University of Vermont

Green Urbanism is a growing field of research and design; it brings together what we know about the functions of the natural environment and the form of the built environment. The push for the UN Convention of Biodiversity is showing up internationally as urban habitat corridors, green space, and open space planning for cities. And there is there is considerable research on the health and livability of our urbanized places. What is not well developed is the functionality and rationale for energy production from renewable energy, efficiency and co-generation within our urban built-environments.

ECOS Initiative (Environment, Community, Opportunity, Sustainability) goals for Chittenden County align with the State Energy plan:
[We must provide] 90% of our energy needs from renewable sources by 2050.
In the next 20 years we should aggressively address our vulnerable dependence upon oil for a large portion of our heating and the vast majority of our transportation.

The next decade is a time for focusing on heating efficiency as effectively as we’ve focused on electric efficiency in the past decade.
Investments in renewable energy, including Vermont-based projects, will lead us to
greater energy independence, reduced costs for all Vermonters, and good jobs.

BUT HOW ARE WE GOING TO GET THERE? This course will assess what energy can be produced in an urban setting by looking at Burlington, as well as another cold climate city internationally.
This program is run as a seminar with student presentations on research and data, field trips, guest presentations, and final project. Final comprehensive project consists of white papers/design manifesto for sustainable policy development.