Green Infrastructure

CUISD is committed to a vision of New York's infrastructure in which resources are used wisely and construction works in harmony with context. To this end, the Institute has been working in collaboration with city agencies and nonprofit groups to improve the sustainability of New York's infrastructure. In 2011, the Institute worked with Fourth Arts Block on a proposal to improve the management of stormwater runoff in the neighborhood surrounding the Cooper Union campus.

The project, called the East 4th Street Cultural District Green Infrastructure Project, was composed of two components: a renovation of surrounding sidewalk and a green roof installation. The first component would ensure a minimization of surface runoff and direct water in a more efficient manner, while the second component would help absorb and filter storm water before it even reaches the pavement.

This project addresses a critical need for better stormwater stewardship. Streets and sidewalks contribute to 26.6% of New York City’s Combined Sewer Overflow. The East 4th Street Cultural District Green Infrastructure Project could diminish the frequency of storm water overflow events, and provide a highly visible model project for other communities to study and replicate.

Projects & Links

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.