Planning Sustainable Cities

An infrastructure-based approach providing an analytical framework for urban sustainability, focusing on the services and performance of infrastructure systems.

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Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure

Research

Our approach integrates the key infrastructure systems of Energy, Landscape, Transportation, Waste, Water, Information and Food and explores their synergies through land use planning, engineering, economics and policy.





We approach infrastructure as a series of systems that function in synergy and are directly linked with urban planning.

landscape

Landscape is a regulator of endless processes, producer and consumer of raw materials, highly multifunctional and synergistic.

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Landscape as infrastructure is decoded at four system levels: Demand (for services), Program (of activities), Pattern, and Maintenance (of cycle).

The strategies toward a sustainable landscape system include:

PRESERVE ECOLOGICAL INTEGRITY OF NATURAL AREAS: Preserve biodiversity
RESTORE: Rectify or compensate for habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation
ACHIEVE SELF-SUFFICIENCY: Minimize need for maintenance
CREATE NEW RESOURCES: Increase “carrying capacity” of landscapes

transportation

Transportation serves the movement of people, animals, and products from one location to another: the mobility of passengers and freight.

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Transportation infrastructure is decoded at four system levels: Trip Generation and Transportation Modes, Nodes, and Networks.

The strategies toward a sustainable transportation system include:

UNNECESSARY TRIP REDUCTION: Reduce length and occurrence of passenger and freight trips
MODAL SHIFT: Prioritize nonmotorized and low–energy–intensity modes
SYSTEM EFFICIENCY: Improve functionality of infrastructure, users’ behaviors, and effi ciency of vehicles
MINIMIZATION OF FOSSIL FUEL USE: Link transport fuel supply with renewable energy sources

Water

Water manages and processes a naturally available resource.

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Water infrastructure is decoded at four system levels: Consumption, Supply, Treatment, and Networks.

The strategies toward a sustainable water system include:

WATERSHED MANAGEMENT: Preserve long-term renewability and quality of water resources
WATER SAVING: Reduce water consumption
WATER RECOVERY: Reuse water with fit-for-purpose treatment
SYSTEM EFFICIENCY: Minimize leakages

ENERGY

Energy converts and manages naturally available resources.

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Energy infrastructure is decoded at four system levels: Consumption, Supply, Generation, and Distribution and Transmission.

The strategies toward a sustainable energy system include:

ENERGY SAVING: Avoid unnecessary energy consumption
SYSTEM EFFICIENCY: Increase efficiency in generation, conversion, distribution
USE OF RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES: Increase renewable energy use
MINIMIZATION OF FOSSIL FUELS IMPACT: Minimize impact of conventional-fuel energy generation

waste

Waste manages material resources, should restart their life cycle.

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Solid Waste infrastructure is decoded at four system levels: Waste Generation, Waste Diversion Model, Treatment and Final Disposal, and Collection and Transfer.

The strategies toward a sustainable solid waste system include:

SOURCE REDUCTION: Minimization of waste generation
REUSE: Further use of products in their original form or repurposing to extend their useful life
RECYCLING: Breaking down used products into materials
FINAL DISPOSAL/RESOURCE RECOVERY: Bulk reduction, nonrecyclable waste disposal through sanitary landfill and waste-to-energy conversion

information

Information is the dynamic and vital resource of our century, a web of linkages continuously expanding across sectors to meet emerging needs.

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Information infrastructure is decoded at four system levels: Information Demand, Collection and Communication, Information Nodes, and Information Networks.

The strategies toward a sustainable information system include:

SMART AND INTEGRATED SYSTEMS: Integration of services, enhancement of processes, and responsiveness
USER FRIENDLINESS: Media, applications, and interfaces best communicating information
ADAPTABILITY: Data quality, speed, filtering
HIGH PENETRATION AND CONNECTIVITY: Provide coverage to include all users

food

Food is a basic human need, and its organized distribution is essential for the sustainable development of modern societies and contemporary cities.

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Food infrastructure is decoded at four system levels: Demand, Supply and Production, Trade, and Processing and Distribution.

The strategies toward a sustainable food system include:

FOODSHED MANAGEMENT: Secure city’s food supply—support sustainable ways of production
FOOD WASTE REDUCTION: Minimize food waste—divert food waste from landfills
FOOD LOSS REDUCTION: Minimize food loss between production and consumption
LOCAL AND URBAN PRODUCTION: Support local decentralized or urban production—minimize imports

SYNERGIES

The flexibility of the guidelines is further enhanced by tracing and highlighting the synergies among systems. Within the set of 640 guidelines 220 synergies are highlighted.
Two types of synergies are identified (TO and FROM), based on whether a guideline can assist another system or be assisted by the other system.




Planning Sustainable Cities Conference

Nov. 3-4, 2016

The Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure is pleased to host the Planning Sustainable Cities Conference. The conference aims to present an infrastructure-based approach to city planning, an analytical framework for urban sustainability, focusing on the services and performance of infrastructure systems. This conference will serve as the launch of the latest Zofnass Program publication 'Planning Sustainable Cities. An Infrastructure-based Approach,' directed and edited by Prof. Spiro Pollalis.

Infrastructure is understood as a series of systems that function in synergy, directly linked to urban planning. The conference aims to decode in different sessions the key infrastructure systems of Energy, Landscape, Transportation, Waste, Water, Information and Food, to explore their synergies through land use planning, engineering, economics and policy. The conference sessions are modeled according to the key infrastructure systems delineated in the Planning Sustainable Cities book.

This event will convene city planners, leaders in infrastructure development, designers, engineers, experts, academics, and public officials to share perspectives on sustainable city planning as well as to discuss the proposed infrastructure-based planning approach for sustainable cities.

RSVP by invitation only.

Please direct inquiries to jirodrig@gsd.harvard.edu






THE Conference Agenda

Location: Piper Auditorium, Harvard Graduate School of Design 48 Quincy Street Cambridge, MA

DAY 1

6:30 pm   WELCOME
6:40 pm   BOOK LAUNCH: PLANNING SUSTAINABLE CITIES
7:00 pm   KEYNOTES: PLANNING SUSTAINABLE CITIES

DAY 2

8:30 am   WELCOME to DAY 2
8:40 am   SESSION 1: LANDSCAPE & WATER
10:40 am   SESSION 2: ENERGY & TRANSPORTATION
1:10 pm   SESSION 3: FOOD & WASTE
2:45 pm   BUSINESS CASE FOR SUSTAINABLE INFRASTRUCTURE
3:35 pm   SESSION 4: INFORMATION
5:05 pm   CLOSING REMARKS

#zofnass_conference
Follow us: @zofnassprogram


SPEAKERS

Prof. Spiro Pollalis (Harvard GSD)
Paul Zofnass (EFCG)
Dr. Joan Zofnass (EFCG)
Laura Bonich (NV5)
Marty Janowitz (Stantec)
Ifetayo Venner (Arcadis)
Jonathan Buckley (Global Studio TCA)
Elizabeth Bradford (CH2M)
Mark P. Smith (The Nature Conservancy)
Melissa Carter (MWH)
Mayor Dawn Zimmer (City of Hoboken)
Roberto Mezzalama (Golder)
Rick Phillips (HNTB)
Jim Grant (HNTB)
Richard Corolowsky (Power Engineers)
Coralie Cooper (DOT Volpe)
Dr. Gary Adamkiewicz (Harvard SPH)
Commissioner Martin Suuberg (MassDEP)
Veronica Gassert (Boston Office of Food Initiatives)
Dr. Andreas Georgoulias (Harvard GSD)
Dr. Sven-Uwe Mueller (IADB)
Terry Bennett (Autodesk)
Tim McManus (McKinsey & Company)
Karen Weiss (Autodesk)
Erin Mosley (CH2M)


people

RESEARCH DIRECTOR AND BOOK EDITOR

Spiro N. Pollalis, Professor of Design, Technology and Management at the Harvard Design School

BOOK CONTRIBUTORS

Gary Adamkiewicz, Robert M. Beinstein, Terry D. Bennett, William J. Bertera, Laura Bonich, Jonathan Buckley, Michael Cant, Melissa M. Carter, Richard Corolewski, Daniel Dietch, Marty Janowitz, Roberto Mezzalama, Erin Mosley, Douglas M. Owen, Jade Paul, Rick Phillips, Lynda Sharkey, Cathy Smith, Jeanette M. Southwood, Ana Maria Vidaurre, John Wood, Paul Zofnass

CORE RESEARCH TEAM FOR THE PLANNING GUIDELINES

Evgenia Hagistavrou, Angela Kouveli, Dimosthenis Lappas, Eleonora Marinou, Yannis Orfanos, Vicky Sagia, Richa S. Vuppuluri, Olga Tzioti








Contact Zofnass Program

Feel free to email us to provide some feedback on our research, give us suggestions for new projects, or to just say hello! You can visit the Zofnass Program website to check out our other projects.