International Urban Planning Capstones

It’s May, which in the world of academia means spring conferences, commencement ceremonies and thesis projects.  Today students at NYU’s Wagner School of public service will be displaying their final capstone projects at the 2011 Capstone Expo.  Instead of requiring an individual thesis, students at Wagner complete a capstone project, by work in small groups as consultants for two semesters with client organizations.  This year Wagner urban planning students had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects across the world. Below are profiles of a few of this year’s international planning projects.  For more information about this evening’s Capstone Expo view this invitation.

Participatory Planning in Agonda, India by Amy Faust  |  Amy, a Wagner urban planning student, participated in an international planning studio course through Pratt Institute Agonda, India.  She primarily focused on solid waste management systems within this participatory planning project.  The captions below describe more of the project.

Amy facilitating a discussion on waste management during a participatory planning workshop in Agonda, India.

Agonda beach. Tourism is a major industry there, though the village is still small and rural. The community is engaging in a planning process to encourage tourism, but diversify the economy, improve infrastructure, preserve the environment and maintain the rural character.

Waste along a river in Agonda. Since there isn’t a system for solid waste management, the waste produced by the tourism industry, for example, is often illegally dumped – plastic water bottles, bags and food packaging are a particular issue.

Slum Upgrading Background Study in the Philippines by  Ariana Karamallis MacPherson, Kim Powell and Melissa Reese  |  The purpose of this Capstone was to examine institutions, policies, financing mechanisms and data gathering strategies as they relate to slum upgrading in Metro Manila, in order to inform the World Bank in their development of future slum upgrading strategies for the Metro Manila region. Ariana, Kim and myself conducted field research in Metro Manila last July, which included interviews with local academics and government officials, as well as visiting informal communities to learn about their plans for upgrading.

Plans showing the location of the St James Riverside community, an informal settlement in a frequently flooded area.

Children in a community that had been part of a World Bank financed upgrading project.

Recommendations for Slum Upgrading in the Philippines by David
Colner, Andres Mitnik, and Javier Serra  |  David, Andres and Javier followed up on the background research done by the previous team by creating a report that provides recommendations for designing mid-rise social housing developments in the Philippines.  The recommendations were made after conducting field research in Metro Manila, a selected analysis of international case studies, and a desk review of best practices in Southeast Asia.

An example of Mid-Rise Socialized Housing: Euesbio Bliss in Pasig City

Community Map of UP Bliss in Quezon City, Metro Manila

A Habitat for Humanity development in Taguig City,  Metro Manila

– Melissa


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