CED student spotlight: Tushar Narula’s (SED 2020) multidimensional take on sustainability
I am a senior pursuing Sustainable Environmental Design and minoring in City Planning. Through the SED major, I have gained a holistic, multidimensional perspective around sustainability and its role in the corporate as well as the planning world. The unique combination of classes has helped me to develop a sustainable approach around businesses, policies and economic systems.
My interests direct towards accommodating ESG aspects for value investments across domains and encouraging transformation of current organizations to seek positive returns and long term impact on society.
Coming from India, I have also been able to integrate urban design solutions into the country’s unique sociopolitical structure and helped in the development of sustainable development indices that act as drivers of responsible economic growth in emerging markets.
Through my time at Berkeley, I have been able to interject city systems and proposed solutions through resilient design, urban theories, quantitative methods and policy analysis. I have had the opportunity to engage with the fields of consulting, research, impact investing and policy formulation through my roles at Deloitte, AECOM and the Indian Green Building Council.
Creating a subjective and variable form of an urban space, CED has also helped me to gain a creative vision that knits form and purpose together and explores the gaps in the interaction of urban and natural ecosystems. As I engage with projects, I always attempt to utilize the multidimensional learnings and view an urban ‘Wicked’ problem with a holistic lens.
As I end my journey at Berkeley, I am looking forward to pursue a master’s degree in sustainability management and finance to enhance my interventions in responsible investments and climate resilient business practices. I am also currently working upon the development of Agro Ecology frameworks that equip small scale farmers in developing countries with mitigation and adaption based strategies in order to combat climate change stressors.
With my recent organization ‘BeSmart Smart Campus Solutions’, I aim to transform areas on college campuses as smart spaces through student involvement and sustainability, design, planning and economic interventions.
Read on for a taste of Narula's recent projects and involvement outside CED.
Connecting Housing to Heat Vulnerability
In his junior year, Tushar was a visiting researcher at Harvard Graduate School of Design. The research covered how a critical limitation in Heat Vulnerability Indices may be a lack of focus on housing characteristics and how they mediate indoor heat exposure.
Taking on the learnings from his major, he was able to contribute towards the research through sustainable international policy analysis and international mitigation efforts to extreme heat events. The research paper titled ‘Housing as a critical determinant of heat vulnerability and health’ was published in the leading international peer-reviewed scientific journal “Science of The Total Environment” by Elsevier and is currently available online
Connecting Climate Change to Contests
Tushar worked at the MIT Climate Colab housed at MIT’s Center for Collective Intelligence, which brings together thousands of people from around the world to source innovative solutions for global climate change. As a part of two projects, he helped in hosting a variety of contests that focus on cutting edge issues in sustainability.
He contributed towards management and expansion of projects such as “Reshaping Development Pathways in Least Developed Countries” by involving the UC Berkeley community. The contest offered many incremental measures to foster climate resilience in the LDC’s.
He showcased exceptional effort to solely develop the ‘Sustainable Renovation’ contest that focused on fundamental sustainability issues with the fashion industry. He also he established successful communication routes with Marquee luxury brands such as Kenneth Cole, Balenciaga and Christian Dior.
Tushar has also represented the UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design at the Forbes Under 30 conference in Detroit through The Forbes Under 30 Scholars Program.
He was selected amongst the 1000 high performing students around the country with a content focus on sustainability and smart cities.
He has also been actively representing the college of environmental design as the sole student representative/delegate at the 4th U.S. India conference at Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, and The Smart City India Conference in New Delhi India.