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.