Course Descriptions

Sustainable Communities                  
*ESM 631.01 3 credits Fall        
Ron Shiffman, Jaime Stein
This course examines a range of strategies for planning communities that minimize the use of non-renewable energy sources, maximize recycling and promote healthy living and working environments. Comprehensive approaches that consider both human welfare and resource limitations at the local and global levels are required in order to build and maintain sustainable communities. Strategies examined include sustainable production, transportation, infrastructure and distribution policies. Examples are drawn from current community development and preservation practice in urban, metropolitan and rural areas. The course analyzes public policies and private practices relating to the urban environment, and investigates methods for creating a sustainable future.

Science of Sustainability                     
*MSCI 610.01-02 3 credits Fall
Damon Chaky
The Brundtland Commission in 1987 defined "sustainability" as "meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." The Science of Sustainability course explores some of the major scientific issues behind our understanding of sustainability. Through lectures, readings, and discussions, the class will explore such issues as biodiversity, population, food and water resources, climate change, energy, public health, and the overall forecast for the environment and the human condition for the next several decades. Students will gain a greater appreciation of how science can inform the policies and practices that will shape a more sustainable future.

Environmental Law                   
*UESM 633A 3 credits Fall and Spring
Samara Swanston
Environmental Law is a general introduction to the field of environmental law. The course focuses on issues of Environmental Justice and major environmental statutes, including the Scope of Judicial Power, the Law of Nuisance, Land Use Controls, Protection of Fish and Wildlife, Air Quality (Clean Air Act), Water Quality (Clean Water Act), State Environmental Quality Review Act, also known as ("SEQRA"), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), The National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), the State Historic Preservation Act(SHPA), Solid Waste and Toxic Substances, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act ("CERCLA") and recent Brownfields Laws. These statutes are critical to principled practice in the environmental management, sustainable design and planning fields. It is designed to help students understand how to read statutes, regulations and cases, to understand the role they play in a professional practice, and to understand the relationship between planning, architecture and the environment as they develop familiarity with statutory analysis of the complex regulatory material in the field of Environmental Law.

Environmental Economics 
*UESM 632.01 3 credits Fall and Spring
Gelvin Stevenson
This course will consider contemporary environmental economics, applying principles of equity, efficiency and effectiveness to environmental issues. The course will consider several analytical tools (e.g. marginal analysis, cost-benefit analysis, externalities, full-cost pricing, incentives, public goods, risk and alternatives assessment and equity analysis). We will study when markets work and when they don’t. Then we will consider various policies that the public sector can use to make markets work, and when they have to be bypassed all together.

Environmental Impact Assessment 
*UESM 633B 3 credits Fall and Spring
Katie Kendall
Examines the critical, environmental, ecological, geological, economic, social and health-related components that must be considered as part of the environmental review process under national, state and municipal environmental quality review laws. The tools and techniques for conducting assessments, the different models for interpreting data and the use of mitigating measures are presented through case analyses.

Environmental Assessment: Climate Change and Cities 
* UESM 634A.01 1 credit Spring
Global Warming and Climate Change represent among the greatest challenges to global well-being and security and to the future of humans on Earth. This course will examine the science and history of this crisis with a focus on the various policy initiatives and actions being taken globally and locally to both mitigate and prepare for the impacts of climate change. The class will look at case studies from different cities around the world and pay particular attention to New York's PlaNYC, which sets the goal of 30% reduction from current greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Environmental Assessment: Sustainability Indicators 
* UESM 634B.01 1 credit Spring
Sustainability indicators measure progress toward a sustainable economy, society and environment. The Ecological Footprint Analysis is a type of sustainability indicator that measures how much biologically productive land and water area an individual, a city, a country, or a region requires to produce the resources it consumes and to absorb the waste it generates. This course introduces the principles underlying sustainability indicators, including Ecological Footprint Analysis, and will offer students hands-on experience with these tools.

Environmental Assessment: Life Cycle Analysis 
* UESM 634C.01 1 credit Spring
This core introduces students to the theory and methodology and underlying life cycle analysis, a systematic set of procedures for compiling and examining the inputs and outputs of the materials and energy and the associated environmental impacts directly attributable to the functioning of a product or service system throughout its life cycle. Students gain practical knowledge by applying the technique to a product or system of their choice.

Environmental Management: Solid Waste 
* UESM 635A.01 1 credit Spring
Kate Zidar
This course examines the environmental planning implications of various practices and technologies relating to solid waste management and prepares planners and architects to identify and promote more sustainable ways of managing solid waste. Particular emphasis is placed on new innovations in solid waste management including recycling, reuse and reduction.

Environmental Management: Water Quality 
* UESM 635B.01 1 credit Spring
Paul Mankiewicz
This course examines the environmental planning implications of practices and technologies relating to water management, and prepares planners and architects to identify and promote more sustainable practices for managing both drinking water and wastewater. Particular emphasis is placed on the science of water and on recent innovations in water quality management including bioremediation, watershed planning and natural waste water systems.

Environmental Management: Energy Systems 
* UESM 635C.01 1 credit Spring
Michael Bobker
This mini-course introduces students to key issues associated with local energy policy: how cities use energy; the sources of this energy; what alternatives exist; the delivery systems that get energy to cities; and the institutional, market and regulatory environment.

Environmental Management: Greening Existing Buildings 
UESM 755.01 2 credit Fall
Gita Nandan
Taught by a practicing environmental planner, this course familiarizes students with relevant concepts, literature, and practices relating to green building rating systems at the local, regional, national, and global levels. Skills taught include costing methodologies, approaches to the evaluation of sustainable deign, and the specific methods for evaluating the contribution of design to environmental quality developed by the "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design" (LEED) rating system.

Environmental Management: Green Development 
ESM 755B.01 1 credit Fall
Carlton Brown
Taught by a practicing green architect/developer, this course will provide students with the philosophy/theory, history, and best practices underpinning innovations in high performance, green building.   Focusing on new construction, the course will offer an in depth look at the process by which several of the architect/developer’s buildings were conceived, designed and implemented with a particular focus on the potential for affordable, socially just high performance development.

Environmental Management: Architecture & Energy 
ESM 755C.01 1 credit Fall
Chris Benedict, Henry Gifford
Taught by a practicing architect, this course provides students with the philosophy, theory, history and best practices underpinning innovations in high performance green building and rehabilitation. Focusing on adaptive re-use and rehabilitation, it offers a look at the process by which several of the architect's projects were conceived, designed and implemented.

Environmental Management: Toxics and Hazardous Materials 
ESM 731A.01 1 credit Fall
Damon Chaky
This course focuses on toxic and hazardous substances in the environment, with particular emphasis on trace metals and organic compounds associated with construction materials and the urban/industrial environment. It examines issues such as urban air quality and indoor air pollution, the persistence of toxic chemicals in the environment, and the regulation and cleanup of toxic substances. Case study discussion focuses on sources and exposure to toxic substances in the built environment in general, and the New York City urban environment in particular.

Environmental Management: Brownfield Remediation 
ESM 731B.01 1 credit Fall
Chelsea Albucher
This mini-course offers an introduction to brownfields, defined as abandoned or underused properties that are either contaminated or perceived to be contaminatd, starting with a discussion of the history of brownfields, their relationship to other categories of contaminated properties, and their legal status. The remainder of the course will focus on the practical aspects of brownfield cleanup and redevelopment, including government regulation, remedial technologies and project financing, and the role of brownfields in urban planning. There will be particular emphasis on the environmental justice issues surrounding brownfields and the strategic use of brownfields in combating sprawl.

LEED: Green Associate 
FM 742P 3 credits Spring
Gita Nandan
The US Green Building Council developed the leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system in response to market demand for a common definition and standard of measurement for green building. Based on well founded scientific standards, LEED emphasizes state of art strategies for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. These LEED courses will present the history and principles of the LEED rating system; compare LEED to other environmental rating systems; provide specific examples of LEED certified construction; and will prepare students to take the LEED certification exam. This course is a prerequisite for other LEED courses.

Waterfront & Wetland Planning 
EMS 761B 1 credit Summer
Carter Craft
New York City’s new Comprehensive Waterfront Plan identifies the waterways as the “Sixth Borough.” The tides, currents and winds make this a very dynamic physical environment. The mixing of fresh water from the upland and salt water from the ocean also makes it a very biologically complex and rich. As a place, the waterways constitute a huge network of transport, energy, communications and other physical infrastructure that serves our communities, our cities, and our nation. As with many planning issues, there are often competing visions that must be addressed as well as synergies that need to be cultivated. Activity fee of $130 covers all the on-water activities such as ferry rides, sailboat outings, and kayak/canoe excursions.

Watershed Planning (Contemporary Issues) 
UESM 761A.01 3 credits Fall
Ira Stern
Focusing on the NYC Watershed, we will look at land uses, sustainable stormwater management practices, and geology within the watershed and examines how they are directly related to the quantity and quality of water “produced” in these areas.

Policy Writing 
UESM 763.01 1 credit Fall
Ben Gibberd
This skill building course will focus on the varying formats and voices common to political and advocacy writing. Students will gain exposure to effective writing techniques, appropriate voice and formats for editorials, policy briefs, letters of support, grants and formal testimony.

Policy Advocacy & Negotiation 
UESM 764.01 1 credit Fall
Gavin Kearney
With this new skills building course, students will gain exposure through case study of coalitions and community benefit agreements coupled with classroom application of how to organize stakeholder viewpoints into a strategy which achieves consensus. Environmental Systems Management provides a unique approach to negotiation by bringing a professional with extensive social justice experience into the classroom.

Financing Green Infrastructure 
ESM 701B-P.01 1 credit Fall
Tom Jost
Examples of green infrastructural systems are increasingly prevalent in the modern urban context. This course will explore the reasons for why green infrastructure remains the exception when major infrastructural projects are undertaken. It will explore the process of developing capital programs and projects and the critical changes within that structure that need to be undertaken to move green infrastructural practice from a best practice goal to standard practice in cities.

Special Topics: Productive & Performative Landscape 
UESM 737A 1 credit Spring
David Seiter
Through a patchwork of productive and performative landscape typologies – such as the ecological green roof, the phytoremediation field, the street tree orchard and the urban micro farm – new paradigms are being created for urban public space that are not limited to the prototypical landscapes of the park or garden. This course will explore these emergent trends in landscape design as essential components of a developing urban green infrastructure. The landscape typologies will be introduced through a series of case studies with projects ranging from Seville, Spain to Ridgewood, Queens. Each class is organized around a “performative” or “productive” concept and is articulated through substantive readings, interactive lectures and engaging guest speakers. In addition to highlighting innovatively practical solutions to typical infrastructural problems, the projects we will examine reflect the poetic possibility of urban landscapes to emerge as both ecologically functional spaces and cultural experiences.

Green Infrastructure Design/Build 
UESM 739 5 credits Summer
Gita Nandan, Elliot Maltby
The primary focus of this design/build course is to provide students with the opportunity to not only design but to understand the techniques of construction and implementation, gaining valuable experience and knowledge of the practical aspects of green infrastructure design. The course will contain, in equal parts, learning and design modules with weekend site visits as a requirement for the build focus.

Special Topics: Managing Coastal Resources in an Uncertain Future 
PLAN 801B.01 2 credits Fall
Mike Marella
Taught by the Department of City Planning's Director of Waterfront and Open Space Planning, this 10 week course is organized around two major themes that will significantly alter the shorelines of our city and the way we think about them, climate change and globalization. Those two forces will influence nearly every decision that gets made on the waterfront and have the potential to be major impetus/catalysts for change. These two forces can be the lens by which we examine everything from wetlands protection to industrial development to open space.

(One studio is required, students choose from the following or any studio listed above, or an international studio such as Goa, India)

*Sustainable Business Studio 
PLAN 850.01 5 credits Summer
The Sustainable Business/ Industry Sector Studio can serve as the Capstone Studio for students in the Environmental Systems Management Program and is also open to students in the GCPE and Historic Preservation Program. The purpose of the Studio is to expose students to the application of sustainable development best practices at the business/industry sector level including but not limited to environmental management system action plans and ISO 14001. The class is intended to expose students to both the basic tools and practice of sustainable urban economic development through primary materials and case studies, and how it is evolving to reflect increased market and government support for sustainable development and the alignment of economic and environmental interests.

Demonstration of Professional Competence (UESM) 
UESM 660A 2 credits Spring, Summer, and Fall
Jaime Stein et al.
As a capstone requirement of the program, students demonstrate fulfillment of an approved scope of work showing analytical capacities and creative skills. The demonstration can involve original research, a work-related project or an extension of course-related work. ESM Students only.