The year 2019 has been off to a great start as Urban Design Perspectives continues to seek new opportunities for education and enlightenment on issues of sustainability and renewable energy. Recently coming from this year’s 2019 AIA national conference, we were able to dive into new strategies for design as it pertains to the health and longevity of the environment and how we as a firm can better equip ourselves to implement these strategies through education and communication with our clients.
As a 2030 signatory firm, Urban Design Perspectives recognizes the importance of developing an environmentally thoughtful approach to our practice. While we are continuously seeking new design strategies for our clients, we are also in pursuit of new ways to pay it forward. Understanding sustainability through the research and practice, we have found the importance in paying it forward, participating in programs that are aligned with our beliefs. Our firm recently participated in a volunteer opportunity for an Australian organization called Boomerang Bags. Focusing on the principle of giving back through equitable practice, this organization organizes monthly “Sewing Bees” in which volunteers sign up to sew new reusable bags from reused and donated fabrics. Earth Day was UDP’s first time participating in this event and surely will not be the last. Not only was this a great way to give back and spread awareness, it was also an excellent community building opportunity. People from across the city could come together for a greater cause.
Continuing to pay it forward, Urban Design Perspectives closed out the month of June by putting on a week-long STEAM camp for girls in June 2019. Collaborating with North Minneapolis’ 21st Century Academy, this camp was not only designed to teach the next generation about clean and renewable energy sources, but it also provided exposure to the world of design and architecture. Through building tours, sketching lessons, team and individual activities, this group of 18 young scholars participated in a curriculum that challenged them to think conceptually about design principles and sustainable energy sources. By learning about their carbon footprints, reduction strategies and alternative energy sources, the scholars were able to take away a new perspective on their own environmental impact that will help them to make more informed decisions in the future.
As we continue our practice, Urban Design Perspectives will remain diligent as we think about new ways to further our own education on sustainability and how we might continue paying it forward to future generations.
Pressing toward sustainability,