New York, NY, October 10, 2013 --(PR.com
)-- Craig Schwitter, PE, principal at international engineering firm Buro Happold, spoke at the UN General Assembly on Friday, October 4, as part of World Habitat Day. Schwitter’s presentation focused on ways to strengthen the urban fabric of New York and other cities to make them more resilient in the face of increasing natural threats. The high-level discussion brought together experts from around the globe to identify innovative and practical responses on the local, regional and global scales.
Buro Happold is a world-renowned engineering firm with a reputation for sustainability design and innovative ideas. “Our cities are the best asset we have,” explained Schwitter, “and we have to learn how to protect them and make them more resilient. The good news is that we already have the tools to do this – and these tools are game changers for cities worldwide.”
One of these tools is the Living City Model a comprehensive approach to building stronger, more resilient cities. Developed by Buro Happold’s strategic management company, Happold Consulting the Living City Model integrates best practices in planning, design, technology, and infrastructure to create social, environmental, and economic success. It can be adapted to diverse conditions of urban development across the globe.
Buro Happold has applied the Living City Model to Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewal Energy (KACARE); the Kuala Lumpur International Financial District (KLIFD); and the plan for the 2012 London Olympics.
Schwitter demonstrated that even small-scale improvements can have a big impact. “Hurricane Sandy was a wake-up call for my home city of New York. There was an enormous amount of destruction. On the up side, New York had already started to implement some very good municipal policies over the past decade that prevented even more widespread damage,” continued Schwitter.
Happold Consulting has documented these case studies in Sandy Success Stories, a comprehensive report issued in June 2013 of behalf of local civic organizations. The report documents the implementation of practical, inexpensive strategies across the region that actually lessened the impact of the storm.
World Habitat Day is an annual event that takes place during the first week in October. The day-long discussion included members of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization, the Center for Resilient Design at New Jersey Institute of Technology, and the New York Chapter of the American Institute Architects (AIA).
About Buro Happold
Buro Happold is an independent international practice of consulting engineers and. Since 1976 we have grown in size and reach to serve public and private clients across a full range of sectors through an international network of 29 offices; our five North American offices are based in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. We draw on the multi-disciplinary skills, knowledge and experience of our local experts to design and deliver award winning building, infrastructure and environmental projects that excel for clients, engage with communities and enrich the lives of users. Sustainability, innovation and holistic consulting are at the heart of everything we do and we are committed to touching the earth lightly. We think harder and are dedicated to addressing the big challenges that face the planet – climate change, population growth and scarcity of natural resources. Current and recent projects include the London 2012 Olympic Stadium, the master plan for the London 2012 Olympic Park, the Tower at PNC Plaza (Pittsburgh), Lynn University (Boca Raton), the Jamaica Bay Great Park (New york), and the High Line (New York).