Julia Jones on hill in BrazilSocial Science Capstone Award Winner

Congratulations to Julia Jones (AS ’16), who won the Prize for Best Capstone Project in the Social Sciences. Julia’s project, “Sustainable Urban Alternatives: Rethinking Informality in Rio de Janeiro’s Favelas,” is a study comparing the sustainability of a small favela, Asa Branca, with its formal counterpart Olympic Village using the LEED® for Neighborhood Development standard of sustainability. Her study found that the favela outperformed Olympic Village by 28% and earns a Gold Certification on LEED’s sustainability scale.

Her paper explores “slums, shanty-towns, and informal living spaces not as the problem, but as solutions to achieving sustainable urbanism.” Her findings are important because they prove that “achieving economically viable, socially equitable, and environmentally conscious urban environments does not necessarily have to come from new construction or expensive redevelopment projects, but already exists organically in many slums.” Professor John Burdick served as Julia’s Capstone Advisor.