Environmental Studies master’s student Darnel Harris has been awarded a 2016 Green Talents award for his work on advancing sustainability.
Since 2009, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has held the prestigious “Green Talents – International Forum for High Potentials in Sustainable Development” to promote the international exchange of ideas regarding green solutions.
Darnel's research focus is on policies, procedures and designs to ensure that green infrastructure installations support goals of social equity and equal opportunity.
His research embraced the concept of 'just sustainabilities'—meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs—by focusing on planning, education and design. Darnel studied the processes, designs and policies that are capable of generating social change through popular education, capacity building and sustainable urban design diverse communities.
Studying inclusive public engagement as a way of building community identity, Darnel focused his work on the potential for bike usage to become widely used and socially acceptable in the suburban Black Creek area. His project included a comparative analysis of six global cities, which had undertaken extensive and equitable low carbon mobility projects. Conducting three community-led education sessions resulted in the conclusion that residents wanted to use bikes year-round, but without safe, separated pathways along arterial roads—this was not a realistic option.
Darnel's current research explores the challenges of execution and involves topics such as the various development processes used to meet green infrastructure targets and the usage of community insight to guarantee green infrastructure meets people's mobility needs.
For more information on Darnel's award see the German Ministry of Education and Research website.