Adaptable Infrastructure Archives - State of the Planet

Ideas for the Sustainable City: Green Buildings

On March 23, the Environmental Protection Agency released a list of the 40 cities with the highest percentage of energy-efficient buildings. While Los Angeles, Washington and San Francisco made the top three, NYC came in at number ten. When we think about carbon emissions, we often think of cars, trucks, factories, and power plants. We think… read more

by |March 26, 2010

Event: The National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenges: An Overview and Focus on Water

The Columbia Climate Center, in collaboration with the Columbia Water Center and the Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy, invites you to attend “The National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenges: An Overview and Focus on Water,” on Tuesday, November 24 at 3 pm. The event will feature Charles Vest, President, National Academy of Engineering and President… read more

by |November 18, 2009

Plasma Gasification: A Solution to the Waste Disposal Dilemma?

Waste not, Want not? The source of this proverb is unknown, but I’m going to hazard a guess and say it wasn’t your average (modern) American. I say this because your average American runs through 56 tons of trash a year – including 500 plastic cups and 650 pounds of paper. If we were to… read more

by |July 8, 2009

Adaptive Strategies in Managing Climate Change Risk

With the threat of rising sea level due to thermal expansion (water increases volume as it gets warmer) and melting of land-based ice (such as glaciers and polar ice sheets), coastal cities are planning ways to minimize the impacts of flooding on city infrastructure. The Thames Barrier (pictured) is one such engineering solution. It is… read more

by |June 3, 2009

Low-cost water management in Ethiopia

Water capture and storage for irrigation has been an ongoing theme of research in Columbia’s earth and environmental engineering department, but Professor Upmanu Lall has recently taken things a step further. With funding from the Pulitzer family, Lall challenged a group of students in his senior engineering course to design a low-cost system of water… read more

by |February 2, 2009

Obama’s Stimulus Plan and Climate Change

By George Deodatis

Although not officially announced yet, it is almost certain that the eagerly anticipated stimulus plan of Obama’s new administration will include hundreds of billions of dollars in a wide range of civil infrastructure works, as commented by Anne Polansky’s

by |January 6, 2009