Urban Design Lab Launches Book on Climate Change at Ecopolis Conference in Rome

Urban Design Lab Launches Book on Climate Change at Ecopolis Conference in Rome

The Earth Institute’s Urban Design Lab (UDL) launched its new book, Urban Climate Change Crossroads, in early April at the Ecopolis conference in Rome. Edited by UDL director Richard Plunz and program coordinator Maria Paola Sutto, the book documents the goings-on at the previous Ecopolis conference, also held in Rome, in February 2008.

The Ecopolis conference is one of the premier gatherings for academics and practitioners in the field of sustainable urban development. It attracts experts from around the world, whose work is highly respected in the international arena of this thoroughly modern and critical interdisciplinary field.

Plunz, who is a professor in Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, said the edited volume “breaks new ground in the sense that it brings new voices to the climate science discourse, from disciplines outside the normative scientific consensus. And it assumes that the world has definitively moved from urban mitigation modes to adaptation.”

The book’s focus on adapting to climate change in the urban environment uses the expertise from a wide range of subjects spanning “ecological science to political science; economics to philosophy to architecture; and, public health to public art.” The multidisciplinary nature of the work ensures a well-rounded approach to the challenges of sustainable urban development.

At the 2009 conference, Plunz led the discussion on the most recent urban climate change issues that brought together academics, professionals and decision makers from the public and private sectors.

Urban Climate Change Crossroads was published with support from Rome-based Adriano Olivetti Foundation, the Rome Chamber of Commerce and the Rome Italian Ministry for the Environment, who, along with UDL, sponsored the 2008 Ecopolis conference.

Plunz has been director of UDL since 2005 and is author of many books, articles and scientific studies. Sutto is a biologist and journalist and has written extensively for the Italian media. “The UDL presents the opportunity to explore responses to global urbanization, from the vantage point of integration of science with strategic design. UDL is a unique place to be.” said Sutto about her work at the UDL.
To learn more about the research and work done at the Urban Design Lab, please visit their Web site at

To order a copy of Urban Climate Change Crossroads click here.