Living Legacies of the Too Soon Gone – LSCRC Intersections Event

5 10 2018

On Oct 10, 3-5pm, Dr. Virgil Wood will speak (via Zoom) at the Leadership and Social Change Residential College (LSCRC) for an Intersection on the “Living Legacies of the Too Soon Gone.” During the event, Dr. Wood will talk about the ancestors of the Beloved Community and engage with students in a conversation about how they can help advance the work of the VT-VUU Beloved Community Initiative.





Chapter 13 – Pathways to Sustainability

30 08 2018

We have just released the final chapter from our new textbook that focuses on policy interventions to encourage a sustainable transformation in industrial and industrializing economies. Enjoy!

Technology, Globalization, and Sustainable Development

We are pleased to be able to release the final chapter of our new textbook which focuses on policy interventions to encourage a sustainable transformation in industrial and industrializing economies. We have also released the index to provide you with a sense of the issues that are covered throughout the textbook.

In the coming weeks, we will begin to release the presentations we use to teach the material in the textbook at MIT and Virginia Tech. These presentations will be shared via Google Slides. We hope that this additional material will hep others incorporate the textbook material into their courses. We would also be happy to work with anyone who is willing to take on the challenge of teaching the entire textbook as one course. If the scheduling works, we would be happy to provide a guest lecture or two on those subjects that fall outside of the instructor’s expertise. Both Nicholas and I support each…

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Second Mzuni Delegation Visits VT

25 08 2018

It was pleasure to host a second delegation from Mzuni last week. The final design for the new Mzuni library is now in reach.

The Mzuni Library Initiative

This past week, a second delegation from Mzuzu University visited Virginia Tech to discuss the next phase of the library design project. After selecting a final conceptual design in February, this delegation focused on the next phase of the project – the development of detailed engineering designs for the new library.

During their time on campus, the delegation visited Virginia’s Tech’s Advance Research Computing facility to discuss the type of systems that could be installed in the new library’s planned data center. The video below provides a first person view of the their visit. Note how our architecture students, who have led the design of the new library, continue to be fully engaged with the design process.

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The New SPIA Undergraduate Program Launches

11 08 2018

In one week we will welcome our first cohort of students into the new Smart and Sustainable Cities (SSC) and Environmental Policy and Planning (EPP) majors. Over the past two years, faculty in the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) have worked to completely revise the Bachelors of Arts in Public and Urban Affairs (PUA) that is now the home of these two majors. The PUA degree will provide students with a solid foundation in U.S. government and politics, the legal foundations of planning, collaborative policy-making and planning processes, urban public issues, transdisciplinary problem solving, and public service leadership. It has been carefully designed to ensure student learning outcomes are introduced, reinforced, and assessed throughout the curriculum, which provides significant opportunities to integrate signature projects/problems within the curriculum.

The SSC major consists of two unique tracks in urban analytics and urban sustainability, an integrative course on data and the art of decision-making, and a capstone studio. The PUA degree core and SSC major creates one of the first undergraduate degrees in the nation to integrate governance and planning processes, urban analytics, and urban sustainability. See the video below for a little more information on the new SSC major.

The EPP major draws from the long and successful legacy of the Bachelors of Science in Environmental Policy and Planning, and will provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to understand complex environmental challenges and develop enduring solutions. EPP majors will be able to analyze how environmental policies are implemented at national and sub-national levels, and evaluate how environmental policies are managed across sectoral and jurisdictional boundaries.

Students at Virginia Tech will be able to major or minor in SSC and EPP, or complete a double major in SSC and EPP. Students will also be able to take advantage of other majors and minors at Virginia Tech to develop their own unique combination of knowledge and skills. To support their decision-making, we have enhanced our undergraduate advising capacity to ensure that each student receives the help they need when selecting majors, minors, courses, and potential career pathways.

For more information about the new SPIA undergraduate program, please visit our website or contact Chris LaPlante (540-231-3831; chrisl@vt.edu).





UAP 5784 – Technology, Globalization, and Sustainable Development

3 08 2018

Technology, Globalization, and Sustainable Development
UAP 5784 / CRN 90063
Meets: Mondays 9:00 to 11:45am
Location: Architecture Annex 111
Dr. Ralph Hall (rphall@vt.edu)

Overview

This graduate seminar will provide students with a transdisciplinary perspective on sustainable development. It is intended for students interested in planning, policy, economics, business, innovation, environmental studies, and law. The seminar will explore the many dimensions of sustainability and how national, multinational, and international political and legal mechanisms can be used to further sustainable development.

During the seminar we will consider the inter-relationship of global economic changes, inequality, employment, worker health and safety, and environment in the context of theories of development, trade, technical and organizational innovation, and employment. Mechanisms for resolving the apparent conflicts between these elements will be explored.

This seminar is intended to stimulate discussion and critical thinking on the key writings in sustainable development. Students will be evaluated on the basis of their mastery of the materials through (1) written assignments and (2) class participation. The seminar has one required text that will be supplemented by topical readings tailored to student interests.





The GreenPreneur Show

21 07 2018

This Sunday (July 22) at 3pm (Central Daylight Time), I look forward to joining Michael Thomas on The GreenPreneur Show to talk about my work on sustainable transportation and sustainable development.

Recordings of previous shows – which cover topics such as Modern-Day Entrepreneurship, Human and Environmental Interactions, Safe Public Drinking Watera Zero Waste Economy, Socially Responsible Investing, a Zero Emission Future, and Eco Friendly Community Development – can be accessed by clicking on the image below.





New Paper in Ecological Economics

21 06 2018

Achieving Global Climate and Environmental Goals by Governmental Regulatory Targeting

[Before August 10, 2018, this paper can be downloaded for free by clicking here.]

Abstract

Strategic niche management and transition management have been promoted as useful avenues to pursue in order to achieve both specific product or process changes and system transformation by focusing on technology development through evolutionary and co-evolutionary processes, guided by government and relevant stakeholders. However, these processes are acknowledged to require decades to achieve their intended changes, a time frame that is too long to adequately address many of the environmental and social issues many industrialized and industrializing nations are facing. An approach that involves incumbents and does not consider targets that look beyond reasonably foreseeable technology is likely to advance a model where incumbents evolve rather than being replaced or displaced. On the other hand, approaches that focus on creating new entrants could nurture niche development or deployment of disruptive technologies, but those technologies may only be marginally better than the technologies they replace. Either approach may take a long time to achieve their goals. Sustainable development requires both radical disruptive technological and institutional changes, the latter including stringent regulation, the integration of disparate goals, and changes in incentives to enable new voices to contribute to new systems and solutions. This paper outlines options for a strong governmental role in setting future sustainability goals and the pathways for achieving them.