Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future Director Anthony Janetos was a respondent at the inaugural Gerald and Deanne Gitner Family College of Arts & Sciences lecture kicking off Boston University’s alumni weekend.
The lecture, “Advancing the Human Condition: An Agenda for Research and Education,” was held on Thursday, September 18 at BU. Dean of the Pardee School of Global Studies Adil Najam and College of Arts & Sciences Dean Virginia Sapiro were also respondents to the panel of six BU faculty members.
The panelists were asked how work in their fields of expertise can lead to advances in the human condition. Panelists touched on topics including improving computer security and literacy, promoting active citizenship, conducting more health research, improving data literacy, promoting a deeper understanding of religion and world politics, and ensuring students are taught about environmental issues and governance from an interdisciplinary perspective.
Prof. Janetos commented that the challenges we now face in human advancement are not phenomenons that take decades to unfold, the effects of these current challenges take only minutes or a few years to be seen and felt. He remarked that because of this “scholarship that is interesting without being useful is not where we need to be,” praising the panelists for focusing on topics that were both interesting and beneficial.
Pardee Research Fellow Henrik Selin was on the panel, as well as Lucy Hutyra (Earth & Environment), Rosella Cappella (Political Science), Sharon Goldberg (Computer Science), Joe Harris (Sociology), and Jeremy Menchik (Pardee School of Global Studies). Alumni, students, staff, and members of the BU community attended the event in the Tsai Performance Center.
The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future at Boston University held the first Pardee House Seminar of the academic year, “The Future of Urban Housing: Enhancing Energy Efficiency,” on September 17 with approximately 40 BU students, faculty, and other guests in attendance.
Panelists included BU professors Robert K. Kaufmann (Earth & Environment) and Michael Gevelber (Mechanical Engineering), and Pardee Research Fellow Enrique Silva (Lincoln Institute of Land Policy), who served as moderator. Silva, Kaufmann, and Gevelber work together on the Madison Park Housing Energy Efficiency research project, a collaborative of the BU Sustainable Neighborhoods Lab, and the Madison Park Development Corporation. The Pardee Center serves as the administrative home of this effort.
Silva provided an overview of the project, which began two years ago with the goal of improving energy efficiency in an affordable urban housing complex called Madison Park in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston. The Madison Park Development Corporation, which manages the complex, was looking for ways to increase energy efficiency in the 4-building, 400-unit complex and reduce its $1 million annual energy costs.
Silva noted that increased energy efficiency would not only reduce costs but would also have the beneficial environmental effect of lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Over the past two years, the researchers have focused on developing a baseline understanding of energy consumption and efficiency in Madison Park. Silva said developing this understanding has included both the monitoring of energy equipment and systems as well as interviews with residents and observations of their habits related to energy use. “These insights could not have come about” without the interdisciplinary approach and the direct involvement of the residents, Silva said.
Prof. Kaufmann, whose role in the project focused on econometrics and statistics, looked at details such as square footage of apartments, weather data, age and number of residents, etc. and how those factors appear to relate to energy consumption. He also compared energy use between a building where the residents pay for utilities and one where the residents do not, finding that the price of electricity did not appear to be a factor in the amount of energy people used. He concluded that people want to be comfortable in their homes and will pay to do so. He suggested a possible way of motivating people to minimize their energy consumption would be to offer incentives. He referenced a study in the UK where researchers posted the amount of energy used in a building and created a contest for residents to reduce that number. The study saw a 14% reduction in energy consumption.
Prof. Gevelber presented the engineering aspect of the project. His work involved determining what appliances residents are using that consume the most energy in each building. His team also monitored temperatures in apartments, which showed that residents were keeping their apartments very hot whether it was 20 degrees outside or 50 degrees. The apartments were either heated centrally (which is cheaper and releases less greenhouse gas emissions) or through space heaters (which are more expensive and use more energy than central heat).
The next step of this work is to determine what the best solution is to keep residents comfortable, as it seemed that they were most comfortable in their apartments when they kept the temperatures high. Prof. Gevelber suggested a way of reducing energy consumption is to have the buildings keep central heat on longer into the spring and earlier in the fall to reduce the use of space heaters.
Silva’s work involved conducting in-person surveys and open-ended interviews with residents to better understand their attitudes and practices toward energy use. One piece of information gathered through the surveys was that many residents are senior citizens who rarely leave home and prefer to keep their apartments at high temperatures, also shown through Prof. Gevelber’s research. Silva also noted their studies found that residents have regular contact and generally good relationships with building mangers, and they could be trained to educate residents about energy efficiency and consumption. The next step is to present their findings in ways that will be useful to other affordable housing complex managers, emphasizing the need for comprehensive, interdisciplinary studies to gain a true understanding of energy use patterns and opportunities for improved efficiencies.
A video of the event will be available on the multimedia section of our website soon.
Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future Director Anthony Janetos will be a featured panelist at the inaugural Gerald and Deanne Gitner Family College of Arts & Sciences lecture kicking off Boston University’s alumni weekend.
The lecture, “Advancing the Human Condition: An Agenda for Research and Education,” will be held this Thursday, September 18th from 5:30-6:45p.m. in the Tsai Performance Center. Pardee Research Fellow Henrik Selin and Dean of the Pardee School of Global Studies Adil Najam (former Pardee Center Director) will also be on the panel of distinguished BU faculty, as well as Lucy Hutyra (Earth & Environment) Rosella Cappella (Political Science), Sharon Goldberg (Computer Science), Joe Harris (Sociology), Jeremy Menchik (Pardee School of Global Studies), and Dean Virginia Sapiro (CAS). Alumni, students, staff, and BU community members are welcome to attend.
For more information on BU’s alumni weekend, check out the website.
The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future hosted a reception at the Pardee House on September 9. Approximately 70 faculty, administrators, and graduate students from Boston University along with faculty from neighboring universities came to the reception to “network” with other members of the Pardee Center community and to learn about the Center’s activities.
Pardee Center Director Anthony Janetos announced upcoming events for the 2014-2015 academic year, including two conferences taking place this fall. The first, on October 8 is titled “The Future is Now: Urban Asia in the 21st Century,” and is co-sponsored by the Initiative on Cities, the Center for the Study of Asia, Global Programs’ India Initiative, and the Center for Global Health and Development. The second conference, “Sea Level Rise and the Future of Coastal Cities,“ is co-sponsored with the Initiative on Cities and will take place on November 14.
For upcoming Pardee Center events throughout the year, check the calendar section of this website.
Marta Marello, Project Manager at the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, and Pardee Center Research Fellow Ann Helwege co-authored the latest Global Economic Governance Initiative (GEGI) policy brief titled “Solid Waste Management and Social Inclusion of Waste Pickers: Opportunities and Challenges.” The brief explores the opportunities and challenges inherent in the model of cooperation between municipal solid waste systems and waste picker cooperatives.
The brief is the latest in a series of publications by GEGI, a project co-sponsored by the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, the Center for Finance, Law & Policy, and the Center for International Relations. GEGI strives to advance policy-relevant knowledge about economic governance for financial stability, human development, and the environment.
Other publications by GEGI experts can be found here.
The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future invites you to attend our Annual Pardee Center Reception on Tuesday, September 9 from 4-6p.m.
Join us to hear what will be happening at the Center during the upcoming year. The reception will be held at the Pardee House on Boston University’s campus, 67 Bay State Road.
Click here to register.
Professor Bruce Anderson (BU Earth & Environment) will be a Faculty Research Fellow in Residence at the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future during the 2014-2015 academic year. He will work with Pardee Center Director Anthony Janetos to understand and evaluate the social and economic impacts of climate variations and develop models to assist in navigating through these impacts.
This multi-disciplinary research will enhance the ability to understand and prepare for climate impacts on a large scale in the U.S. and globally. The research will identify sectors and regions that are most vulnerable (e.g. coastal cities, watersheds), as well as provide guidance on the development of proper planning and management polices for these areas.
To learn more about his research, check out the 2013 BU Today article, “The Climate Crisis: Why the Earth Is Warming,” featuring Prof. Anderson.
The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future will host the conference “The Future is Now: Urban Asia in the 21st Century” on Wednesday, October 8th from 9a.m.-4p.m in the Metcalf Trustee Center. Experts from Boston University and elsewhere will explore various aspects of the social and environmental impacts of urbanization in Asia.
For more information on the speakers, panels, and topics, visit The Future is Now: Urban Asia in the 21st Century page on our website. The event is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required by October 1. Click here to RSVP.
BUs Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, the Initiative on Cities, the Center for the Study of Asia, Global Programs India Initiatives, and the Center for Global Health and Development, in collaboration with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and BU’s Metropolitan College, will be co-sponsoring the conference.
The Asian continent is home to a vast array of cities and urban conditions. From the futurism of Dubai, to the extreme contrast of wealth and squalor in Mumbai, to the spectacular rise of Shanghai and Beijing as global nodes of political and economic power, cities in Asia in the 21st century are redefining notions – both positive and negative — of urbanization. While it is impossible to identify a single model of urban development, cities across Asia are providing examples of ways governmental institutions, the private sector, and civil society generate and manage rates of urbanization at scales previously unimaginable; they are pushing the boundaries of technology, governance, ecological sustainability, and the very concept of progress. Based on the proposition that cities provide a critical lens into social, cultural, economic, and political relationships, and by association humanity’s capacity to solve social and ecological problems, this conference asks: how are Asia’s cities reshaping accepted knowledge about processes of urbanization and urban management? Speakers will examine established theories of urbanization and urban management and ask whether we have the appropriate intellectual and policy toolkit to address issues associated with rapidly expanding cities in the 21st century.
The full conference agenda is available here.
The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future is pleased to announce a Pardee House Seminar titled “The Future of Urban Housing: Enhancing Energy Efficiency.” The seminar will be held at the Pardee House, 67 Bay State Road, on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 from 12-1:30p.m. (lunch will be available starting at 11:30a.m.). Seating is limited and advance registration is required by Friday, September 12. Click here to register.
Pardee Research Fellow Enrique Silva (Lincoln Institute of Land Policy) will moderate the session. Featured speakers will be Boston University professors Robert K. Kaufmann (Earth & Environment) and Michael Gevelber (Mechanical Engineering). Silva, Kaufmann, and Gevelber work together on the Madison Park Housing Energy Efficiency research project at BU.
Enrique Silva is an expert in comparative urbanization, metropolitan governance, and the institutionalization of planning practices in North and South America. He is also actively involved in efforts to promote the development of urban growth management and planning institutions in post-earthquake Haiti. Silva is currently the Senior Research Associate for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Cambridge-based Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. He is responsible for overseeing the Lincoln Institute’s research portfolio on urban development and land use planning for Latin America and the Caribbean. Prior to joining the Lincoln Institute, Silva was Assistant Professor of City Planning at Boston University. Silva has also worked as a planner and environmental development consultant in the Greater Boston Area and was the Program Assistant for the Democratic Governance Program for the Ford Foundation’s Santiago, Chile Office.
Robert K. Kaufmann is a Professor in the Department of Earth & Environment at Boston University. He is also a co-founder of First Fuel Software, a Lexington-based company founded in 2009 that that helps utilities and government agencies deliver scalable energy efficiency across their commercial building portfolios. He has written three books, several book chapters, and more than 90 peer review papers on topics that include world oil markets, global climate change, land-use change, the global carbon cycle, and ecological economics. These papers have appeared in a variety of academic journals, including Science, Nature, and Proceedings National Academy of Sciences and have been cited more than 3,000 times. Research results and interviews with Kaufmann have appeared on CBS and NBC news programs, The National Geographic, Readers Digest, and nearly 100 newspapers including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
Michael Gevelber is an Associate Professor in Boston University’s Mechanical Engineering Department. He has an undergraduate degree in Physics with honors from Brown University and a Masters and Ph.D. from M.I.T. in Mechanical Engineering, focusing on controls. He is a co-founder of Aeolus Building Efficiency Inc., which won the energy efficiency track of MIT’s Clean Energy Contest 2013. Professor Gevelber serves on the Boston University Sustainability Committee, co-chairs the university’s energy working group, and serves on the city of Newton’s Energy Commission. His engineering research focuses on developing enhanced materials processing capabilities though modeling, sensor development, and integrated system and control design, as well as building energy use. In terms of energy, his research focuses on optimizing commercial building HVAC systems, as well as analyzing energy efficiency in residential homes, urban housing, and commercial buildings.
On August 21, the Pardee Center Director Anthony Janetos; Associate Director Cynthia Barakatt; and Communications Specialist Becca Fink, met with the Boston University 2014-2015 Humphrey Fellows and the Director of the BU Humphrey Fellowship Program, Ksenya Khinchuk. As part of their orientation to Boston University, the fellows met with Pardee staff to learn about the Center’s program and activities.
The new Humphrey Fellows are mid-career professionals from all over the world who seek to gain experience in their fields in the United States. The 2014-2015 Humphrey Fellows come from Algeria, Bahrain, China, Congo, Madagascar, Mongolia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Sri Lanka, and Yemen.