Urban Breezes in the Big Apple

Urban Breezes in the Big Apple

APA 2017 National Conference – a brief recap on what happened in New York City:

On May 8, 2017, Petra Hurtado and Helen Santiago Fink from Urban Breezes together with Jennifer Senick (Rutgers University) and Richard Wener (New York University) were holding their session on “Planning For Behavior Change Towards Sustainability” at the APA National Conference in New York City.

When it comes to sustainability, we usually focus on technical solutions that promise to make the built world more resource-efficient and environmentally responsible, including installing public transit, insulating our houses, and putting solar panels on our roofs. But the technological availability of infrastructure systems is not why people change from driving their cars to using public transit. Planners must address the choice of one option over another at a deeper level.

This session looked at the multidisciplinary nature of urban planning and how it enables us to understand the different levels of a decision-making process and, ultimately, to change behavior by changing the environment in which the behavior takes place. We discussed the disconnect between environmental knowledge and action—and why people tend to choose unsustainable options over sustainable alternatives.

Richard Wener gave an introductory presentation on environmental psychology and why this field is so important when planning for sustainable cities.

Petra Hurtado talked about the 5 A Planning Approach and how this approach can make a behavior change happen by creating cities that invite and motivate people to live more sustainable lifestyles.

Helen Santiago Fink explained the urgency of climate action and gave a brief insight into how ecosystems services and biophilia can contribute to more sustainable cities.

Jennifer Senick presented examples of projects in Indonesia and how people in this country successfully tackle behavior change towards more sustainability.

For more information on our session, email us at info@urbanbreezes.com.