Sustainable Community Development Lecture Series: "Our Built Environment"

Date : Monday, 18 February 2013
Time : 7:00 pm.
Location : Geneva Room
Category : On-Campus Events

On Monday, Feb. 18, the Finger Lakes Institute will host "Our Built Environment," an event in their Sustainable Community Development Lecture Series from 7 - 8:30 p.m. in the Geneva Room.

Presenters include Susan Cosentini and Michael Governale.

This event is free and open to the public.

Come to find out how we can improve our social capacity of our communities and the means by which we build transportation networks for larger communities. Presentations and discussion will focus on two regional efforts to reimagine our built environment, both past and present. These presentations will challenge our conceptions of what a neighborhood and community are, while also assessing our past attempts to connect people from different neighborhoods.

Susan Cosentini is a carpenter and general contractor of 30 years, and passionate about the environment and playing outside for longer than that; Cosentini launched New Earth Living in 2009, turning a vacant lot next to her home into a 4 unit small urban eco-village. Forming the pilot community for a new type of land development.

New Earth Living LLC is a community oriented development company that has brought together the best practices of sustainability, co-housing, and in-fill development to create a replicable urban real estate development model called The Pocket Neighborhood. The Pocket Neighborhood focuses on core issues, which must be addressed in the creation of a sustainable future. Among them are the needs for the preservation of arable land and natural spaces, energy independence, local food production, intentional water conservation, and to fulfill a social need to be connected and supported, in a meaningful, engaging environment. The structures are built using the German Passivhaus technology using a proprietary building assembly to achieve ultra-energy efficiency, with a goal of carbon neutrality.

Michael Governale is an Interactive Art Director at Partners and Napier, a Rochester-based advertising agency. Governale moved to Rochester from Long Island to study illustration at RIT. After childlike curiosity led him to design a map of Rochester's abandoned subway system, he began digging deeper into Rochester's past. He now shares “local history and new ideas” on his blog, RochesterSubway.com.

Governale considers transportation alternatives central to civic progress and, in 2010, founded a transit advocacy group called Reconnect Rochester. He also serves on the board of directors at Friends of the GardenAerial, a non-profit organization working to convert pre-existing industrial structures and trails along the Genesee River Gorge at High Falls into a multi-use, public green space.

Governale is an admirer of great architecture. He volunteers with the Landmark Society of Western NY, the Rochester Community Design Center, and he writes a column on local architecture for a new Rochester-regional magazine called "585."