ENV 960 Urban Climate Solutions Capstone: New Haven Clinic - Spring 2024 Application
Time: Tuesdays 1:00pm – 3:50pm
Location: 380 Edwards Classroom  

Professor: Karen Seto, karen.seto@yale.edu
Teaching Fellow: Katie Lund, katie.lund@yale.edu 

Email is the best way to get into contact. Students can expect a response within 24 hours.

Course Enrollment: Limited to 16 students. Students interested in the class should apply via this Google Form. Preference will be given to students in the urban specialization and second year YSE students. Students should have taken at least two relevant courses in either geospatial analysis, energy systems, urban ecology, urban planning, law and policy, or industry ecology. Applicants will be selected and assigned to a project based on past experience, coursework, skills and the short answers. 

Course Description: Cities contribute to about 70% of carbon emissions and are especially vulnerable to climate change impacts. If we are to keep global warming to under 2 degrees C, cities must be a part of the climate solution to reduce emissions. At the same time, cities must increase their resilience to climate change and develop strategies for adaptation to extreme climate events. Cities around the world are beginning to develop strategies to both mitigate greenhouse gas emissions as well as adapt to climate change. 

In this capstone, students will work in teams to develop strategies to increase climate resilience and mitigate emissions for their client, the Office of Climate and Sustainability for the City of New Haven. Students will apply analytical skills, methods, and tools acquired from previous classes and work experience to develop strategies and potential programs for one of four projects.
  1. Project 1: Assess the potential for geothermal energy production in New Haven: Are there locations in the city where it makes sense to develop geothermal energy production? What are other communities doing in this space and what was the process for developing a geothermal grid? How are communities getting organized around it? Who are the actors who need to be involved? For example: https://www.framinghamma.gov/3416/Geothermal-Pilot-Program
  2. Project 2: Assess and develop forward looking strategies to mitigate extreme urban heat and other climate hazards such as flooding in the Hill and Dixwell neighborhoods. Assess the public facilities for cooling stations and gathering places in case of natural disasters. Where should trees be planted to increase shade and cooling? What types of public space improvements could help to increase resilience to climate change hazards such as flooding?
  3. Project 3: Identify opportunities for waste heat capture. Is there a way to make use of the waste heat from industrial or commercial sources in New Haven? How can the city utilize, store, and reduce waste heat? Can the sewer system be used as a heat source and heat sink--displace heat in the summer and pull heat in the winter?
  4. Project 4: Assess opportunities to transform zoning to be more climate and people friendly. What and where are the services people want? Where can the city increase co-location of uses, accessibility, and increase the density of housing and jobs?
Application Deadline: January 15th, 2024 by midnight.  

Name *
Yale email address *
Degree Program *
What is your expected graduation year? *
Do you plan to take this course to fulfill your capstone requirement? *
Rank the project options based on your interest level.  *
Project 1
Project 2
Project 3
Project 4
First Choice
Second Choice
Third Choice
Last Choice
Describe your primary interest in taking this course (no more than 150 words). 
Describe any past academic/work/volunteer experience that relates to this course (no more than 150 words).
Describe your relevant skills that would enable you to work on the projects you are interested in. Relevant skills could include, but are not limited to community engagement, GIS, spatial statistics, legal analysis, etc. (around 150 words) *
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