|John Malueg (left) and John Take, sheltered |
from the rain at a gate into Harvard Yard
The request was to contribute to the school’s weekly “Sustainable Infrastructure” course seminars. Designed to showcase public and private sector viewpoints—as well as the urban planning, energy, and transportation aspects of green design—the series had reached the topic of water, and it was our task to lead a three-hour presentation and discussion.
So, we planned a “formal” presentation for a portion of the time with the hope that students would engage in an interactive Q&A session. In addition to communicating our expertise and fostering interest in the topics, we were hoping to learn their perspective as well. What do they see as the challenges and opportunities relative to the role of water resources towards creating a sustainable urban environment?
|Outside of Gund Hall, the Graduate School of Design's|
We got things underway, sharing retrospective insights on the Clean Water Act, its impact since the 1970s, the evolution of sustainable design, and case studies where we had directly addressed the issues most relevant to the industry. We watched the audience closely and… they were interested! More than that, they were engaged, inquisitive, and incredibly knowledgeable about the sustainability landscape. With a certain amount of relief, we filled the time easily and energetically in facilitating a lively conversation seeking to answer the question “How do you comprehensively and consistently assess and measure infrastructure projects for sustainability?” By day’s end, we hoped and truly felt that everyone had fun—we certainly did.
Later that night, we reflected over cold glasses of beer and noted how encouraging it was to have been able to talk about Stantec’s active role—at Harvard, mind you—in infrastructure sustainability on nearly every project we plan and design. Thinking again about the audience, one response we kind of hoped for but didn’t happen was to be recognized with honorary doctorates… maybe next time.