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Essential resources course, stewardship of natural resources. Includes energy, water and land. climate change, stormwater runoff and green infrastructure, energy efficiency and advanced energy, urban design, urban planning, land use, relationship between ecology, society and built infrastructure. 

The POWER of Cities

Urban Sustainability and Resilience

"This program taught me a lot about sustainability in a more engaging way than a normal school environment. I really liked how we went out and talked to a lot of people dealing with sustainability in NE Ohio—it provided an excellent opportunity to work with leaders in the field, and put our ideas into action." --2015 participant

June 18-July 1

Today, more than half the world’s population lives in cities. By 2050, it is projected that nearly 70% of people will be urban dwellers. To put this global urban migration into context, that is the equivalent of adding over 1 million people to cities every week until 2050!

With this exponential growth, it’s become more urgent than ever to ensure that our cities are designed to meet the needs of their diverse residents. Cities are dynamic ecosystems. When they operate efficiently and effectively, the result is healthy, thriving metropolises. But today, with inequitable distributions of power and decision-making, unbalanced systems, and poor planning, cities are disproportionately driving climate change and social injustice.

The success of cities in the 21st Century will be dependent on our ability to ensure they are efficient, resilient, and intelligent, and that they meet the needs of all residents, across lines of race, income and neighborhood. Through an urban design and planning lens, students in this course will explore the complex interplay between the built, natural, and social systems of cities, using Cleveland as their primary case study. By interviewing community organizers, government officials, urban designers, and more, they will better understand the role of policy, technology, industry, economy and equity in shaping contemporary Cleveland. As their final project, they will be challenged to consider the needs of diverse stakeholders, and draw on best practices and innovative interventions from around the world, in order to reimagine Cleveland as a thriving, resilient and sustainable metropolis for the 21st Century. 

Lead Instructor: Lyndon Valicenti 

This will be Lyndon's third summer teaching Foresight Prep @ Oberlin's Cities course—during that time, she's grown passionate about working with young people to understand the complex challenges facing urban areas, and coming up with innovative ideas for addressing them. 

Lyndon Valicenti brings over 10 years of experience in scientific study, policy analysis, and planning around sustainable ecological and urban systems. She has conducted scientific research on vulnerable ecosystems in the Arctic and Antarctic; contributed to debates on international climate change policy; developed and implemented engagement programs to support city-scale climate action; and has informed ecological thinking in urban planning across China and the Middle East. She holds a Masters in Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University and a Bachelors of Science in Aquatic Ecology from University of California, Santa Barbara. She also holds a certificate in Sustainable Urban and Environmental Design from Archeworks.