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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 51.50
Liaison Molly Johnson
Submission Date Aug. 6, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

The New School
EN-10: Community Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 3.00 Molly Craft Johnson
Sustainability Associate
Tishman Environment & Design Center
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability :
Fighting for Urban Environmental Health Equity in Southside Williamsburg, Brooklyn: A Pilot Study

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? :
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe?:
Short-term project or event

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus?:
The partnership simultaneously supports social equity and wellbeing, economic prosperity, and ecological health

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners in strategic planning, decision-making, implementation and review? (Yes, No, or Not Sure):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability, including website URL (if available) and information to support each affirmative response above:

https://tishmancenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Ramirez_TEDC_El_Puente_Report.pdf

A pilot study that assessed concentrations of urban traffic-related air pollutants (TRAPs) in open/green spaces in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY (see http://bqgreen.org/en/category/updates/). The study funded by Tishman Environment and Design Center (TEDC) and The New School University fostered a partnership between The New School and El Puente, a local human rights organization located in Brooklyn, New York City. The project builds on previous work by El Puente in the 1990s, which led to local initiatives that addressed asthma disparities and built community health and social capacities, primarily among an underserved Latino subpopulation in the southside section of Williamsburg (Ledogar et al. 1999; Ledogar et al. 2000; Corburn, 111-144), known as “Los Sures” by local residents. It also builds on previous work (also funded through TEDC [ReNew School Project 14K grant]), which developed an urban health framework and a geodatabase of health, social, and environmental data for NYC in order to explore interlinkages between overlapping health problems (i.e. syndemics) 1 and the neighborhood-level environmental and social conditions in which they persist. The pilot study, which began in August 2016, had two related goals. The first goal was to contribute to the development of a community-engaged participatory project that focused on an urban environmental health disparity such as asthma. By working at the community-level, the intention of the research was to address the limitations of publicly available environmental health data (e.g., from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene [NYC DOHMH]), which are aggregated at the neighborhood-level (several zipcodes combined). Furthermore, this research addressed the potential limitation of air quality monitoring in NYC, which does not collect air pollution data periodically at a more local level that is relevant to the community members residing in Los Sures. The second goal was to support and foster engagement and alliances between The New School and local communities via a partnership with an organization such as El Puente in efforts to promote environmental and social justice in line with TEDC’s mission. The broader goal (‘bigger picture’) was to support community advocacy for the right to clean air and safe recreation spaces.


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):
Visualizing Pipeline Impacts

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (2nd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (2nd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus? (2nd partnership):
The partnership supports at least one, but not all three, dimensions of sustainability

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners in strategic planning, decision-making, implementation and review? (2nd partnership) (Yes, No, or Not Sure):
Not Sure

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability, including website URL (if available) and information to support each affirmative response above (2nd partnership):

http://www.thenewschoolcollaboratory.org/projects/visualizingpipelineimpacts

Faculty members Jess Irish and Stephen Metts have partnered with the non-profit Delaware Riverkeeper Network to create two distinct multimedia projects that offer different strategies for the same goal: visualizing pipeline impacts.

Jess Irish’s project “Community Action Against Pipeline Expansion” (CAAPE) is a mobile website that breaks down the impacts of gas pipelines into concrete, visual arguments. Irish identities information overload / bureaucratese as a defining challenge for explicating the very real risks gas infrastructure poses to local townships. Most community meetings in these townships offer zero to little media / visual information when discussing possible impacts and actions. CAAPE is being developed as a structured website created almost entirely from infographics, sources originating in empirical and independent evidence. Ordered as layered themes, beginning with “big picture” issues on energy and scaling down to regional impacts and local projects, each layer will offer “visual arguments” that give citizens factually based information, linked reference documents, followed by timely actions an individual or community can take related to that topic.

One of the few current processes by which an individual or community group member may officially deliberate on a proposed project be it a pipeline or compressor station is within an ‘eComment’ placed in a Docket filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission- FERC. At present, the process is so poorly designed most users give up, relying on non-profits such as Delaware Riverkeeper Network to assist in filing individual complaints. Documentation funding will allow for the creation of a step-by-step multimedia guide both on accessing the site, as well as offering effective, fact-based evidence to bolster individual participation in the FERC Process.

Stephen Metts received a TEDC grant in 2016 to create “Habitat Impact Mapper,” a mobile application that assists local (primarily rural) communities document local knowledge on a live map showing impacted areas for pipeline expansion. Community members will be enabled to literally map in situ local resources and knowledge that is either currently unmapped and thus technically indefensible; or slated to be irrevocably damaged or literally killed and destroyed due to their intersection with a proposed pipeline or compressor station right-of-way. This mapping resource uses cutting edge technology to offer authoritative and spatially accurate information, as well as allow multiple advocacy tools and outputs, beyond the strict confines of the eComment FERC process.

Access to this live map is restricted to volunteers working with Delaware Riverkeeper Network (DRN), a vibrant and effective non-profit that has been doing advocacy and environmental work for decades. Habitat Impact Mapper offers a highly interactive and accessible map populated not only with data disclosed by a proposed project, but augmented with local knowledge and in situ monitoring of natural resources. The result will be provide community-sourced, accurately mapped factual impacts that can no longer be argued away by industrial and regulatory interests.


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):
My EP&L App

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (3rd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (3rd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus? (3rd partnership):
The partnership supports at least one, but not all three, dimensions of sustainability

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners in strategic planning, decision-making, implementation and review? (3rd partnership) (Yes, No, or Unknown):
Not Sure

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability, including website URL (if available) and information to support each affirmative response above (3rd partnership):

http://www.kering.com/en/press-releases/kering_and_parsons_school_of_design_collaborate_on_measuring_environmental_impact_of

Kering and The New School’s Parsons School of Design announced a new collaboration under their long-standing partnership today, with the launch of a new design curriculum which will leverage the pioneering KERING x PARSONS: EP&L programme pilot and the My EP&L App to measure and better understand the environmental impacts of students’ creations.

As part of their collaboration, Kering is introducing new modules to Parsons Fashion programme and embedding practical lessons in sustainability into the Parsons curriculum. Parsons will offer the Kering modules to students in three senior Systems & Society Thesis sections and two Materiality Thesis sections. Students will have the opportunity to study Kering’s Environmental Profit and Loss (EP&L) methodology, which measures and monetizes the environmental impacts from business’ activities across the entire supply chain. Students will also learn how to integrate sustainability from the very start of the design process by evaluating and comparing various materials’ and understanding how their choices influence the extent of the environmental impacts from sourcing to manufacturing via the My EP&L App, introduced by Kering. Students’ thesis projects will subsequently be evaluated and scored on both design and sustainability criteria, with the ten top students given unparalleled exposure for their designs in an exclusive Design Exhibition, following the course and hosted by Kering and Parsons.


A brief description of the institution’s other community partnerships to advance sustainability:
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.