Planning’s Role in Sustainable Waste Management
You'll learn about:
- The critical role of waste management in urban sustainability
- Best practices to promote proactive and efficient waste management
- How to integrate waste management into mainstream sustainability planning and for developing zero-waste plans
Providing timely and effective waste management presents one of the most critical challenges for urban sustainability. Current waste management practice, which focuses on short-term impacts and end-of-pipe solutions, is reactive in nature and inadequate to promote sustainability within urban systems, across jurisdictions, and across generations.
This session will focus on urban planning’s missed opportunities to transform the challenges of waste management into opportunities for increasing job creation, social welfare, and ecological benefits. Learn about current barriers to waste reduction and recycling, as well as the connection between waste management and planning functions such as economic development, transportation, and land use. Explore emerging programs that utilize smart technologies and creative models to promote landfill diversion while achieving cost saving and social equity goals. Case illustrations will highlight two specific waste material types—food waste and construction and demolition debris—and discussion will address the strategies for developing zero-waste plans and integrating waste management into sustainable planning process.
, New York
Confirmed SpeakerElizabeth Balkan is the Director of Policy and Senior Advisor to the Commissioner at the New York City Department of Sanitation. In this role, she has been responsible for developing and implementing the city's zero waste plan. Previously, Balkan worked on long-term planning and sustainability at the Mayor’s Office. Before joining the City, she lived and worked in China for more than a decade, researching solid waste planning in China and running an energy and environmental consulting firm. Balkan has worked extensively with cities to make sustainable development a viable option for both developed and emerging economies. Her educational background is in public policy and economic development. She holds a Masters degree from Columbia University and a Bachelors from Georgetown University.
, University of Illinois at Chicago
Confirmed SpeakerDr. Ning Ai is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), with a joint appointment at the Institute for Environmental Science and Policy. Ning’s research and teaching interests focus on urban environmental planning, material and waste management, and system analysis of urban sustainability. Largely quantitative, her research involves multidisciplinary methods in support of material- and community-specific waste management, with a focus on electronic waste, post-consumer carpet, municipal solid waste, food waste, and electric vehicle batteries. She is the lead author of the American Planning Association’s publication on “Planning for Sustainable Material and Waste Management” (2017). Currently, she serves as the Division Vice Chair of Sustainability and Resource Conservation Technical Council and Chair of the Resource Conservation (SRC) Technical Coordinating Committee of the Air & Waste Management Association. She has worked for the World Bank, the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Co., and the Georgia State Department of Natural Resources. She obtained her dual-bachelor degrees in Environmental Economics and Environmental Engineering from Renmin University and Tsinghua University, respectively, in China, Master’s degree in City Planning from MIT, and doctoral degree in City and Regional Planning from Georgia Tech.
, Georgia Institute of Technology
Confirmed SpeakerNancey Green Leigh is Associate Dean for Research in the College of Architecture, Professor of City and Regional Planning, adjunct professor in the School of Public Policy, and affiliate of the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners and past Co-Editor of the Journal of Planning Education and Research. She specializes in economic development planning and policy. Her recent research focuses on sustainable urban redevelopment and land use (including brownfields and waste diversion), manufacturing, and the role that robotics will play in industrial transformation and labor force composition Leigh has published over 50 articles and four books. She is the lead author of Planning Local Economic Development (6th edition, 2017), a college textbook as well as resource for practitioners working in planning and policy development. In her funded research work, she is currently leading a National Science Foundation project entitled “Workers, Firms and Industries in Robotic Regions,” funded by the National Robotics Initiative. She is also part of a large-scale NSF research project modeling resilient infrastructure processes and systems. At the local level, she recently completed a study for DeKalb County focused on its industrial land and economy. Leigh holds a PhD in City and Regional Planning and Masters in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley, and Masters in Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.