“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete” - Buckminster Fuller.
This advice has been the guiding light during our semester in a Fall 2015 McGill course, “Design and Analysis of Sustainable Urban Neighbourhoods for Energy, Water and Food Independence”. Supported through a gift from Fondation 3E, this interdisciplinary course brought together students to design new neighbourhood and living models for Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Pointe-aux Trembles, and the Town of Mont Royal.
The "Course Showcase" event, held on 8 December 2015, gave us a chance to see four groups of students make presentations and share their analyses of food, water, energy, and self-sufficiency for these neighbourhoods.
More about the course:
Organized by TISED, this course was offered in Fall 2015 to a selected group of students through the Department of Civil Engineering & Applied Mechanics (CIVE 546). Contributions to course design were made by the School of Architecture, the School of Urban Planning, and Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics.
The course, “Design and Analysis of Sustainable Urban Neighbourhoods for Energy, Water and Food Independence”, took a multidisciplinary and integrated design approach. Students developed their ability to think critically, apply rigorous methodology to complex design problems, and perform technical and modelling analyses of energy and water systems as applied to the built environment. “Design” in this course encompassed a comprehensive approach - enhancing people’s lives by shaping the built-environment based on a profound understanding of local and global forces, physical and social structures, and the impacts of various design strategies, morphologies, and materials, on life-cycle impacts, neighbourhood resilience and the environment.
Course sponsor, Fondation 3E:
Fondation 3E (Energy Eco-Efficiency) is a private not-for-profit organization aiming to foster energy literacy, the transition to renewable and non-emitting energy sources, and the use of energy saving and efficiency techniques to reduce the impact of energy use and production on the planet’s ecosystems.