American Students’ Experience with Sustainability in Shanghai Expo 2010

By Young Lee and Matthew Schottenfeld.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The purpose of the study was to understand the experience of a group of American students with sustainability at the Shanghai World Expo 2010. The Expo was China’s response to the international community’s common concern with sustainable living in urban environments. The Expo was the first mega event featuring sustainability on such a large scale, where more than 250 countries and international organizations participated in sharing innovative ideas and various approaches to sustainable urban development. Furthermore, the Shanghai Expo was the first green expo that managed the design and construction of the infrastructure, site, and pavilions of the expo with green building principles. Many pavilions showcased forward thinking designs regarding sustainable architecture and interior environment, which became a great educational setting for students in built environment disciplines. To learn about various approaches to and efforts for sustainability from the international community at the Expo, a group of undergraduate students from the School of Planning, Design and Construction at Michigan State University visited the Expo in June, 2010. This study intended to comprehend these American students’ experience with sustainability through a set of quantitative and qualitative questions on the sustainability exhibition contents in the pavilions of six nations. The study also looked at students’ experiences with the sustainable building practices of these pavilions. The pavilions included in the study were identified from a paper assignment given to these students on successful and significant exhibitions on sustainability and the best sustainable building practices related to the design, construction, and disposal of pavilions, based on the students’ experience and research. This study will provide a crucial overview of the viewpoints of a group of midwestern American students on sustainability, and suggest an approach to teaching sustainability in higher education.

Keywords: Shanghai Expo, Sustainable Building Practice, Urban Sustainability, Pavilion Design

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 7, Issue 5, pp.113-128. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 914.684KB).

Dr. Young Lee

Assistant Professor, School of Planning, Design & Construction, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA

Matthew Schottenfeld

Adjunct Lecturer, Television Production Manager of Electronic Information Center, Fordham University, New York, NY, USA


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