A vision for sustainability – The Night News
The City University of New York (CUNY) has embarked on a five-year project to renovate its aging infrastructure. A self-review conducted in 2020, using life cycle methodology (a method used to evaluate various environmental impacts, impacts on human health, and resource use associated with the life cycle, processes and/or procedures), found a staggering $4.3 billion backlog in maintenance Deferred.
Be Five-year capital plan Focuses on enhancing facilities to support student success, maintaining infrastructure, improving technology, and expanding the campus as needed to support student success. The plan also focuses on health and safety, and incorporates lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the well-being of the community.
The term “backlog” refers to a situation where necessary repairs, maintenance or upkeep tasks to buildings or infrastructure are postponed or deferred beyond scheduled or recommended time frames.
This backlog builds up when basic maintenance or repairs are neglected, often due to budget constraints, lack of resources, or other external factors. As a result, the condition of buildings or infrastructure may deteriorate, which may result in increased repair costs and operational challenges in the future.
A self-audit analysis conducted by the City University of New York revealed that an additional $6.8 billion would be necessary over the next five years to fully address the “backlog of deferred maintenance and ongoing renovations.”
The state of deterioration across the board at CUNY facilities has not gone unnoticed. last year, Gothamist He published an article examining disturbing issues such as “black mold in classrooms, flooded libraries, and leaks that destroyed valuable laboratory equipment” at Brooklyn College, Hunter College, and several other buildings in the City University of New York system.
The author, Sophia Chang, extracted images of broken toilet stalls, crumbling ceilings, and unkempt hallways from a large number of Instagram accounts dedicated to documenting various conditions of deterioration. The bio statement from @huntercursedimages is “Point and laugh at our infrastructure.” These accounts effectively use humor to summarily mask the daily pain of a substandard experience, and their creators have good intentions in demanding additional funding to mitigate the extenuating circumstances that have become normalized.
However, it is also possible to identify different ways to identify sites of deterioration, pool ideas, and venture into the solution pool in order to arrive at a breakthrough. Contributing to the conversation about infrastructure is no easy feat: these numbers are large and the range of issues across the CUNY system is broad. After all, that $4.3 billion backlog isn’t earmarked for Queens College. The straightforward, abstract concerns on this campus require critical thinking, just as they do on any CUNY campus.
Knight News Talk to Rafael Di Palanzo Joy – architect, urban designer and professor of urban economics with a PhD in Sustainability Science. This interdisciplinary field focuses on the study of sustainable development and the integration of social, economic and environmental dimensions to identify and evaluate potential solutions.
Between 2015 and 2017, Professor Di Balanzo Gou worked closely with an earlier version of the Department of Quality Control for Sustainability Initiatives. During this time, the professor remembered a web page filled with extensive data reports. While the current website contains descriptions of progress over the past five years, the type of accessible data that the professor remembers is not currently available on the department page.
While Professor Di Palanzo Joy is aware of the budget backlog, he emphasized the need for student and faculty engagement. HVAC renovations and lighting are carried out by trade professionals behind the scenes, often when classes are not in session (which accounts for some of the deferred maintenance), but Professor Di Balanzo Go says “sustainability does not “It’s just about infrastructure, it’s about building a community. The community has to be involved.”
During his time with the Department of Sustainability Initiatives, Professor Di Balanzo Go toured Queen’s College buildings with students to paint roofs white – an initiative that cools the buildings, lowers energy bills, and reduces environmental impact.
Professor Di Palanzo addressed the diminishing focus on sustainability initiatives at Qatar Charity Chamber and the move away from pursuing STARS certification. On its website, STARS describes itself as “a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainable performance.”
There are currently 351 institutions with a valid STARS rating. Among CUNY colleges, only Brooklyn College and John Jay College of Criminal Justice received star ratings. The rankings are competitive, and Professor Di Balanzo Joy predicts that QC will likely abandon the pursuit because “it takes a long time to complete the questionnaire.”
Professor Di Palanzo Joy feels strongly about revitalizing sustainability initiatives and encourages students and faculty to develop a sense of community as they have discussions about college infrastructure. There is more discussion to be had to better extrapolate the broad concept of infrastructure concerns in quality control. Qatar Charity Chamber has taken certain steps over the past few years, and there is certainly more groundwork to be done.
like Knight News As we continue our coverage of this topic, we thought it prudent to provide a primer on the complex issue of buildings and grounds, with this introduction to the holistic perspective of sustainability.
Professor Di Balanzo Go teaches Urban Economics (ECON 246) at Qatar University. He partnered with the National Science Foundation and Makerspace to develop a unique curriculum.