Public Engagement

General Public

Post-Election America: Climate Change and Environmental Politics

Friday, March 17, 2017 at 10:00 am to 12:30 pm

John L. Tishman Auditorium, University Center 63 Fifth Avenue, Room U100, New York, NY 10003

In this Post-Election America lecture, Joel Towers (executive Dean of Parsons School of Design) will begin with a brief review of the science of climate change, what is known, how it is known, and what the implications are for life in the “Anthropocene.”  

Given the dire threat a rapidly changing and unstable climate presents, the talk will then explore the complexity of responding to climate change and the human tendency to avoid knotty, multi-scalar, temporally and economically intergenerational problems. In other words, it is a reflection on why responding to climate change feels like it presents such difficult choices politically, economically, and socially. Finally, Towers will lay out a framework for continued progress on climate change during the Trump administration and beyond.

Individuals not registered for this ULEC course must sign in at the event as guests. Please arrive early.

For more information about the Post-Election America course please read the course description on the University course catalog.


Joel Towers is the Executive Dean of Parsons School of Design. From 2007-2009 Towers was the Dean of the School of Design Strategies [SDS] at Parsons and Associate Professor of Architecture and Sustainable Design at Parsons. SDS houses Parsons' programs in Design and Management, Foundation, Integrated Design, as well as new initiatives in environmental and sustainable design, urban design, and transdisciplinary design. Towers was the first Director of the Tishman Environment and Design Center [TED] at The New School and the Associate Provost for Environmental Studies at the university. TED supports the university-wide BA and BS Environmental Studies degrees and is unique in its approach to design-led research in tandem with historical and social inquiry, placing an emphasis on innovation within the context of cultural, economic, and ecological factors. Towers first came to Parsons in 2002 as the Director of Sustainable Design and Urban Ecology. Towers is a founding partner [1992] of SR+T Architects. He received a B.S. in Architecture from the University of Michigan School of Architecture and a Master of Architecture from Columbia University. Towers' focus on ecological issues and their relationship to both design conceptualization and construction methodology underlies his theoretical research and his teaching. It is also central in the work of SR+T. Towers was previously a member of the faculty of the Graduate School of Architecture at Columbia University where he taught advanced architecture and urban design studios and developed and taught a seminar exploring critical ecologies and environmentally reflexive architecture.

Event Type

Lectures and Panel Discussions


General Public


Politics, Policy and Government, Environment, Sustainability and Climate Change


Parsons School of Design, The New School for Social Research, Schools of Public Engagement, Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts


Free; Individuals not registered for this ULEC course must sign in at the event.

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