Is your future in jeopardy?Offbeat

Is your future in jeopardy? With food security, climate change, and other environmental issues becoming increasingly important to our society, questioning our future is not too far fetched.

I have always been in touch with nature and loved to create my own products from natural ingredients, but I never seriously thought about sustainability until I got involved with my work at the National Center for Suburban Studies and the Sustainability Studies program at Hofstra University.

Sustainability and going ‘green’ are the new buzzwords, but what exactly is sustainability and why should any of us care.

Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment.  Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.

Sustainability is important to making sure that we have and will continue to have,  the water, materials, and resources to protect human health and our environment. – EPA

It is a fairly simple definition and encompasses every academic  and professional discipline. To endure our environment, economic well-being, and equity, we must find cohesion.

Cohesion can be met, by education and collaboration.

If you are in the New York area this week, you have the chance to educate yourself on sustainability and see how academia and community can collaborate on creating a world that will survive after we are all gone.

From the Outside in: Sustainable Futures for Global Cities and Suburbs is a conference taking place at Hofstra University Thursday- Saturday March 7-9.

This interdisciplinary conference will bring together scholars, activists, and practitioners from around the world to explore how to create more sustainable communities in densely populated regions, beginning with the suburbs.

Thursday and Friday, will host a full days worth of sessions on public health, education, urban planning, and housing. The keynote speaker for Thursday is Dr. Robert Bullard, who is the father of the environmental justice movement and on Friday, William Fulton, who is a smart growth expert. In addition to these great keynote speakers a few sessions might be of interest to the general public:


  • Youth Scholars Discuss Sustainability
  • Suburban Food Production and Distribution
  • Sustainability on Long Island
  • Planning and Sustainability
  • Suburban Public Health


  • Parks, Public Spaces, and Livable Cities
  • Community Gardens and Ecoliteracy
  • Designing Suburban Futures
  • Diversity, Immigration and Maturing Futures
  • Housing, Sustainability, and Suburban Crisis

Saturday will be a full day devoted to the effects of Super Storm Sandy and the importance of protecting metropolitan regions and their vulnerable suburbs from the next natural disaster. Leading experts, first responders, and public officials will share their firsthand experiences with the storm.

The keynote speaker on Saturday will be Burrell Montz, an expert on hurricanes and hazard management. In addition to this great keynote speaker, a few sessions might be of interest to the general public:


  • Sustainable Planning in the region
  • Sandy, Long Beach, NY, and Environmental Justice
  • Sustainability, Post-Sandy

In addition to all these great sessions on sustainability as it pertains to suburbia, Hofstra will be hosting a traveling photography exhibit called The Art of Destruction: Images of Superstorm Sandy.

If you are interested in attending the conference, send me an email (

If you are a Long Island community member, there are 100 complimentary slots open for Saturday! Don’t miss out on this chance to hear experts discuss how Sandy will impact Long Island. Saturday also includes breakfast and lunch.

For more information about the event visit


An urban planning PhD student finding peace in creating a balance between the mind, body, soul, & environment.

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Photo Credit: Lisa-Marie Pierre




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