Doug Farr, vice chair of the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) and principal of the architecture and urban design firm Farr Associates, will share case studies of some of the world’s most sustainable places and projects in his presentation, “Breaking Down Silos to make Human Settlements Sustainable.” This is the Finger Lakes Institute’s fourth and final Sustainable Community Development (SCD) presentation of this semester. His talk will take place on Earth Day Monday, April 22, at 7 p.m. in the Albright Auditorium. This is free and open to the public.
Based in Chicago, Farr Associates is widely regarded as one of the most sustainable practices in the country, recently certifying its seventh LEED Platinum building, including two Net Zero Energy projects. To act on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2011 “Cleaner, Greener New York” program, the Colleges and the FLI have partnered with the CNU with the help of alum, Caitlin Ghoshal ’06.
Farr will comment on the starting point for all aspirations about sustainability and how people use land. Academia views the issue of settlements from a diverse set of frames (what Farr refers to as silos), ranging from environmental studies to engineering.
He is the author of the urban planning best-selling book, “Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design with Nature,” released in 2008. His thesis is that to make a place sustainable, it requires a broad range of well-informed actors working in concert and being effective outside their areas of training and expertise.
Farr was the founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) Core Committee, the interdisciplinary group of professionals that created this first ever rating system for sustainable land development. Launched in 2009, LEED-ND integrated smart growth, walkability, and green building practices into standards and metrics that scale up sustainability to a neighborhood level.