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As a born and bred Londoner and certified ‘townie’ it was only a matter of time before an interest in the natural environment, sparked from early experiences of being dragged up mountain sides by my parents, took a turn towards the role of the un-natural environment within the world.

There are a number of people and moments in my life that turned me to wanting to become a built environment professional…

On reading Edward Glaeser’s the Triumph of the City it quickly became evident to me that the built environment, and in particular cities, had a key role in sustainability and climate change adaptation. An interest in the subject and a desire to facilitate this role has lasted ever since, particularly as one specific phrase became stuck in my mind: ‘If the environmental footprint of the average suburban home is a size 15 hiking boot, the environmental footprint of a New York apartment is a stiletto-heel size 6 Jimmy Choo.’

img_20150613_0035-c1Continuous work throughout my undergraduate degree for an architecture firm with rooted interests in pioneering sustainable design opened my eyes to the vast potential for buildings to be safer, more efficient and innovative with regard to environmental responsibility. It was here that I quickly learnt of the potential to make a difference in this industry.

It was then while studying an MSc in Climate Change that my desire to work in the built environment sector was truly cemented. In addition to studying modules centred on the role of the constructed world in climate hazards and mitigation, I was encouraged by a number of my professors to start and continue a personal blog focusing on how urban areas influence, experience and mitigate climate change. Through creating a hobby out of what I found interesting the notion of working in the field felt only natural.

Through joining BRE I have not only been provided an opportunity to work among like-minded people, but also to explore the numerous ways I can put my knowledge and interests to use.

Harriet Cooper
About the Author
BRE Graduate

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