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Caroline Malapero '11 at an urban gardening event on Governors Island near the Statue of Liberty.
Caroline Malapero '11 at an urban gardening event on Governors Island near the Statue of Liberty.

Building Sustainability in New York City

Caroline Malapero '11, a Growth and Structure of Cities major, is interning this summer at the Regional Planning Association, America's oldest urban research and advocacy group.

The RPA prepares long range plans and policies to guide the growth and development of the tri-state metropolitan region. The organization works with many different aspects of the urban environment—sustainability, open space, transportation, community design, and economics—in order to make connections between the many complex factors affecting America's cities.

Supported by funding from Haverford’s Center for Peace and Global Citizenship, Malapero is interning in the RPA’s New York City office, working with issues pertaining to the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut metropolitan region.

In addition to planning and participating in an urban farming program on Governors Island, Malapero has been trying to gain a better understanding of Lower Manhattan's congestion and pollution by completing a study on commuter bus traffic.

"Planning has a huge impact on the future of our nation and ensuring that we develop in a sustainable way," she says. "A holistic approach is the best way to accomplish change in any area. It is easy to look at specific facts and individual ideas, but the best way to make positive lasting improvements is to take in all the information that is available."

This internship has given Malapero the chance to link the knowledge she has obtained at Haverford with practical experience in the planning field. She will be a teaching assistant in the fall for a Growth and Structure of Cities class and is excited to bring her summer internship experience back into the classroom. She also plans to continue working with similar issues in either graduate school or law school in the future.

"I have been very impressed with the RPA's dedication and motivation to making New York City, the tri-state area, the nation, and the world a more sustainable and livable environment," says Malapero. "I recognize the impact that a group of driven individuals can accomplish."

--Heather Harden '11

The ramp from Magill Library with Ryan Gym and Sharpless Hall in the background.

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