Tulane School of Architecture receives $2.91 million for its new Center on Climate Change and Urbanism

Tulane University has received $2.91 million from an anonymous donor to propel the School of Architecture’s multidisciplinary efforts in climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies in the built environment.

The gift is the cornerstone of the Center on Climate Change and Urbanism, a new research unit that will complement the school’s emerging cohort of climate-change-focused faculty and research and existing programs in community-based collaborative design. The new center will address challenges of climate change to the natural environment and seek to understand the social and environmental opportunities of a decarbonized and sustainable built environment. 

“A crisis as difficult as climate change demands a multidisciplinary effort to reduce, and respond to, the effects of extreme weather, floods, coastal erosion, and rising seas and temperatures,” said Robin Forman, senior vice president for academic affairs and the provost at Tulane. “Our donors recognize the significance and the urgency of this challenge, and their generous gift is an expression of confidence, which we all share, in the ability of our School of Architecture.”

The gift will support five years of expanded research, through grants, as well as new faculty and fellowship positions, and the creation of design studios for testing new models for climate adaptation and mitigation. It will also fund increased interdisciplinary collaborations with environmental science, engineering, law, public policy, economics and public health within Tulane and across peer institutions.

“Thanks to this gift, the School of Architecture’s new Center on Climate Change and Urbanism will provide our students with hands-on learning opportunities that prepare them not only to excel as architects and design professionals but also to grapple with a crisis that will increasingly dominate the 21st century,” said School of Architecture Dean Iñaki Alday, the Richard Koch Chair in Architecture and co-director of the Yamuna River Project in New Delhi.

New Orleans and the Gulf Coast will continue to be a major focus of the school’s climate-related activities. Programmatic activities will also focus on Latin America and the Caribbean where the school has already completed or is planning significant work. To this end, the School of Architecture plans to collaborate closely with Tulane’s Roger Thayer Stone Center for Latin American Studies and the Center for Inter-American Policy and Research (CIPR).