Cities have been transformed by the uncertainties that came with 2020. Today, changes are still on the horizon. A once-in-a-lifetime pandemic gave us a glimpse of how the climate crisis would unfold if nothing was done: deaths, sickness, and the poor and vulnerable at risk. With this wake-up call, the drive to create an equitable and sustainable future is now front and center. Businesses and governments are listening — they are seeking ideas on how we can design and build smart and sustainable cities. Experts in these fields have never been more in demand.
The task ahead is monumental. Thomas Jefferson University's College of Architecture and the Built Environment, however, is ready for it. This Philadelphia institution’s mission is to educate the next generation of design and construction professionals to create an equitable and sustainable future. Its track record — from student work, to list of awards won, to accomplished faculty — show they are succeeding.
Jefferson has recently launched the Institute for Smart and Healthy Cities with the primary goal of addressing pressing issues such as climate change, social equity, rapid urbanization and health. By 2025 they aim to be recognized by leaders and innovators from government, academia, industry, and practice environments as the primary resource for the development of smart and healthy cities. Jefferson sees the issues at hand and is proactively looking to correct the course.
Jefferson’s strategic partnerships with major corporations, architecture and design offices, local communities and non-profit organisations also help. Students can get professional experience while still in university — networking events are frequent too. Talent — in faculty and student body — make an education here even more inspiring. “At Jefferson, we are committed to providing a forward-thinking education that is resulting in our students and faculty winning numerous regional, national and international awards. Most recently, our students have been awarded in a number of design competitions: American Society of Landscape Architects’ (ASLA) student competition, International Interior Design Association Awards, John Stewardson Memorial Fellowship in Architecture, Race to Zero Department of Energy Competition and more,” says College of Architecture and the Built Environment dean Barbara Klinkhammer.
The college offers cutting-edge architecture and design education, from bachelor’s to PhD level. Curricula emphasise specialised knowledge unique to each discipline. Paired with interdisciplinary collaboration, students are prepared to design and build a better world in 2021 and beyond.
“My time at Thomas Jefferson University has taught me a variety of skills and lessons that have proven to be extremely useful in the field. My education has offered plenty of opportunities to push the boundaries, leaving me excited for what’s to come in the future.”
Hutton Moyer, Stewardson fellowship, Graduate
There are many other ways Jefferson and its programmes stand out — the “Jefferson advantage” is multi-faceted. Start with the fact that it is located in Philadelphia, a city surrounded by thriving design and construction industries. The beautiful East Falls Campus — 104 acres of scenic, tree-lined grounds — is only 10 minutes from all the city has to offer. For students, this serves as an invaluable urban lab. Add maker and active learning spaces, and the campus turns into an unparalleled hub of creativity, talent and innovation. Philadelphia’s neighbouring cities include New York, Baltimore, Washington, Virginia Beach and more, expanding the range of work opportunities available to Jefferson students.