The National Academy of Environmental Design (NAED), formed IN 2009 nearly 150 years after the National Academy of Sciences, seeks to address the challenges of the 21st century using 21st century methods to create and share knowledge. The NAED assiduously maintains the "gold standard" of the existing National Academies—objectivity built on a system of rigorous peer review. At the same time, rather than providing expert advice from the sidelines, the NAED envisions itself as the country’s premier "think-and-do tank" positioned to actively address today’s global development challenges. To enable this proactive position, the NAED has developed a multi-part strategy:
It is clear that organizations working exclusively "inside the beltway" risk losing touch with the needs of the nation. Many citizens and decision-makers have recognized that the Washington DC culture is currently ineffective at addressing pressing environmental challenges in a timely and necessarily collaborative manner. In the vernacular, Washington is broken.
As a result the National Academy of Environmental Design has chosen to develop a network of research centers located in bio-regions with specific environmental design challenges, including those of settlement patterns, climate, and necessary economic transformations. By locating within bio-regions the National Academy can learn from its surrounding communities and contexts, and share this information with policy makers to advance this nation-wide, expert -sourced effort. These research centers will continue to coordinate important efforts "inside the beltway" through a Washington DC-located office.
The first research center, and the NAED’s headquarters beginning in 2012, is in Ni Village, Spotsylvania County, Virginia. Ni Village is envisioned as a smart community, with walkable live-work options designed using sustainable building and landscape principles.
Partner-to-partner problem solving
The environmental design disciplines are sometimes characterized as providing "only" applied research to address practical problems. This is in fact a key strength of disciplines such as architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, and planning. To recognize and build on this strength, the NAED partners with disciplines that engage in basic scientific research, putting new discoveries to use effectively and quickly. Previous partners, such as the National Research Council’s Disaster Resilient Design Roundtable, and the National Collaborative for Childhood Obesity Research, benefit from learning how theoretical best practices can be implemented. The National Academy of Environmental Design translates these ideas into practice, with the ability to disseminate them, nationally and immediately. Because designers are typically excellent "connectors" they also can provide the communications expertise needed to bring disciplinary partners together.
Much excellent, objective research about how to create preferred futures in the built and human environments is already available, through peer-reviewed design award programs, competitions, and other research efforts organized by the more than 20 national environmental design organizations of the NAED coalition. By aggregating this research and sharing it--topically, regionally, and by discipline--the public can most easily receive expert examples to address their own environmental design challenges.
ABOUT THE NAED
|The NAED membership provides the leadership and expertise required to accomplish complex research projects on issues such as climate change, resource depletion, and energy security.
WORKSHOPS + SYMPOSIA