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We are proud to present in collaboration with TED a curated series of talks plus specially commissioned educational support materials.

TED Studies: Urban Planning - Ecofying Cities

Teachers and students can use TED Studies: Urban Planning - Ecofying Cities to enhance existing curricula in undergraduate education courses. Educators and students will find activities and multimedia resources which link the study of Urban Planning to the real world, plus expanded academic content such as key terms, related journal articles and major debates in this highly topical area.  For an abridged, interactive version of this course via the iTunesU course app for iPad click here.

Overview

Introductory Essay

Prof P Fillion (Univ of Waterloo), Architect T Peters (Aarhus Architecture School) and Prof A van den Dobbelsteen (Delft Univ of Technology) present a fanscinating collection of resources, ideas, and activities which illuminate what cities are for in human society, and what they could be in the future.

View Essay

Module 1

Global urbanization - The shareable future of cities

Watch the 2011 TEDTalk "Alex Steffen: The shareable future of cities". In the developed world, discussions about climate change often focus on alternative energy production as the pathway to a smaller carbon footprint. Writer and Worldchanging.com co-founder Alex Steffen believes this is misguided. Instead, he argues, we should be pushing for better urban planning, because enormous amounts of our energy use are predestined by the kinds of communities we live in.

For transcripts, downloads, and other video options visit TED.com.

To flip this video, visit TED-Ed.

Module 2

Infrastructure and acupuncture - A song of the city

Watch the 2007 TEDTalk "Jaime Lerner: A song of the city”. Every city in the world can be improved in less than three years, claims city planner, architect and politician Lerner. He believes “creativity starts when you cut a zero from your budget.” In this TEDTalk, Lerner advocates for incremental improvement in the form of “urban acupuncture” — small, focal projects to help the process of planning, arguing that our environmental problems demand rapid reinvention.

For transcripts, downloads, and other video options visit TED.com.

To flip this video, visit TED-Ed.

Module 3

Urban revitalization: Greening the ghetto

Watch the 2006 TEDTalk, “Majora Carter: Greening the ghetto”. The MacArthur-winning activist and South Bronx native started small: she just wanted a waterfront park for her neighborhood. Her success in launching Hunts Point Riverside Park galvanized other environmental and economic revitalization efforts in the Bronx and led Carter to campaign for environmental justice through the green redevelopment in America’s most blighted communities.

For transcripts, downloads, and other video options visit TED.com.

To flip this video, visit TED-Ed.

Module 4

Reclaimed spaces and green corridors: Building a park in the sky

Watch the 2011 TEDTalk “Robert Hammond: Building a park in the sky”. Hammond helped lead the effort to build a park on the High Line, an obsolete elevated railway in Manhattan that was slated for demolition. The park’s spectacular views and stunning design, inspired by the wildscape that had grown up on the abandoned tracks, attract millions of visitors each year. What’s more, it’s projected to generate half a billion dollars for the city over its first 20 years.

For transcripts, downloads, and other video options visit TED.com.

To flip this video, visit TED-Ed.

Module 5

Biomimicry: Using nature’s genius in architecture

Watch the 2010 TEDTalk “Michael Pawlyn: Using nature’s genius in architecture”. In this popular talk, the architect explains how biomimicry — the process of solving human problems by adapting structures or processes from the natural world — can be a powerful tool for sustainable development. Pawlyn outlines three natural phenomena that could transform our development: radical resource efficiency, drawing energy from the sun, and the closed loops found in well-functioning ecosystems.

For transcripts, downloads, and other video options visit TED.com.

To flip this video, visit TED-Ed.

Module 6

The closed loop—Cradle to cradle design

Watch the 2005 TEDTalk “William McDonough: Cradle to cradle design”. McDonough’s the architect who created the world’s largest green roof for a Ford auto plant and has designed buildings that can purify water and generate more energy than they consume. Now he’s turning his attention to a project for the Chinese government: sustainably designing entire new cities to house 400 million people in 12 years.

For transcripts, downloads, and other video options visit TED.com.

To flip this video, visit TED-Ed.

Module 7

Urban sprawl—The ghastly tragedy of the suburbs

Watch the 2007 TEDTalk “James Howard Kuntsler: The ghastly tragedy of the suburbs”. Author and social critic James Howard Kuntsler is upset about the “asteroid belts of architectural garbage” characteristic of so many American suburbs. The problem is more than aesthetic, he warns: these developments degrade the quality of civic life and are unsustainable at the end of the cheap-oil era.

For transcripts, downloads, and other video options visit TED.com.

To flip this video, visit TED-Ed.

Module 8

Towards a new urbanism: Retrofitting suburbia

Watch the 2010 TEDxAtlanta talk “Ellen Dunham-Jones: Retrofitting suburbia”. The Georgia Institute of Technology professor and architect co-authored a book containing more than 50 case studies of how communities across North America are transforming underperforming structures in suburbia. In this talk, Dunham-Jones shares insights about sustainable redevelopment in areas that can reduce our use of fossil fuels, recover local ecosystems, improve public health, and generate substantial cost savings.

For transcripts, downloads, and other video options visit TED.com.

To flip this video, visit TED-Ed.

 


 

Putting It Together: Summary Essay and Activities

View Essay and Activities