NYUrban Greening Lab Initiative

Meeting the Need for Innovation, Integration, and Interdisciplinarity in the Study of Urban Environmental Change

“One Table Two Elephants” An Environmental Film Essay

April 3rd, 2017, Monday 6:00 – 8:00 PM

Deutsches Haus
42 Washington Mews, New York, NY 10003

RSVP HERE*Limited seat available, first come first serve.

This film essay is about bushmen bboys, a flower kingdom and the ghost of a princess. Entering the city through its plants and wetlands, the many-layered, painful and liberating history of the city emerges as we meet how biologists, hip hoppers, and wetland activists each searches for ways to craft symbols of unity and cohesion. But this is a fraught and difficult task. Perhaps not even desirable. Plants, aliens, memories and ghosts keep troubling efforts of weaving stories about this place called Cape Town. Situated and grounded in lived experiences across a range of groups, this film follows different ways of knowing and tries to be a vehicle toward difficult yet urgently needed conversations about how race, nature and the city are intertwined in our postcolonial world. The film is directed towards a wider audience, from the general public to students and scholars. For teaching, it brings texture and understanding to understand a city like Cape Town, but also provides ample possibilities to translate what is happening “there” to conversations about your own city and surroundings. 

Created by: Jacob von Heland and Henrik Ernstson. Produced by: Telltales Film in collaboration with KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory and the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town. Photography: Johan von Reybekiel. Sound: Jonathan Chiles. Funded by: Swedish Research Council Formas. Production coordination: Jessica Rattle and Nceba Mangese. Previously invited screenings (rough cut) at: Rachel Carson Centre, Munich, Germany; National University of Technology, Windhoek, Namibia; Stellenbosch University, South Africa; University Roma Tre, Rome, Italy; KTH Stockholm, Sweden; Stanford University, Palo Alto, USA. More info and 5 minutes “teaser” here: http://www.situatedecologies.net/archives/1562.


Dr. Henrik Ernstson is a Research Fellow at the KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory in Stockholm and an Honorary Visiting Scholar at the African Centre for Cities at University of Cape Town, South Africa. He recently concluded a Postdoc with Stanford University’s Department of History (2013-2015). In his work he is developing a situated approach to urban political ecology with a special focus on global South urbanism and he extensive collaboration in South Africa, Uganda, UK, USA and Sweden and he has lead interdisciplinary research groups with studies in Cape Town, New Orleans, Stockholm and now recently in Kampala, but also ‘post-disciplinary’ collaborations around film and speculative design as research methods within the growing field of the Environmental Humanities. Read more about his work at Situated Ecologies: http://www.situatedecologies.net/projects. Publications: https://kth.academia.edu/HenrikErnstson.

Environmental Law in the Trump Administration: Where Do “Greens” Go from Here?

Please join NYU Law’s distinguished environmental law faculty for a discussion on the path forward for environmental law and policy during the Trump Administration. All students and alumni are invited to attend.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016, 6:00 – 7:15 pm

NYU School of Law
Vanderbilt Hall, 210
40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012

Speakers include:

  • Richard Revesz, Lawrence King Professor of Law, Dean Emeritus, Director, Institute for Policy Integrity
  • Bryce Rudyk, Climate Program Director, Guarini Center on Environmental, Energy and Land Use Law, Adjunct Professor of Law
  • Richard Stewart, University Professor, John Edward Sexton Professor of Law, Director, Frank J. Guarini Center on Environmental, Energy, and Land Use Law
  • Katrina Wyman, Sarah Herring Sorin Professor of Law, Director, Environmental and Energy Law LLM Program


Applying Urban Ecology Research on NYU’s Campus

The vast majority of the world’s urban population lives in coastal cities. Already among the world’s most populous cities, New York is projected to grow to nearly 9 million people by 2030. In an era of climate change and intense urbanization, the problem of creating a more resilient and sustainable city tops the municipal agenda — indeed, it sits among our most pressing twenty-first century challenges worldwide.

Urban ecology is a key interdisciplinary arena for studying the biophysical and social processes that make cities work. Here in New York, the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy has witnessed diverse research and policy initiatives, all focused on creating sound urban environmental policy with a clear empirical basis. Green public infrastructure initiatives like the High Line and Brooklyn Bridge Park have transformed the definition of iconic urban space – not only in New York, but worldwide. Such spaces provide ecological services that cut across social and biophysical criteria.

Embedded within the urban fabric of New York City, the NYU campus presents several important sites for critical urban ecology research and teaching. Nestled among the campus buildings and facilities are nearly fifteen aggregate acres of open space.  The campus creates a patchwork of green and built space that are a readymade canvas for a range of ongoing urban ecology field projects.

Our campus maps usually highlight the NYU’s built landscape, but the University’s open spaces are complex systems that sustain 700 trees of 61 species, formal and naturalistic gardens, a grove of mature native oaks, several green roofs (including one of America’s earliest), courtyards, and a variety of interstitial and veneer urban landscapes.

Building on national press recognition and the 2015 Honor Award for Urban University Grounds , we propose to treat NYU’s unique campus as a research site for urban ecology.

Potential projects include:

  1. Sustainable Sites certified project.
  2. DEP Green Infrastructure Grant for courtyards, treepits, rain gardens
  3. Monitoring protocols for storm water management, pollinator support, soil biology.
  4. Student/faculty public art installations, lectures, performances associated with green spaces.
  5. Urban Ag uniquely adapted to NYU’s conditions, i.e. green roofs, vertical farms, aquaponics.
  6. The NYU Forest Project in association with TreeCampus USA .
  7. Field trials of new plant varieties, tools (like the ) and materials like biochar. 
  8. Phenology Clock for campus gardens.
  9. Adaptation of Whyte’s The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces to NYU spaces.
  10. Lecture series, conferences, site tours hosted by NYU Environmental Studies/Law, NYU Sustainability, Food Studies, Anthropology, and other departments.




Nov. 17: Sustainability Film Series

For free, you can come to the NJCU campus and join a screening and discussion of 3 documentary films concerning sustainability: City of Trees, The Garden, and Reuse! Because You Can’t Recycle the Planet.

  • DateThursday, November 17th, 2016
  • Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
  • Location: New Jersey City University Main Campus – Hepburn Hall, Room #202, 2039 John F. Kennedy Blvd – Jersey City, NJ 07302


Nov. 15: Environmental Policy Under the New Administration

When the White House changes hands, major changes in environmental policy could be imminent. One week after the election, the Institute for Policy Integrity’s annual conference will explore potential shifts in natural resources policy, energy sector regulation, and climate change policy under the new administration. A distinguished group of current and former government officials, energy industry executives, environmental advocates, and policy experts will discuss what’s on the horizon as the new president prepares to take office.

  • Date:  November 15th, 2016
  • Time:  10:00am – 4:00pm
  • Location: Greenberg Lounge, Vanderbilt Hall – 40 Washington Square South


Nov 10: Sustainability Finance Mixer

Join us for drinks and snacks at our monthly networking event where we bring together investors, accountants, attorneys, and sustainability professionals committed to aligning sustainability with value added impact driven profitability.

  • DateThursday, November 10th, 2016
  • Time: 5:30pm – 8:00pm
  • Location: The Keg Room, 53 West 36th Street – New York, NY, 10018


Nov 2: Evening Discussion with Professor Daniel Pauly

Please join the Environmental Studies Department on November 2nd for an intimate evening discussion with Prof. Daniel Pauly  moderated by the Dept. of Environmental Studies Diversity Committee. We especially welcome our ES students for an evening of food and engagement with Prof. Pauly, who will share his unique career and research experiences and insights.

This excerpt is from a profile of Dr. Pauly in the New York Times:

[Daniel Pauly] was born in 1946 in Paris to a white French mother and a black American father who abandoned the family. When he was 2, Dr. Pauly went on what was supposed to be a short visit to the home of a Swiss family that had recently befriended his struggling young mother. But the family, Dr. Pauly recounted, refused to return him to his mother, telling him that his mother had abandoned him and, he learned later, sending threatening letters to his mother in France. Over the next 14 years, Dr. Pauly said, he endured a bizarre Dickensian childhood… His identity crisis was compounded by being a half-black oddity in an all-white town. He found his solace in books.

And those books (as well as a few people) changed his life. Dr. Pauly is now an accomplished scientist (see attached papers) and a Visiting Distinguished Professor at NYU this semester.
Ample time will be available for student Q&A, and we also encourage our students to share their own diverse perspectives, hopes and aspirations, on work and research in the Environmental Studies-related fields.
Xi’an Famous Foods and refreshments will be served!
When: November 2nd6-7:30 pm
Where: 10th Floor, 285 Mercer Street, Dept. of Environmental Studies
Please RSVP here!! (Very important for food :o) )
See you there!

Oct. 19: Offshore Wind: Charting the Path for the US

This event is being produced in collaboration with Chadbourne & Parke LLP

On October 19, the Guarini Center will hold a discussion with leading industry and government experts on the outlook for wind development off the coast of New York State and the broader US. Topics to be addressed include federal and state incentives for offshore development,  New York’s offshore wind blueprint, and a look back at the factors that contributed to the development of the Block Island Windfarm.

Wednesday, October 19, 6:30-8:00pm

NYU School of Law
Lipton Hall, D’Agostino Hall
108 West 3rd Street
New York, NY 10012


For More Info, click Here

New York Underground

Instructor: Katie Schneider Paolantonio


Every day, millions of people walk the streets of New York City. But what is happening below those city streets? This is an environmental science course that will investigate the life and resources underneath NYC. The course is divided into three principle modules: energy, transportation, and water (potable and wastewater). For each module, we
Will discuss the mechanics, the history and the significance of the infrastructure from the perspective of environmental scientists. At the end of the course we relate the biotic components of New York’s fascinating dendritic underground environment. This seminar course will integrate classroom learning with practical experience and hands-on application through data collection and field trips. You will be required to pay for your own transport/admission to field trips throughout the semester.

Newtown Creek Field Trip     Newtown Creek Field Trip     Newtown Creek Field Trip     Newtown Creek Field Trip

Syllabus S 2016 NY Underground

Where City Meets the Sea

ENVST-UA 275  (Crosslist BIOL-UA)
Instructor: Mary Killilea


Over half of the human population lives within 100 km of a coast and coastlines contain more than two-thirds of the world’s largest cities. As a result, the world’s natural coastal environments have been substantially modified to suit human needs. This course will use the built and natural environments of coastal cities as laboratories to examine the environmental and ecological implications of urban development in coastal areas. Using data from multiple coastal cities, student teams will use field-based studies and Geographic Information System (GIS) data to examine patterns and processes operating in coastal cities. This course uses the local terrestrial, marine, and built environments as a laboratory to address these issues, and team projects requiring field work form a core component of the learning experience. As part of the NYU Global Network University initiative this course is being offered simultaneously in New York and Abu Dhabi and students will be collaborating extensively with students from their sister campus through the duration of this course.


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