The College of Architecture and Planning address issues of environmental sustainability and resilience through a variety of community-based projects and courses. Research centers and urban and regional planning students have proposed water conservation and resource management plans for real-world clients. Urban design students won an award for their bold concept for reimagining I-70, organizing disparate North Denver neighborhoods along a cohesive multi-modal transit corridor and creating a walkable, denser, pedestrian-scaled places in place of the freeway. “Green” design and construction methods, energy-efficiency, and sustainable materials prevail in design build projects such as residences in the Navajo Nation and micro cabins for the Colorado Outward Bound School. Landscape architecture faculty and students have conceptualized green roofs for an art gallery and the Denver Public Library.

The College also seeks to expand sustainability to include resilience whereby we support communities in developing their ability to adapt to and recover from hazards, shocks or stresses without compromising long-term prospects for development. On several occasions, the College of Architecture and Planning has responded to communities in need. Faculty and students participated in Resilient Colorado, an effort to assist Lyons, Colorado, after the September 2013 floods. Students first went with Colorado Center of Community Development as volunteers to help extricate the town from mud and downed trees. Four classes the next year allowed students to earn credit by working in specific areas of flood recovery, including an architecture studio focused on building conservation, sustainability, historic preservation and public policy; a planning course Planning for Disasters and Climate Change; and landscape architecture’s Plants in Design that restored landscapes. The Colorado Center for Sustainable Ubranism developed a Hazard Mitigation and Resiliency Guidebook for assessing a community’s risk of hazards and implementing land use planning tools and strategies for reducing a community’s risk.


Natural Resources Strategic Plan 2019 Capstone by Dillon Mcbride

Natural Resources Strategic Plan

Student Researchers:

Dillon McBride
Urban and Regional Planning Capstone Project

Modeling the Vulnerability of Mobile Home Parks to Disaster: A Longitudinal Study of Affordable Housing Loss After Hurricane Michael

Principal Researchers:

Andrew Rumbach; Esther Sullivan; Carrie Makarewicz
Andrew Rumbach and Carrie Makarewicz, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, along with Esther Sullivan, Department of Sociology, have received a grant from the National Science Foundation to study the impact of Hurricane Michael on mobile home parks in northern Florida.
Green Roof Installation on the Fourth Floor Patio of the CAP Building

4th Floor Patio Green Roof Installation

Principal Researchers:

Leila Tolderlund

Student Researchers:

Kathryn Landers, Troy Britt, Leah Bryant, Jana Raines, Jake Seymour and Nick Patin
Student volunteers installed a green roof on the fourth floor patio of the CU Denver CAP building using donated green roof modules.
The Green Roof Cafe

The Green Roof Café

Student Researchers:

Gaelen Means, Helen Davidoski, Kortney Harris and Kyle Roddy
Landscape Architecture students designed the "The Green Roof Café," a mobile coffee shop and combined green roof and solar PV educational exhibit.

Architectural Design for Traditional Neighborhoods

Principal Researchers:

Korkut Onaran
Fernando Pagés Ruiz
Ronnie Pelusio
Tom Lyon
The Vinyl Siding Institute published 300 copies of Professor Korkut Onaran's book in July, which "summarizes the most critical design lessons the authors have learned through many years of practice developing traditional neighborhoods."

Urban disasters beyond the city: Environmental risk in India’s fast-growing towns and villages

Principal Researchers:

Andrew Rumbach

Gretel Follingstad

In March 2019, Urban and Regional Planning Associate Professor Andy Rumbach and Gretel Follingstad (PhD candidate in Design & Planning) published a new article in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. They studied 5 fast-growing towns and villages in the mountains of West Bengal, India with some pretty eye-opening findings.

Resilient Development: Fantasy Plans and Unplanned Developments in India's Flood‐Prone Coastal Cities

Principal Researchers:

Andrew Rumbach

Liza Weinstein (Northeastern University)
Saumitra Sinha (University of North Carolina)

In February 2019, Urban and Regional Planning Associate Professor Andy Rumbach, along with colleagues at Northeastern University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, published a new article on urban development and coastal flooding in India in the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.

I’ll have to drive there: How daily time constraints impact women’s car use differently than men’s

Principal Researchers:

Manish Shirgaokar
Kelly Lanyi-Bennett
Urban and Regional Planning Assistant Professor Manish Shirgaokar published an article in January 2019 in Transportation about the influence of gender on car use.

Operationalizing gendered transportation preferences: A psychological framework incorporating time constraints and risk aversion

Principal Researchers:

Manish Shirgaokar
Urban and Regional Planning Assistant Professor Manish Shirgaokar published an article in March 2019 in Transport Policy about the influence of gender when choosing a method of transportation.

Harnessing the power of machine learning: Can Twitter data be useful in guiding resource allocation decisions during a natural disaster?

Principal Researchers:

Manish Shirgaokar
Darcy Reynard 
Urban and Regional Planning Assistant Professor Manish Shirgaokar published an article in March 2019 in Transportation Research about the potential use of social media during natural disasters to pinpoint the most devastated areas.
Photo of big small homes model

The Big Small Home

Student Researchers:

Robby Cuthbert
Green-Build Competition Studio ARCH 6150-001
Image Showing Waste Management Issues in Nepal

Sustainable Landfill Redesign in Chitwan, Nepal

Student Researchers:

Alison Blaine, Molly Marcucilli
Urban and Regional Planning Capstone Project

"We're not in the business of housing:" Environmental gentrification and the nonprofitization of green infrastructure projects

Principal Researchers:

Jeremy Németh, Ph.D
Alessandro Rigolon
The article looks at social justice and environmental gentrification issues that arose during the planning process of the 606, a rails-to-trails project located in Chicago.
Logo for Urban Affairs Association Conference

Sustainability through Citizen-Municipal Partnerships

Principal Researchers:

Dr. Carrie Makarewicz
Dr. Carrie Makarewicz, an assistant professor in the urban and regional planning program, has been working on research to determine how sustainability may be affected by municipality-supported but citizen-driven projects and neighborhood engagement.
Butterfly connector between wood and concrete

Green Tech: Eco Furniture Design & Fabrication

Student Researchers:

Alexis Trick, Grant Warmerdam, Dillon Chang, Nora Webster, Sabrina Canada
Material scraps, bits and pieces, and the objects most people throw away, are carefully studied and reinvented as functional art.
rendering of green wall

Living Systems Vertical Studio

Student Researchers:

Leah Bryant, Chris Quinn and James Oberhansley
LDAR 6604/07 and 6605/08 Spring 2019
People playing in the snow with tall hotels in the background

Making Winter Park Sustainable

Student Researchers:

Andrew Williams
Urban and Regional Planning Capstone Project
green trees and stream with city in the background

Green Infrastructure for Denver's 5280 Loop

Urban and Regional Planning Environmental Planning and Management course Fall 2018
Aerial view of suburban houses with vibrant green lawns

Modeling Future Yard Irrigation in the Front Range

Principal Researchers:

Austin Troy

Student Researchers:

Gretel Follingstad
This project seeks to estimate future residential water use in the greater Denver metro area in response to urban growth, and to evaluate how policy and planning interventions might mitigate projected increases in water use.