2010-05-21Greening the Built Environment: The Role of Builders, Architects and Urban Planners

Human beings are living beyond their ecological means. Contributing to this problem are the cities and buildings we live in. Buildings use 40% of the world?s energy and emit 50% of its greenhouse gases. The statistics are even more ominous for cities. How do we re-conceive the human habitat--our cities and buildings--in a way that we begin to benefit nature instead of depleting its finite offerings? This is one of the fundamental question facing our generation. Alen Amirkhanian's presentation will survey the latest thoughts and solutions on this challenge, ranging from microsteps to fundamental transformations in the way we design and construct buildings and our cities.

Alen Amirkhanian is an urban planner from MIT. He has worked with the World Bank, UNDP, Brookings Institution, and Michael Porter's Initiative for a Competitive Inner City. He is currently teaching a course on Engineering Green Buildings at the American University of Armenia.