Assistant Director, Urban Systems Lab (The New School)
Christopher’s research focuses on understanding the role of civic engagement in developing new approaches to environmental stewardship.
Christopher Kennedy is the assistant director at the Urban Systems Lab (The New School) and lecturer in the Parsons School of Design. Kennedy’s research focuses on understanding the socio-ecological benefits of spontaneous urban plant communities in NYC, and the role of civic engagement in developing new approaches to environmental stewardship and nature-based resilience. Kennedy holds a BS in environmental engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, an MA in Environmental Education from NYU, and a PhD in Cultural Studies from the University of North Carolina. @chrisleekennedy
The Urban Systems Lab is an interdisciplinary research, design and practice space at The New School University that provides new insight into developing more equitable, resilient, and sustainable cities. The Lab’s work advances cutting edge science, data visualization, and computation to develop systemic solutions to social and environmental challenges driving inequity and injustice in urban areas. We bring together designers, urban ecologists, scientists, researchers and policymakers with the goal to improve the lives of those most vulnerable, and to enhance decision making and science communication from local to global scales.
Resilience Quarterly is a publication co-produced by the Urban Systems Lab at the New School and a rotating editorial team of fellows, students, activists, artists, and scientists. Resilience Quarterly provides a unique forum to share strategies in design, data visualization, and interdisciplinary scholarship on urban ecology, environmental justice, and sustainable cities. Each issue features a diverse set of voices to address a theme from multiple perspectives, centering underrepresented stories and leveraging new approaches to community journalism and science.
Talk Description: In the midst of an ongoing climate crisis and social inequity worldwide, science communication has never been more critical to help envision more sustainable and resilient futures. Since 2015, the Urban Systems Lab at The New School has brought together designers, urban ecologists, scientists, researchers and policymakers to advance new methods, research and design strategies that examine the social, ecological and technological dimensions of cities, and ways to improve the lives of those most vulnerable. This involves experiments in cutting edge science, data visualization, and computation to imagine systemic solutions to social and environmental challenges driving inequity and injustice in urban areas. In this talk members of the USL will reflect on the urgent need to test and experiment with storytelling and communication strategies that are accessible and engaging, while also communicating the complexity of urban systems and their impact on humans and other organisms. We will share recent science communication experiments such as a sonification project launched to understand connections between climate change, COVID-19 and social vulnerability, a new publication called Resilience Quarterly which translates the Lab’s scientific work into articles for the public, as well as how we leverage our Data Visualization Platform to work with key stakeholders in the NYC region and beyond.