Posts tagged with "Rockefeller Foundation":

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Kate Orff to head new climate resiliency center at Columbia GSAPP

Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (Columbia GSAPP) and the Rockefeller Foundation have teamed up to found the Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes at GSAPP. The newly created center will unite science and cultural considerations with design and planning, and Columbia has announced that landscape architect Kate Orff of SCAPE Landscape Architecture and urban designer Thaddeus Pawlowski will helm the project. Drawing from the university’s climate science and design expertise, the Center will collaborate with partners across Columbia to improve, accelerate and implement resilience projects for cities. This interdisciplinary model will involve partners from Columbia’s Earth Institute Climate Adaptation Initiative, and bring a holistic approach to resilience that will combine academic work with the Center’s existing external partners. “Design and planning methods are rapidly changing to face issues of climate dynamics and the need for resilient, flexible, and equitable urban landscapes,” said Columbia GSAPP Dean Amale Andraos in a press release. “Working jointly with natural and built systems is of critical importance – it offers a way forward for communities to adapt and prepare for the future.” The Center’s first project will be the launch of a Resilience Accelerator, funded by a $3.7 million grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, a joint effort between GSAPP and the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) nonprofit. The accelerator will take projects for its first cohort from 100RC partner cities starting this spring, and two finalists will work with the Center every academic semester. Over the next two years, eight cities in total will work with GSAPP students, groups from the private sector, and other resources across Columbia and 100RC to run workshops, seminars and design studios to bring their ideas to fruition. “What we are looking to do is to combine design thinking, the creative, iterative design process, together with the related disciplines, particularly law, policy, climate science and engineering,” Orff told AN. “We’ve only just begun, and the goal is to bring resilient thinking as a cross-cutting initiative across the university.” Orff, a 2017 MacArthur genius grant recipient, is no stranger to thinking about the future threatened by climate change. Orff and SCAPE regularly incorporate flooding or resiliency considerations into their designs, whether it’s with plans for a living breakwater, or at conferences meant to address the impact of a changing clime on the built environment.
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Regional Plan Association unveils the final designs for the Fourth Regional Plan

The Regional Plan Association (RPA) has unveiled the final designs for the Fourth Regional Plan. The four schemes envision a New York–New Jersey–Connecticut metropolitan area 25 years into the future while addressing the emerging challenges the region faces and also capitalizing on new opportunities. Initiated by The Rockefeller Foundation, the competition began in January and asked architects, planners, and designers to incorporate elements such as policy changes, future investments, and growth patterns into the plans. The winning proposals were selected in March and, through a grant from The Rockefeller Foundation, they were each awarded $45,000 to work with RPA and a team of professionals to develop their ideas further. In doing so, the four winners expanded their programs, looking at four regional corridors. Dubbed "4C," the RPA describes the designs as a "principal component" of its upcoming Fourth Regional Plan, titled A Region Transformed. The four corridors in question are: Coast Rafi A+U and DLAND Studio Creating what they call a "bight," the two studios propose an artificial coastline that bridges the boundary between the built environment and the water, addressing rising sea levels around Long Island with half-submerged communities able to continue living when change inevitably happens. City Only If and One Architecture Defined as the "Triboro Corridor," the plan sees light rail utilizing already-laid freight rail tracks in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens. The project would foster development around the new stations; new rail service would connect to existing subway and commuter rail lines. As One Architecture told The Architect's Newspaper, the plan aims to "transform the region’s transportation system from a hub and spoke system to a more resilient network with circumferential connections, greater redundancy, and community amenities." Suburbs WORKac Just as with Only If and One Architecture's scheme, WORKac's plan is centered around transit and connecting underserved neighborhoods around a ring of suburbs from the New York cities of Port Chester and White Plains, through the New Jersey cities of Paterson, Montclair, Rahway and Perth Amboy. Highlands PORT Urbanism and Range Covering the entire region, this proposal spans from the Delaware River to Northern Connecticut. The scheme allows wildlife—not humans—to enjoy the area and migrate north as a result of climate change. The Highlands Corridor would also utilize streams and valleys to connect to the coast. An exhibition of the of final design can be found at Fort Tilden through September 17. Find out more here.
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WORKac, PORT, and others win Rockefeller Foundation grants to plan future of tristate area

Today the Regional Plan Association (RPA) announced the winners of an inaugural design competition that asked participants to envision a more resilient and equitable future for the tristate area. The New York–based group, in collaboration with CUNY's Catherine Seavitt and Princeton University's Guy Nordenson and Paul Lewis, selected four teams to rethink the region's approach to designing natural and artificial infrastructure. Armed with $45,000 apiece from the Rockefeller Foundation, WORKacPORT + RANGEOnly If + One Architecture, and Rafi Segal A+U will focus on the typology of the suburb, the forest, the city, and the coast, respectively. The teams, diverse but drawing heavily from MIT DUSP's faculty rolls, will work with RPA's team to refine their projects in advance of a June public presentation. WORKac's project will explore new modes of mixed-use development to address issues facing inner ring suburbs from White Plans and Port Chester, New York through Paterson, Montclair, Rahway and Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Meanwhile, PORT + RANGE's focus extends from the Delaware River to northern Connecticut to engage the less populous—but crucially important—periphery. Designers at New York's Only If will team up with Dutch spatial planning firm One Architecture to link the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn more effectively, while Rafi Segal and landscape architect Susannah Drake, together with with Sarah Williams, Brent Ryan and Greg Lindsay, will consider the coastal ecological infrastructure from Atlantic City to Montauk that mitigates potentially devastating impacts of sea level rise. The designers' schemes will inform RPA's fourth regional plan, due out later this year.

“In the past three regional plans, design work was crucial to imagining the future of the region and to making that future legible through innovative representations,” said Lewis, associate dean of the Princeton University School of Architecture, in a prepared statement. “From Hugh Ferriss’s atmospheric renderings to Rai Okamoto’s access diagrams, RPA’s plans have provided unique opportunities for advancing design innovation in concert with visionary transformation of the region. The challenge to the four teams is to build upon that history and envision the future structured around a more expansive notion of 'corridor,' including transportation, ecology, access, and equity.”

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Rockefeller Foundation awards $4.6-million to fight sea level rise in Bay Area

This week, the Rockefeller Foundation awarded $4.6 million to the Bay Area: Resilient by Design Challenge team, a collection of San Francisco Bay Area organizations looking to use a public competition to develop approaches for fortifying the region’s infrastructure against the growing threat of climate change and sea level rise. The funds will allow this collection of municipal and non-profit organizations to develop regionally- and ecologically-focused infrastructural resiliency schemes throughout 10 sites spread across the Bay Area. The competition timeline will be divided into two phases. First, starting in April, the teams will participate in a three-month-long research and community engagement exercise aimed at developing initial design concepts for the specific sites with a "multi-faceted approach to resiliency." The teams will then have five months to design—working with community members and local municipalities—implementable infrastructure projects. Bay Area: Resilient by Design Challenge is modeled after the Rockefeller Foundation’s Rebuild by Design Hurricane Sandy Design Competition developed in the aftermath of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy on the eastern seaboard by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and The Rockefeller Foundation in 2012. Bay Area: Resilient by Design will work closely with The Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities network, which is organized to assist 100 cities around the world in building urban resilience. The Bay Area region is home to three network cities—San Francisco, Berkeley, and Oakland—and is already in the midst of planning for future perils. Those three cities worked in 2016 to develop future-oriented resiliency strategies that will now influence the forthcoming competition. Allison Brooks, executive director of the Bay Area Regional Collaborative (BARC)—an organization that coordinates the planning efforts of the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)—speaking to The Architect’s Newspaper over telephone, said, “We’re bringing in people from all over the world who have been grappling with this issue." Brooks and fellow organizers behind Bay Area: Resilient by Design Challenge will spend the next several months identifying sites across the Bay Area to feature in the competition while also working with local communities to identify specific needs. Brooks added, "We're not responding to a catastrophic disaster but a slow-moving disaster. The region has organized its most dense development and valuable infrastructure around a Bay that is expanding as a result of sea level rise.” Recent studies indicate that the level of the bay may rise between three- and four-feet between now and 2100. The nine-county region surrounding the San Francisco Bay is home to roughly 7-million inhabitants and is especially threatened by sea level rise, as many of the region’s key population and economic centers are located along the bay itself. For more information on the competition, see the Rebuild by Design website.
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$1 million awarded to startups to improve U.S. cities

Last year design-based agencies across the U.S. clamored to apply for funding from the "Future Cities Accelerator." Now, The Rockefeller Foundation, in partnership with the Unreasonable Institute, has awarded $100,000 each to ten winners who have all pledged to tackle urban issues such as education, affordable housing, food wastage and connectivity. According to its organizers, Future Cities Accelerator hopes to address “everything from crime to inequality, to pollution, and aging infrastructure” with the objective of providing a “solution that will impact at least 1 million people and provide lasting change.” After more than 300 proposals were completed—going through a lengthy submission process—applicants were interviewed and Future Cities Accelerator visited the applicants' offices. Registration for the competition closed on September 25, 2016. The process also requires that entrants supply a short video detailing who they are and what they want to achieve. The ten winners come from New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, the San Francisco Bay Area, Denver, Boston, and Baltimore. Together they target problems relating to education, health, connectivity, food waste, and affordable housing sectors. They will use their slice of the $1 million pie to implement their proposals on a national scale. They will also participate in a "nine-month intensive program" that provides access to national business leaders, investors, and technical support to help further their initiatives. “The problems facing the 21st century are incredibly complex and interconnected—nowhere is this more visible than in our cities and the poor or vulnerable people within them. Our 10 selected winners are already making a difference through their innovative solutions to these challenges,” said Josh Murphy, associate director at The Rockefeller Foundation in a press release. “It is our hope that this challenge has encouraged and inspired next generation leaders to look differently at the problems facing our world today, and that our winners now have the resources and tools they need to grow their promising solutions.”

The ten winners can be found below:

  • Coalition for Queens (C4Q) (New York, NY) - Coalition for Queens (C4Q) believes that people from every community—across gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic backgrounds—should have the opportunity to learn to code, gain jobs in tech, and create the companies of the future. Graduates have launched careers at iconic companies including JP Morgan Chase, Kickstarter, and LinkedIn, and have more than quadrupled average annual incomes from $18,000 to $85,000.
  • CommonLit (Washington, DC) - 62% of high school students graduate unable to read proficiently. CommonLit exists to put an end to this problem. Using a website that equips teachers with the tools to gauge student’s reading levels and provide readings and standards-based quizzes that are tailored to each student’s reading level, CommonLit allows teachers to help each individual student improve their reading ability. CommonLit began in Washington D.C. and currently has over 250,000 student users across the country.
  • EveryoneOn (Washington, DC) - In the country that invented the internet, over 60 million Americans (20% of the population) do not have the Internet at home. In a time where 90% of job applications and college applications are online, EveryoneOn exists to solve this problem. By working with internet service providers and technology companies (like Google Fiber, AT&T, and Sprint), and city and state governments, EveryoneOn has provided over 400,000 people in the U.S. with affordable and dependable internet access and will connect over 1 million by 2020.
  • Haven Connect (Bay Area) - In every city in the United States, the government mandates a certain amount of housing to be discounted in order to house low-income and homeless populations. The process of applying to this government-mandated affordable housing is so onerous that many low-income people cannot take advantage of it, while property managers deal with thousands of paper applications and phone calls from people looking for housing. Enter Haven Connect, the "TurboTax for Affordable Housing." Haven Connect transforms the affordable housing application, selection, and approval process into an online, user-friendly experience for property managers and applicants. Haven Connect is piloting in Palo Alto, San Mateo, and in San Carlos, CA.
  • mRelief (Chicago, IL) - $13 billion in food stamp benefits go unclaimed each year due to cumbersome processes in accessing needed supports. In Illinois, for example, food stamp applicants need to fill out an 18-page application or sit through a 90-minute phone call and submit as many as 10 required documents. In other states, the application can be more than 20 pages long and involve hours at the public aid office. mRelief has built an easy-to-use platform that allows families to find out if they qualify for food stamps by answering 10 simple questions in less than five minutes via text or website. Over 100,000 families in 42 states have used mRelief to secure food stamps or other public support.
  • Learn Fresh (Denver, CO) - Learn Fresh teaches kids math through NBA Math Hoops, a basketball-based board game and online app. Through independent evaluation, kids who play NBA Math Hoops perform 2.8x better than control groups in basic arithmetic. With sponsorship from the NBA, Learn Fresh is currently reaching over 30,000 kids across the US.
  • Propel (New York, NY) - 45 million Americans rely on food stamps to eat. But there’s so much opacity around checking food stamp balance that beneficiaries aren’t able to responsibly budget. To solve this problem, Propel has developed Fresh EBT, a free financial management app for SNAP that allows users to manage and budget their benefits, find places to shop, and access other money-saving resources. Fresh EBT is used by over 150,000 people each week and has users in all 50 states.
  • Spoiler Alert (Boston, MA) - More than 40 million Americans struggle to get enough food to eat, while nearly 40% of the food produced in the United States never gets eaten—often because food businesses, farms and non-profits lack real-time responsiveness for unsold inventory. Spoiler Alert’s technology platform creates a collaborative, online marketplace that facilitates food donations and discounted sales while offering the relevant accounting and reporting systems to capture tax benefits and document important financial, environmental and social metrics. Spoiler Alert is working with Sysco Corporation, the nation’s largest food distributor, along with more than 200 organizations in New England committed to getting surplus food to nonprofits providing services to the food insecure.
  • Storytime (Washington, DC) - It’s hard for many low-income families to get books, but many people have a phone. Storytime is a free app that lets teachers text illustrated children’s books to families, without any extra work. It’s more than doubled reading at home. Now, schools across 12 states use Storytime to connect school to home and build literacy.
  • Thread (Baltimore, MD) - Thread enrolls 9th-grade students who are academically performing in the bottom 25% of their class and facing enormous personal challenges, ranging from homelessness to parents with drug addiction. Students remain in Thread for 10 years, no matter what, surrounded by a group of up to 5 volunteers. Their Thread Family provides unconditional support available 24 hours/day, 365 days/year. To date, Thread has served 255 students; 91% have completed high school within 5 years and 86% of Thread's alumni have completed a post-secondary degree or certificate.
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A new competition aims to give substantial aid to design-based agencies that are improving cities

The Rockefeller Foundation, in partnership with the Unreasonable Institute, has unveiled a $1 million competition that seeks design-based agencies and entrepreneurs who are tackling the diverse challenges facing cities today. According to its organizers, Future Cities Accelerator hopes to address "everything from crime to inequality, to pollution, and aging infrastructure" with the objective of providing a "solution that will impact at least 1 million people and provide lasting change." The Rockefeller Foundation has developed a strong pedigree in resiliency, as notably seen with their 100 Resilient Cities initiative. For this competition, both "building greater resilience" and creating "more inclusive economies" will play a central role. In April this year, they joined forces with Unreasonable Institute, an organization that provides mentoring and funds for start-ups. As its name suggests, the accelerator is looking for "early-stage" organizations (for-profit or non-profit) to boost and improve. (Courtesy Unreasonable Media / VImeo) (Courtesy Unreasonable Media / Vimeo) The registration process—which closes on September 25, 2016—will ask organizations questions about their revenue, spending, stakeholders, and ambitions. The process also requires that entrants supply a short video detailing who they are and what they want to achieve. From this, a select group will be chosen for interviews and site visits. Once complete, ten winners will be announced. The winners will each receive $100,000 funding and a nine-month program of mentoring and technological support. In addition to this, the ten chosen organizations will participate in a six week online course starting in January 2017. Later, in March, they will take part in a "five-day in-person bootcamp" in Denver, Colorado (all expenses paid). In October, the organizations will be flown to San Francisco, California, where they’ll present at and participate in the Social Capital Markets (SOCAP) conference, a gathering of thousands of funders and entrepreneurs in the impact sector.
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Rockefeller Foundation names 35 new cities in its 100 Resilient Cities Challenge

The Rockefeller Foundation has announced a second batch of cities in its 100 Resilient Cities Challenge. The foundation launched the challenge last year as a way to support resiliency measures in cities around the world. This includes support to hire a Chief Resiliency Officer. One year after the first 32 cities were selected, another 35 have been added to the list, including six in the United States—Boston, Chicago, Dallas, PittsburghSt. Louis, and Tulsa. To see the full list, visit the 100 Resilient Cities Challenge website.
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Rockefeller Foundation opens its “100 Resilient Cities Challenge”

The Rockefeller Foundation is now accepting applications for its “100 Resilient Cities Challenge,” which will fund $100 million worth of resiliency projects in cities around the world. According to the Foundation, winning cities will be eligible to receive funds “to hire a Chief Resilience Officer, assistance in developing a resilience strategy, access to a platform of innovative private and public sector tools to help design and implement that strategy, and membership in the 100 Resilient Cities Network.” Applications are due September 10th. More information, and applications, can be found  here. [h/t Asla.]
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ASLA New York to Honor Rebuild by Design Champion, Leader of Governors Island

The New York chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year at the 2014 President’s Dinner Gala. For this occasion, the ASLA has selected the Rockefeller Foundation's Judith Rodin, the Trust for Governors Island's Leslie Koch, and the NY1 News Organization as their honored guests.   All Renderings Courtesy of The Trust for Governors Island The New York chapter of the ASLA was established in 1914 as the second chapter of the national organization and has since become a leader in urban landscape design and architecture. The annual President’s Dinner celebrates the accomplishments and contributions of individuals and groups who have made a prominent and positive impact on the New York architectural community. This year's event will take place on Thursday, November 6 in Tribeca. Judith Rodin, the first of the honorees this year, is the current president of the Rockefeller Foundation and an avid supporter of the Rebuild by Design initiative to increase the resiliency of the Eastern seaboard. As president of the Rockefeller Foundation, Rodin has given the Rebuild for Design competition a great deal of support; the Rockefeller Foundation is the biggest and most generous funding partner of the competition. The second honoree, Leslie Koch, is the president and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island and has been the recipient of numerous awards from various Architectural organizations, including the ASLA. Since taking charge of Governors Island in 2006, Koch has transformed the barren military base into a major public attraction. Finally, NY1 News has had an important role in bringing the news on architecture and urban landscape design to the eyes and ears of New Yorkers. Through their news coverage, NY1 News has provided residents of New York with a greater understanding of issues involving landscape architecture.
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HUD Secretary Donovan Announces Kickoff of “Rebuild by Design” Competition

Resiliency is a word that has become lodged in the vocabulary of nearly every lawmaker since Hurricane Sandy ravaged the east coast last October. And this month, government officials—on a local, state, and federal level—are taking steps to ensure that coastal cities are more resilient and rebuilt to better withstand natural disasters in the future. Yesterday, at a panel discussion on Innovation & Resilience Design in Sandy Rebuilding at NYU, Shaun Donovan, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Chair of the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, announced the launch of a new regional design competition, "Rebuild by Design" seeking teams—made up of the top engineers, architects, landscape designers, and other experts—to propose projects that tackle issues such as climate, economic, and infrastructure (and as the press release states, "will actually be built"). These proposals can run the gamut from green infrastructure to residential retrofits. "It is not enough for communities to build back to what they were," said Secretary Donovan during the panel. "Our solutions will have no boundaries." Donovan is collaborating with the Rockefeller Foundation, which will provide $3 million in funding in support of the competition. The competition calls on teams to look at "coastal communities, high-density urban environments, ecological networks, and a fourth category that will include other innovative questions and proposals." Donovan explained that the competition will "unfold in four stages" starting with a call for proposals and the selection of up to 10 teams. Teams will then study the region and submit design proposals. From there, Donovan and his partners will choose a winning project, which will then be implemented. Speaking on the panel today, Seth Pinsky, President of New York City Economic Development Corporation, pointed out that the advantages of this competition are that it endeavors to "pull together inter-disciplinary teams for a common goal" and its savvy "regional approach" that looks at the relationship between each region to provide more thoughtful and effective solutions.
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Rockefeller Foundation Issues Grants To Support Bus Rapid Transit

The Rockefeller Foundation has announced that four cities will receive a combined $1.2 million in grants to foster research, communications, and community outreach efforts in an endeavor to educate local stakeholders about the advantages of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems. The Foundation’s solution to “Transform Cities” and promote fiscal growth and quality of life proposes better mass transit investments. Boston, Chicago, Nashville, and Pittsburgh will participate in the project. The high performance mass transit system, referred to as BRT, offers much of the permanence and speed of a rail system in addition to the flexibility of bus systems for a smaller investment in initial infrastructure costs. BRT systems operate high-capacity vehicles that rely on dedicated lanes and elevated platforms to deliver efficient service. For years, the Rockefeller Foundation has supported Chicago’s attempts to build a city-wide BRT. With the grant, the city could potentially assemble and operate the first gold-standard BRT in the country. Currently, Cleveland operates the nation's highest-ranked BRT system at the ITDP's Silver designation. Pittsburgh’s Allegheny County Port Authority’s Transit Development plan recommends a BRT system to link downtown to its Oakland areas. At least forty stakeholder companies are working together to consider BRT system options for Pittsburgh. A projected BRT system in Nashville would run directly through the city’s downtown hub, although the project remains in the planning stage. In Boston, transportation supporters and state officials are currently considering a BRT system amid alternative transit modernization enterprises. The Rockefeller Foundation selected public affairs firm Global Strategy Group to handle the grant by teaming up with local partner organizations in each city. For the past three years, the Foundation has made over $6 million available to encourage the expansion of BRT.
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Nominations Sought for Jane Jacobs Medal

jane_jacobs_medal_01 After announcing the winners of the 2012 Jane Jacobs Medal last month at Frank Gehry's IAC Building in west Manhattan, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Municipal Art Society are in search of nominees for this year's prize (the awards ceremony was pushed back due to Hurricane Sandy). The groups are accepting online nominations on the Rockefeller Foundation's website through April 30. Among the qualities of a Jacobs Medal winner are that they "Open our eyes to new ways of seeing and understanding our city" and "Challenge traditional assumptions and conventional thinking." Winners will be announced this September.