Institute for Smart & Healthy Cities Venice Exhibit 2023

About Venice Exhibit 2023

The exhibit "Cities under Climate Threat: Venice – Philadelphia" explores solutions for tomorrow's most pressing problems, such as urbanization, public health, environment, and climate change. The collaboration between the Institute for Smart and Healthy Cities at Thomas Jefferson University and the Università Iuav di Venezia is conceived as an aggregator and facilitator of transdisciplinary research and education across multiple disciplines.

The impacts of climate change, driven by increasing extreme temperature, sea-level rise, and heavy precipitations, interact and play an essential role in the socio-economic and population health and the well-being of the citizens, especially in coastal cities like Venice and Philadelphia.

The exhibit will showcase speculative projects from both cities from a multi-institutional and international research consortium and connect the domains of Population Health and Medicine, Architecture and Urban Planning, and Climate Change. The interdisciplinary projects displayed aim to shape the concept of the resilient city, triggering an opportunity for experimentation and dissemination.

The exhibit shows large physical models from Venice and Philadelphia showcasing speculative urban redevelopment projects and predicted environmental changes to the year 2050. Emergent digital techniques indicate the interrelationship between climate, urbanization, population health, and other indicators. 

About the Consortium

The cluster of Excellence on Resilient Cities and Climate-proof Design and Planning is a collaboration between the Università Iuav di Venezia and the Thomas Jefferson University. The disciplinary portfolio enhances the opportunity of managing complex urban criticalities from an innovative perspective while redefining priorities and design approaches. 

Student projects, descriptions and renderings are listed in the left navigation.

Collaborating Universities

The Università Iuav di Venezia is an Italian multi-disciplinary university that keeps the design process at the core of its activities in education, research, and applied projects. It combines a renowned tradition with a strong commitment to permanent innovation in the disciplines of planning, urban studies, architecture, and design. In the specific climate-proof perspective, Iuav's approach integrates the design of cities, land, environment, buildings, and landscape with the aim of making natural and anthropogenic systems capable of changing and adapting to the challenges of climate emergency.

Thomas Jefferson University is a private research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Established in its earliest form in 1824 and today comprises ten colleges and four schools offering over 200 undergraduate and graduate programs. Jefferson is a comprehensive, professional university and hospital system and provides with its 18 hospitals a research platform and excellent clinical and compassionate care.

The Institute for Smart and Healthy Cities at Thomas Jefferson University supports transdisciplinary research, education, and innovation to advance the development of the urban environment through collaboration across the architecture, design, engineering, health, and science disciplines. The institute focuses on transforming urban environments into smart and healthy cities in the face of climate change, social inequity, rapid urbanization, and health disparity. The Institute for Smart and Healthy Cities is a collaborative effort between the Colleges of Architecture and the Built Environment, The Jefferson College of Population Health, and the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce.

The Circular Map

The circular map (wheel graphic) combines the issues most relevant to the topic ‘Cities under Climate Threat’ and contextualizes the topic.

The circular map highlights the seven key issues of the topic ‘Cities under Climate Threat.’ Each key issue has a specific focus and subcategories represented in the outer ring of the circular map. The map emphasizes the interconnections and overlap between key issues and subcategories linked to climate change and urbanization. The seven areas of focus are Health and Quality of Life, Environmental Hazards, Urban Planning, Mobility, Public Safety and Security, Technology and Innovation, and Buildings and Technology. The dynamic characteristics of the circular map show each category of climate change highlighted in a single image and the many topical connections across a network of global issues.

The map is based on the Strategic Intelligence Map from the World Economic Forum.

Health & Quality of Life is a multi-dimensional concept influenced by factors of both the built and natural environment. Evolving technologies and design strategies are necessary to negate the effects of climate change, and improve the health and quality of life for all.

Environmental Hazards arise as a direct result of climate change and create global imbalances, threatening ecosystems, resource supply, and overall health.

Urban environments are a key contributor to climate change. Urban planning involving smart policies and design solutions will work to negate environmental impacts on a large scale, creating safe and healthy living spaces for all.

Current methods of mobility are a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. In order to shift these contributions, walkability within cities and sustainable transit methods must be promoted.

Frequent extreme weather events related to climate change jeopardize public safety. Implementing services and programs to promote the use of technology and inclusive design will create safer spaces for every community.

Technology and Innovation allow for the exploration of man-made interventions against climate change, which are essential to ensuring the avoidance of catastrophic climate events.

Rapidly evolving understanding of a building and its components allows for designers to recognize the environmental impacts of their choices, and make design decisions that actively combat the climate crisis.