In Spring 2015, Professor Cunningham’s Geography/Urban Studies course in Sustainability Planning Theory & Practice, co-taught by Sustainability Coordinator Alistair Hall, had students seek out examples of green principles in practice, whether they’ve seen them on Campus, at home, or from experiences abroad.
Check out this slideshow of what they came up with and consider how they could be implemented at Vassar!
Casablanca Technopark in Morocco
As an institution set in the Poughkeepsie community, and the greater Hudson Valley region, Vassar College has a responsibility to the community to encourage sustainable redevelopment and sustainability initiatives. Part of this responsibility is ensuring the accessibility of some level of information to visitors of Vassar, and to members of the Vassar community, that the institution is working towards a more sustainable future. Morocco is a nation whose government has shown initiative to promote renewable energy sources, primarily to wean itself off of foreign energy. The country’s largest city, Casablanca, is the economic and business center for the nation. As such, the city is home to numerous startups. Casablanca’s Technopark was opened in 2001, backed by the nation’s Ministry of Commerce, as the first industrial park in the country (figure 1). The Technopark is home to dozens of startups. In an effort to attract more startups with sustainability initiatives, the Technopark installed solar panels on the roof and sides of the building (figure 2). Although these panels do not supply enough power for the building, they show potential businesses that the venture is a place where such endeavors are welcome. The side solar panels pictured are visible from the adjacent highway. A similar project at Vassar could showcase the College’s commitment to a sustainable future by placing solar panels on lawns that line Vassar’s property. Other visible projects could be the installation of a green roof on the new science building, or the renovation of South Lot pavement to an impermeable surface. Such efforts could attract more initiatives to make Vassar a more sustainable campus.