From the intelligent minds of the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, the Climate Adaption class released plans last semester for a new, environmentally-friendly building called School of the Earth. The class that thought of the idea has built, so far, a 3-D model of the building, created a manifesto of the project, a book on the building’s significance and created a short film on it. This development, if executed, would be a great feat for the university. It would not only make NYU a more environmentally friendly campus, but it would also help the surrounding community as a whole. Tailoring the campus to be more sustainable would be a step in remedying climate change’s growing threat.
Associate Gallatin Professor Peder Anker said the project was also in part a response to the university’s 2031 expansion plan. The 2031 plan, in short, is a project that seeks to address NYU’s lack of space by expanding throughout the local area as well as outside of it. The 2061 plan aims to support and facilitate NYU’s continued growth. However, it seeks to do so in a sustainable way that addresses future threats to climate change and other issues our environment faces. We should view the 2061 School of the Earth plan as a potential, coexisting effort with the 2031 plan that seeks to achieve the same goal in a sustainable fashion.
NYU faculty and students are recognizing the importance and urgency of these environmental issues and preparing to tackle them directly by designing the 2061 School of Earth project. Setting the intended year of completion as 2061 is also indicative of the plan’s economic feasibility, which is certainly vital to consider in the context of creating an alternative to the already underway 2031 plan.
The 2061 School of the Earth vision really sets a framework for how NYU could become an environmentally-conscious campus. Assuming that the project actually has the appropriate funding to be built, it could possibly set the groundwork for similar buildings to be constructed not only campus, but in the greater Greenwich Village area. With the possibility of a exponentially more sustainable NYU on the horizon, or at least a plan from which it could spawn, all we can do now is encourage our NYU administrators to take the suggestions of our fellow classmates seriously. Let’s encourage change, advocate for sustainability and wait for 2061.
Email the WSN Editorial Board at [email protected]