobbied for jobs, better wages and a voice in government.
Since the beginning of time, the forest has encompassed the necessary elements to invent, grow and sustain life. It shelters and provides nourishment, carves out spaces without interest and adherence to spatial norms, insulates and amplifies. It’s no wonder that the ecosystem of the forest is teeming with life, with city-like environments on a natural scale. It is equally not surprising, that this terrestrial environment has captivated and inspired human civilizations for centuries.