Blog

Integrating Resilience and Happiness – Part II
November 12, 2018 — John Hicks

[In Part I of this two-part series, published on November 5th, John Hicks discussed Copenhagen's holistic approach to climate change adaptation that not only protects the city from impacts of climate change but simultaneously enhances the quality of life for its citizens. In this final installment, John introduces some of Copenhagen's world-renowned climate resilience projects, including innovative greenspace and a commitment to cycling as sustainable urban transportation.] One of Copenhagen’s world-renowned climate-resilient projects is TåsingePlads, a small urban greenspace in the… Read More
The Eco-Effects of Electric Scooters
November 8, 2018 — Brandon Sapsara

At the Spark Agency, we define the concept of conviviality as a set of principles for designing based upon self-sufficiency, human collaboration, and connectivity. Convivial design is an essential framework for driving sustainable design in a new regenerative economy where humans are in the loop, products are optimized for maximum utility, and eco-effectiveness influences design outcomes. Convivial design principles are eco-effective because of self-imposed limits which place a high value on protecting the natural environment. Design limitations can reduce complexity,… Read More
Integrating Resilience and Happiness – Part I
November 5, 2018 — John Hicks

Denmark is consistently ranked as one of the happiest countries in the world. Many have hypothesized various reasons for the happiness scores, but even Danes themselves shrug their shoulders when asked why their country always dominates happiness surveys. It is well documented that they have high-quality healthcare, education and welfare benefits. Many attribute Danish happiness to the cultural phenomenon known as “hygge,” which values intimate personal interactions with family and friends. However, there may be another possible explanation for the… Read More
Park Ranger to MNR to PhD
October 29, 2018 —
BY ALEC MASELLA – OCTOBER 29, 2018 Online Master of Natural Resources (Online MNR) program alumnus Ernesto Acosta is now applying his sustainability education and experiences to his research efforts as a doctoral student in Virginia Tech’s Planning, Governance, and Globalization (PGG) program. As he works on his dissertation, he often reflects on why the MNR program was so integral to achieving his educational and research goals. “Having worked as an Urban Park Ranger at NYC's Department of Parks and… Read More
Madrid’s Urban Ecology Innovations – Part III
October 22, 2018 — Marshall B. Distel

[In Part I of this three-part series, published on October 8, Virginia Tech Master of Natural Resources (MNR) student Marshall Distel introduced the city of Madrid as a case study for working to employ a wide array of innovative strategies related to urban ecology to enhance resilience and sustainability. Part II (October 15) explored Madrid's attempts to support sustainable transportation, green infrastructure, and open space planning. In this final installment, Marshall will review urban ecology and governance in Madrid.]  … Read More