Date of Award



Edward Van Buren


Due to growth, technology and economic expansion, Western culture has gradually become detached from the natural environment. Industrialism and a culture of consumption have dragged us through a medley of environmental problems, all culminating to our current problem: climate change. The causes and effects of global warming overshadow all of our environmental issues. These problems threaten our way of life, our very existence, and future generations. How can we save the planet without compromising economic growth? Sustainability. In my research I have focused and reported on sustainability pertaining to America’s greatest urban center, New York City, with a spotlight on green buildings. In order to do so, I examine American environmental history and industrialism to ascertain how we have gotten to this point. From there, I discuss current and potential design methods and the policies needed to facilitate our transition to sustainability. Through the right mindset and practices, cities and buildings can be self-sustaining microcosms. Sustainability proves that human flourishing and environmental flourishing are one in the same.