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Finding the Greenest Places

There's a saying that the greenest building is the one that's already built. This is especially true in Havana, Cuba, where the city’s repurposing of historic buildings has earned it a reputation as a leader in sustainability. In December, a group of six students travelled there to study building reuse in action. What they found formed the basis for the multimedia project “The Greenest Places: Sustainable Development through Historic Preservation in Havana, Cuba.”

“We were all interested in this unique urban form, the fact that it's old and it's still intact and you can see how it works and functions,” Master of Urban and Regional Planning student Derek Dauphin said.

The Greenest Places is one of 12 teams selected by the 2013 Solutions Generator program, which funds student proposals to improve sustainability within the university and the local community. The Solutions Generator is an initiative of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at PSU.

The group consists of urban planning graduate students Dauphin, Lina Menard, Liz Paterson, and Katie Hughes; along with film major Clarke Leland and sociology major Verónica Bradford. They met in a study abroad class, and with their combined expertise they realized they could create something special.  They are currently creating a documentary film about what they found in Havana.

“We realized that we've got an opportunity to do something very different from what we're used to doing,” Dauphin said. “We could make something that spoke to a broader audience, through film.”

 

Learn more about the Greenest Spaces project >
Read about the 2013 Solutions Generator projects >

Pictured on the home page: The Greenest Places team members (from left to right) Clarke Leland, Lina Menard, Verónica Bradford, Liz Paterson, Derek Dauphin and Katie Hughes.