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Amy King in front of a windmill

Amy King, '16, MS '17

Greening cities

I make a quick stop at a café in Vondelpark before continuing my bike commute through Amsterdam en route to the office on the canal. Bike friendly and full of open spaces, Amsterdam is a model city for sustainability, and I contemplate its merits as I bike along the ancient streets.

Through a Schneider Fellowship, I worked six weeks in Washington, D.C. and six weeks in Amsterdam for the U.S. Green Building Council, producing the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark Report, an annual account of how hundreds of international properties are striving for sustainable practices in their built environment.

Working with a multicultural team dedicated to urban sustainability, I edited and published the Innovative Case Studies section of the report, discovering along the way the wild ways companies are cultivating green practices in their business and buildings. One company had started a beekeeping program on their green roof, encouraging community and a buzzing bee population. Sharing these creative case studies showed me the green goals of big business, and gave me great hope! Discovering the impact possible in creating a greener built environment shifted my career trajectory from conservation to sustainable design, knowing I can best serve the natural environment by shaping the built one. 

Amy King, ’16 (Earth Systems); MS ’17 (Civil & Environmental Engineering: Atmosphere & Energy), was a 2015 Schneider Fellow. Schneider Fellows work at leading U.S. nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to tackle today's sustainable energy challenges.
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