The degrees in Environmental Studies at the New School are unique in bringing the approaches of sustainable design, the natural sciences, and the social sciences together to address urban environmental concerns.
The New School's Environmental Studies program incorporates studio design into a liberal arts curriculum. Design is an interventionist discipline. Designers learn by testing the effectiveness of creative propositions in targeted contexts. Sustainable design is about envisioning both how the world might be different and how to make it different.
We use urban ecosystem science as a basis for understanding the social and ecological components of cities. This involves applying systems thinking to the dynamic interplay between vegetation, wildlife, and humans that provides the wider support systems for cities. Urban ecology explores the application of science to challenges like climate change, energy futures, and water scarcity to make better decisions about the future of urban living.
Environmental studies explores the social systems that sustain city life, including the physical, political, and economic structures that determine our energy, food, water, and transportation systems. The New School degree programs integrate planning, economics, geography, and other disciplines to transform everyday life in the city.