2023 Kelbaugh Lecture: Paola Viganò, “Laboratories of the Transition. Projects in Europe.”

Cities and territories face social and environmental challenges (climate change, biodiversity crises, increasing urbanization of the planet). Urban and territorial design defines today an urgent and critical field. Through four episodes – “Prototypes of the transition”, “Utopia for our Time”, “Design a Horizontal Metropolis”, and “Towards an urbanism of the living soil” – the presentation will delve into some of the extraordinary challenges of the future of cities and territories. They embed a long-term designer’s reflection on how we shall live together.

Paola Viganò architect and urbanist is a Full Professor in Urban Theory and Urban Design at the EPFL (CH) (where she directs the Habitat Research Center and the Lab-U) and at IUAV Venice (IT). She received the Grand Prix de l’Urbanisme in 2013, the title of Doctor Honoris Causa by the UCLouvain in 2016 in the frame of “Utopia for our Time”, the Flemish Culture Award for Architecture in 2017, and the Golden medal to the career of Milano Triennale in 2018. Together with Bernardo Secchi, she founded Studio (1990-2014) working on numerous projects and visions in Europe. Since 2015, StudioPaolaViganò works on the ecological and social transition of cities, landscapes, and territories designing urban and territorial projects and realizing public spaces in Europe. In 2019, her work has been exhibited at the Shenzen Biennale, and in 2021 at the Venice Biennale. In 2022, she received the Schelling Prize for Architectural Theory.

The Douglas S. Kelbaugh Lecture is generously funded through an endowed fund given by Douglas Kelbaugh and Kathleen Nolan to support an annual public lecture on the topic of urban design.

Douglas Kelbaugh, FAIA, FCNU, professor emeritus of architecture and urban and regional planning and dean emeritus of Taubman College, died on February 18, 2023, at 78. Kelbaugh’s contributions to the field of sustainable architecture and urban planning, the Taubman College community, cities, and the education of students will continue to create a positive impact in the world for years to come, including through the annual Kelbaugh Lecture.

Earth Day 2023: Justice in Focus

School for Environment and Sustainability

After three years of COVID, we are emerging from multiple crises: global pandemic, economic downturn and mass inflation, and a crisis of racial inequality. Earth Day 2023: Justice in Focus seeks to put justice and Earth in the same conversation, removing the silos of environment, human social systems, and political ecology. The University of Michigan, led by the Tishman Center for Social Justice and the Environment at the School for Environment and Sustainability, will bring forth a critical dialogue with emerging and powerful leaders on the frontlines. Participants will have the opportunity to hear from local and national leaders on the inner workings of organizations, solutions, and leadership that emerged through the pandemic.

Registration link

UMRA-U-M Retirees Association Presents: Climate Change and What it Means for the Great Lakes

Dean Overpeck is an interdisciplinary climate scientist and has led active climate research programs on five continents. His research is focused on understanding drought and megadrought dynamics (and risk) the world over. He has also served as the lead investigator of Climate Assessment for the Southwest and the SW Climate Science Center – two major programs focused on regional climate adaptation . He has appeared and testified before congress multiple times, is a Fellow of American Geophysical Union (AGU) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has published over 220 works on cllimate and the environmental sciences.

Housing and Transportation: What’s the Climate Connection?

Housing and Transportation

Housing and transportation together account for 42% of our carbon emissions. To minimize climate change, we need to make our buildings more efficient, utilize land and building envelopes more efficiently, and create housing options that allow us to dramatically reduce vehicle miles traveled. What impact do transportation and housing choices have on carbon emissions, affordability, and livability?

Join us for a panel discussion led by housing and transportation experts:

  • Jan Culbertson (Senior Principal Emeritus, A3C and Leadership Council Chair, Ann Arbor 2030 District)

  • Reid Ewing (Distinguished Professor of City & Metropolitan Planning, University of Utah)

  • Christopher Laurent (President, Cinnaire Solutions)

  • Jonathan Levine (Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning)

In-person registration link

Online registration link 

Martha Schwartz: Climate Change and the Importance of the Urban Landscape

Climate Change Landscape

As Founding Partner of Martha Schwartz Partners, Landscape Architects, Martha Schwartz is a world-renowned designer. She has over 40 years of experience designing and implementing large scale masterplans, mixed-use developments, urban regeneration projects, as well as civic plazas, parks, institutional landscapes, corporate headquarters, installations, and gardens. Martha Schwartz Partners works with city leaders, planners and builders at a strategic level so as to advocate for the inclusion of the public landscape as a means to achieve environmental, economic and social sustainability.

Martha Schwartz received her Bachelors of Fine Arts from the University of Michigan, then studied Landscape Architecture at Harvard Graduate School of Design between 1976 – 1977, then went back to the University of Michigan to receive a Masters of Landscape Architecture in 1977. As a tenured Professor in Practice of Landscape Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (HGSD) for 30 years, she is advancing the knowledge of Climate Change, its causes, effects, and the awareness of new solutions coming out of science, including the science of ​“Climate Intervention” also known as ​“Geoengineering”.

Schwartz is the recipient of numerous awards and prizes including the Honorary Royal Designer for Industry Award from the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce for her outstanding contribution to UK design; the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award; the Women in Design Award for Excellence from the Boston Society of Architects; an Honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Ulster in Belfast, Ireland; a fellowship from the Urban Design Institute; visiting residencies at Radcliffe College and the American Academy in Rome; an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Institute of British Architects; and most recently, a Council of Fellows Award by the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Most recently, she has created a non-profit organization, MAYDAY.EARTH which focuses on the climate crisis and climate change solutions such as nature-based solutions and the science of solar geoengineering, our only option that can cool down our planet and buy us time to transition to renewable energy.

21st Peter M. Wege Lecture on Sustainability: Mary Robinson

Mary Robinson

Join Robinson as she shares her passion for climate justice, human dignity, gender equality and women’s participation in peace-building. She will highlight the urgent need for climate change action and how local, community-based action can grow into a global effort to build a sustainable future.

The Peter M. Wege Lecture Series focuses on the critical sustainability challenges of the 21st century, such as energy security and declining fossil resources, global climate change, freshwater scarcity, ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss, and sustainability strategies in developed and developing nations. Named in honor of Peter M. Wege, late vice-chair of the board of Steelcase, Inc., and renowned sustainability champion, the series brings internationally recognized leaders in sustainability to the University of Michigan campus.

This in-person event is free and open to the public; reserve your ticket here.

Governing for environmental justice

Rashida Tlaib, Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, and Stephanie Chang (left to right)

Whether efficient public transit, climate change, or air and water pollution, marginalized communities are regularly denied access to healthy environments. Differences in power and political voice create differential impacts of our changing environment—natural and built—on these communities, compromising access to basic necessities like clean water and breathable air. Legislation to redress these differential impacts requires policymakers to work hand in glove with the communities they represent.

Join Dr. Abdul El-Sayed – physician, epidemiologist, and newly appointed Director of the Wayne County Health, Human & Veterans Services Department, and a Ford School Towsley Policymaker in Residence – for a conversation with policymakers at the intersection of social justice and environmental concerns. Dr. El-Sayed will be joined by Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib and Michigan Senator Stephanie Chang to reflect on their work to address environmental injustice in Michigan and beyond, and the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Co-sponsored by the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan. 

Registration link

COP27 debrief and panel

Green grass drying up from left to right

Join DPC, IPSA, EPA, and Climate Blue for a debrief and panel with the U-M delegates to the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, COP27. Come hear students from the Ford and SEAS schools reflect on key takeaways from the conference and answer any questions you might have about its outcomes.

Forging a Career at the Heart of the Climate Challenge: Perspectives from the Front Lines

Gerry Anderson Event

Gerry Anderson EventJoin Net Impact Undergrad and our co-sponsors in welcoming Gerry Anderson (MBA/MPP ‘88), former Chairman and CEO of DTE Energy. Anderson will be speaking about his journey from being a driven undergrad engineer to becoming a highly influential leader in sustainability as the CEO of DTE Energy. This will include his early desire to make a difference in the environment, his MPP and MBA experience at Ross, consulting at McKinsey, working with the Obama administration, leading DTE to embrace renewables, and more. Under his leadership, DTE Energy committed to addressing the climate crisis through large-scale investments in renewable energy, retiring coal-fired generation, and driving for net zero emissions. Anderson chaired the Edison Electric Institute, the U.S. energy industry association, and played a significant role in the clean power plan negotiations under the Obama administration. He is deeply passionate about building Michigan’s economy and continues his environmental action in retirement.

This event will include a one-hour talk and Q&A, followed by a networking session where light snacks and refreshments will be provided. The event is free and open to the public.

Registration link

Sustainability at Ross: Learn about the Erb Institute

Join us for this info session to learn more about the Environmental and Sustainability initiatives we have to support our students through the Erb Institute. Staff from Erb and the Admissions Committee will provide a brief overview of the services and programming available through Erb, and devote time to answer questions from the audience.