Climate change threatens cities worldwide, but urban leaders face a myriad of funding, logistical, and political challenges in trying to reduce the associated risks at the local level. When planning for climate adaptation, or “climate-proofing,” some urban planners and civic leaders are thinking beyond their jurisdiction to develop creative solutions and partnerships at the regional level. From California to Nepal, organizations are demonstrating that taking a collaborative, regional look at climate change adaptation planning can help leverage resources and increase community resilience.
The upcoming UN Habitat conference, Habitat III, in October will be one of the largest gatherings of global urban decision makers to date. It presents an ideal forum for catalyzing new regional climate adaptation planning partnerships already happening across the world.
A Regional Approach…
Habitat III, a global summit born out of the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, is set to take place in Quito, Ecuador in October 2016. This round of global gathering is the third in a series that began in 1976 with the goal to reinvigorate a global, political commitment to the sustainable development of rural and urban human settlements. Termed the New Urban Agenda, Habitat III delegates have the auspicious goal of setting a global strategy for the next two decades of urbanization (“New urban agenda”, 2016). On the docket are topics such as poverty, environmental degradation, quality of life, development patterns, and – last but not least – global climate change.
With more than 50 percent of the world’s population…
My name is Becca Melnick and I am excited to be joining the F&ES admissions team as an admissions counselor! I am coming to F&ES from the School of Management where I was working on events for the school and student clubs but I can’t wait to hit the road in the fall and meet with prospective students around the country to talk about F&ES, how to apply and what Yale has to offer.
I am originally from Massachusetts and ended up in New Haven after getting my undergraduate degree from James Madison University in Virginia. While I have not studied here at F&ES, I am currently in graduate school and am getting my M.Ed. in Higher Education in Student Affairs.
I was drawn to F&ES…
Large Chinese cities such as Beijing are already bursting at their seams. Imagine the daily commute for one of Beijing’s 21.7 million residents. Most people live in the outskirts of the city, where there is housing, but have to commute to the city center for jobs. Although public transportation is available, average commutes still can be upwards of an hour and a half. And more people are driving too – rush hour traffic in the urban core increased by 50%, even though average travel distance is only about 6 miles.
Because of the way Beijing is expanding both vertically and horizontally, with
Sustainability is a theme at Yale that goes beyond F&ES. Yale’s Office of Sustainability releases detailed Sustainability Strategic Plans to reduce the university’s greenhouse gas emissions and waste and increase composting and recycling rates. The office publishes annual progress reports, which can be viewed online.
An important initiative this year was Yale’s first-ever Carbon Charge. The Yale Carbon Charge Project was a six-month pilot program involving 20 university buildings to help test the effectiveness of carbon pricing on Yale’s campus. Yale is the first institution of higher learning to implement such a program. Learn more about the Carbon Charge.
And of course, here at the Forestry School we pride ourselves on our sustainability focus. The Environmental Stewardship Committee (of which I am a member) is a…
Energy efficiency and renewable energy are widely recognized as two of the most effective ways to greatly reduce the threat of climate change. But how much do we know about other environmental impacts of a large-scale deployment of these technologies? What are the benefits (or impacts) from a life-cycle perspective? By how much can the gains from energy efficient technologies be multiplied if greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from electricity production are also reduced?
In a special issue, Yale’s Journal of Industrial Ecology aims to advance our understanding of environmental and natural resource implications of energy efficiency technologies. This special issue, “Environmental Impacts of Demand-Side Technologies and Strategies for Carbon Mitigation,” was prepared…
This April, Yale students came together to voluntarily run one of the largest film festivals across the country. The Environmental Film Festival at Yale, or more lovingly called EFFY by Yale students in the know, ran from April 1-9, screened over 20 short- and feature-length films.
The event is run mainly by students from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies who work throughout the year to provide relevant environmental stories from around the world to the greater New Haven area. Most films are followed by a panel discussion led by academic leaders from Yale, filmmakers, and stars of the films.
The 2016 was a great success, and students, staff, and faculty from across Yale, as well as New Haven community members came out to support…
An F&ES student and recent alum recently published an article in The Nature of Cities, based on research done at Yale as part of the COP21 Fellowship. The research, by Emily Wier ’17 M.E.M. and Alisa Zomer ’14 M.E.M., found that even though cities pledge to reduce emissions and fight climate change, the commitments don’t measure up.
Some cities are getting it right. After Oakland’s Energy and Climate Change Action Plan was implemented in 2012, the city’s transportation emissions decreased slightly. Other cities that integrated transportation and land use planning in their climate plans, including Atlanta, Georgia and Columbus, Ohio, also reduced their transportation emissions.
Other cities are not doing as well. Transport-related emissions increased by around 18 percent in Boulder, Colorado and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania after they implemented…
For prospective students out there that can’t make it to the Admitted Student Open House next week, here is a list of questions to peruse that will give you a better sense of the School!
Q: How do I find a faculty advisor?
A: If you’re an MESc or MFS student, you already identified potential research advisors at the time of your application. If you’re an MEM or MF student, you will be assigned an advisor upon arrival on campus. You should be prompted to email your top faculty choices during the summer.
Q: Is it difficult to have a work-study job and be a full-time student?
A: Around 80% of F&ES students receive financial aid and therefore are eligible for work-study jobs and student assistantships on campus…
An article recently published by the California Academy of Sciences illustrates how the F&ES-based Environmental Leadership and Training Initiative (ELTI) is helping local communities protect their forest lands in Panama.
Reporting on a presentation made by Eva Garen, the ELTI director, and Jefferson Hall ’92 M.F.S. ’02 Ph.D., at the recent annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the article highlights how forests help regulate water flow, providing a critical service for people living in a watershed in western Panama.
Hall, a staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, makes the case that smart reforestation and land management is needed “for both the natural world and the humans that share it” — and that education can make a big difference…