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Culture and Place

Educational context

The BS in Environmental Studies is offered jointly by Parsons and Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts. At Parsons, the program is housed in the School of Design Strategies (SDS), along with the Integrated Design, Strategic Design and Management, and Urban Design programs. As part of SDS, the Environmental Studies program employs three key approaches to the study of design: open-source learning, collaboration, and the combined processes of design research and the act of designing.

Think Globally, Act Locally

With its size, history, diversity, and dynamism, New York City offers examples of many of the environmental problems faced by cities around the world. And being New York, it is also a great source of solutions. The city is home to dozens of businesses, government agencies, and activist community groups that address a range of local, national, and international environmental issues.

Partnering for Change

The program takes full advantage of local resources by hosting regular guest lectures from industry professionals and organizing field trips to relevant institutions. In addition, many courses include formal partnerships with local organizations, giving students the opportunity to work alongside practitioners and to learn about urban environmentalism and sustainable design while addressing real-world problems.

All program students are required to spend the summer between their junior and senior year, or an equivalent period, working for one of these local organizations. Students design experiments, develop prototypes, collect data, and implement projects that address urban environmental issues. Fieldwork completed in the second or third year serves as the basis for a capstone project students complete in their senior year.

In the past, fieldwork has taken students to the marshes of Jamaica Bay, the green roofs of the South Bronx, and the banks of the Hudson River. Students work with their professors to identify projects that match their interests and abilities.



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