Three ENSP students go "down under" to learn about sustainable urbanism

Three ENSP students were among the five University of Maryland students gathered in Sydney, Australia to learn about sustainable urban development via the Universitas 21 Undergraduate Summer School.

The Summer School event, which took place between July 2nd and July 17th at the University of New South Wales, focused on the theme “Shaping the Future City.” Students were asked to submit an essay explaining their interest in urban development and environmental issues to the university, which funded the trip to Australia for those selected.

“In the world we live in -- one in which people are moving to cities in droves -- sustainable urban planning is a crucial environmental issue,” said Leah Schleifer, junior Environmental Science and Policy major. This program has shown me the importance of inclusivity and connectivity in our cities, and has shown me tools to achieve these goals.”

“There isn't just one way of approaching or doing things when it comes to urbanism,” said Colleen Shipley, Environmental Science and Policy major. “There is no "one size fits all" solution to environmental problems. It requires many disciplines and backgrounds coming together [and] taking culture, topography, history, etc. into account.”

During the program, students also concentrated on the important role agriculture plays in sustainability.

“Since agriculture is an essential part of supporting any population, emphasis was put on sustainability and improved food distribution, but especially on patronizing local farmers through farmers’ markets,” said Environmental Science and Policy major, Samantha Bingaman. “It is environmentally responsible, supports the community, and is a positive way for people to get in touch with their city.”

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