Author and educator A-P Hurd to present 'The DNA of Cities' at Western Oct. 19

Western Today staff

Author and educator A-P Hurd will present “The DNA of Cities” as part of Western Washington University’s Huxley College of the Environment Speaker Series at 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19, in Communications Facility Room 125 on the Western campus.

The presentation is free and open to the public.

How cities are evolving has been at the center of much conversation lately, and a lot of that conversation in the design world is deterministic in nature: “What should the end product look like?” Yet cities are a product of genetic and environmental factors, and they change over time. Perhaps our design focus should be less on the end product and more on thinking about cities as a design system. This talk will explore the impact of zoning, financial structures, energy prices, entrepreneurialism and architects on the emergent design of our cities. What are the levers for change, and how can individual people make a meaningful difference?

In addition to her work at Touchstone Corporation, Hurd is a Runstad Fellow in the College of Built Environments at the University of Washington, where she teaches a graduate seminar on development economics. Her recent research has focused on environmental metrics for urban and regional policy in China and in the U.S. She has worked on numerous environmental policy initiatives at the state and local level and recently published “The Carbon Efficient City” with the University of Washington Press.

Hurd is a board member of NAIOP Washington, Forterra and Friends of the Seattle Waterfront. She has received awards for her work on sustainable buildings and cities including the Better Bricks Advocate award and the Puget Sound Business Journal's "40 Under 40" award.

The remaining fall quarter speakers in the Huxley College of the Environment Speaker Series are:

  • Oct. 26: Kirsten Wert, Whatcom Council of Governments will offer practical advice on Smart Trips/Transportation in Bellingham.
  • Nov. 2: Sylvia Yang of Western’s Shannon Point Marine Center will discuss organism-environment interactions in intertidal marine systems.
  • Nov. 9: Jack Nisbet and David Douglas will present “A Naturalist at Work: An Illustrated Exploration Across Two Centuries in the Pacific Northwest.”
  • Nov. 16: Screening (excerpts) and discussion of the film “American Meat” with director-producer Graham Meriwether.
  • Nov. 30: The Future of Land, Land Trusts, and Food. Panelists: Laura Ridenour (Sustainable Connections), Steve Hollenhorst (dean of the Huxley College of the Environment), Jim Ashby (Community Food Co-op), Stephen Trinkaus (owner of Terra Organica and the Bellingham Public Market).
  • Dec. 7: Scott Miles and Rebekah Green of Western’s Resilience Institute will speak on Japan's recovery in housing and critical infrastructure following its devastating earthquake and tsunami.

Anyone interested in these topics is encouraged to come and participate; the presentation will include a question-and-answer period. The speaker series is held by Western's Huxley College of the Environment to bring together the environmentally minded community and other interested members of the WWU and Bellingham communities. Speakers address topics of contemporary environmental concern in the region and the world.

For more information, please contact the main office of Huxley College of the Environment, at (360) 650-3520.

Western’s Huxley College of the Environment is one of the oldest environmental colleges in the nation and a recognized national leader in producing the next generation of environmental stewards. The College’s academic programs reflect a broad view of the physical, biological, social and cultural world. This innovative and interdisciplinary approach makes Huxley unique. The College has earned international recognition for the quality of its programs.