The design industry is intricately imbedded in Climate Week NYC’s initiatives, most specifically the programs and issues focusing on resilience and adaptation, health and wellbeing, and energy transition. Balancing the need for spaces that promote wellbeing with the realities of Climate Change, Rogers Partners is working on a master plan for Stewart Beach Park in Galveston, Texas to offer new, resilient structures and amenities. Elevated 22 feet above the FEMA base flood elevation, these new structures are being designed for a 75-year lifespan with materials that will endure the harsh climactic conditions of the coast as well as the impact from anticipated severe storms. Referencing the Texas vernacular, these structures also employ passive ventilation methods, wherever possible, to reduce energy demands. Environmental education is woven into the experience with displays that tell the story of dune systems and barrier island ecology.
Climate week 2019 focuses on 11 core themes to promote action and urgency. Our Syracuse University Energy Campus project embodies several of these important themes, demonstrating an expanded vision of sustainability that considers energy production and consumption alongside community health and development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the future. A National Model – from regional grids to local energy producers, waste heat to productive urban agriculture, fenced industrial sites to permeable energy campuses, the status quo to a thriving research center, this project is a visionary example for a new American Energy Landscape. Energy Dependence to energy autonomy – the campus promotes local, responsible energy production, limiting the stress on regional grids and reducing the effects of blackouts and the energy spent on transmission distances. Public health, safety, and outreach – Combatting the phenomenon of urban food deserts, a community grocery store, teaching kitchens, and a farmer’s market help ameliorate public health concerns while also activating the street. By channeling waste heat into new rooftop Greenhouses, the University can provide local, year-round food production and urban agriculture research. Site sustainability – Rainwater is collected and reused in the greenhouses and in the building’s gray water system, limiting runoff and reducing local sewer overflow, and green roofs, landscaping, pervious pavement, and light-colored roofs reduce the heat island effect. Beyond preserving local heritage in the built environment and reinforcing a sense of place, repurposing existing structures is, in itself, a critical aspect of a new and necessary culture of sustainability in the built environment.
Climate week NYC has become “the time and place for the world to showcase amazing climate action and discuss how to do more”. Taking place alongside the UN General Assembly, this annual event merges industries and sectors and brings together representatives, advocates, and experts from across the globe to share the successes and discuss the challenges facing every community. This year’s program focuses on “Stepping up to the Challenge of the Next Decade”, emphasizing unity, progress, and innovation and stressing the urgency of the topic. Rogers Partners is at the forefront of the discussion and is committed to developing solutions through large design interventions, as well as ensuring each project achieves top sustainability goals and integrates vital resiliency measures. Following the flooding of Houston just last week, interventions like the Galveston Bay Park are vital. The Gulf of Mexico is rising, the City of Houston is subsiding and, at the same time, coastal storm systems are increasing in both frequency and severity. The time is now to implement resilient infrastructure to protect the communities from the next major storm. The SSPEED Center, Rogers Partners, and Walter P. Moore team shows collaboration is key. Envisioned as a relatively economical and expedient solution to the threat of coastal surge for the western shore of the Bay, the park will serve multiple purposes, simultaneously restoring soft edges and habitats and providing recreational opportunities for the region to reconnect with its natural systems.
Nanotronics, Rogers Partners, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC), New York State, CUNY, and local project stakeholders came together on September 12th to celebrate the official groundbreaking of the new Nantronics facility, the city's first smart factory. This project will transform a 150-year old building in Brooklyn’s historic Navy Yard along with the urban, high-tech manufacturing production process itself. Few advanced manufacturing facilities seamlessly integrate the entire procedure, from research and concept to engineering to milling and sales. Enabling Design, R&D, and Manufacturing to more easily work together, the program is laid out in a way that creates a feedback loop, and the design strategically incorporates transparency throughout, an element critical to the success of this streamlined process. The project is committed to contributing to the local industry. Once opened, Nantronics will bring 190 new manufacturing, research, and development jobs for local Brooklynites. In collaboration with the START-UP NY Program and CUNY, the new facility will host leadership and mentorship programs focused on advancing the next generation of New York leaders in the growing interest in technology and manufacturing.
What is a Smart City? The essential meaning of a Smart City is to improve the livability in an urban environment. There are four main areas that Smart Cities focus on – digital and information technologies, urban planning, public-private partnerships, and policy change.
The Smart City Expo is an opportunity for professionals from various industries to discuss the issues taking place all over the country relating to social and economic demographics, infrastructure, and investment based on the values of a “Smart City”. The expo is hosted annually in Barcelona, although this year it will be hosted in the United States for the first time in Atlanta, Georgia. On September 12th, Rob will be speaking about the Smart Cities Expo from an infrastructure perspective alongside other professionals in related fields. The panel Rob will be speaking on is called ‘Futureproofing our Cities: The Interconnectivity of People, Place, and Things’, which goes further into how the advancement of technology will encourage the built environment in cities.
What is the definition of compatibility in urban planning? “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Rice University want the world to know they can work together in effort to protect the Galveston Bay area from hurricane damage.”
In Galveston and Houston, Texas two ongoing projects are in the works that would protect coastal communities from hurricanes and other deadly storms. One plan, the “Galveston Bay Park Plan”, developed in partnership with Rice University’s SSPEED Center, Rogers Partners, and Walter P. Moore, employs a levee system that protects the highest risk populations and also transforms land mass into public parks. The “Coastal Barrier Plan”, conceived by a partnership between Texas A&M and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, focuses on a 70-mile long system that protects a broader population from average, but never-the-less damaging, storms. We are proud to share the announcement, also featured in the Galveston County Daily News, that these two coastal projects plan to work together to achieve both goals. The announcement celebrates both plans’ elements of compatibility, focusing on their ability to protect populations and improve the quality of life through a united approach.