The Different Faces of the Same City

The third week of the program was highlighting how each parts of this vibrant city can differ from one another, just like the professionals choosing to live here. I have found that the last few days of the course were somehow displaying and summarizing the numerous impressions we had on the city, in a condensed and very valuable way. The diverse company visits and lectures were enabling us to settle our thoughts over these extremely vivid weeks.

We had the chance to peek into fancy offices on Lexington Avenue, in the heart of Manhattan, and see how a family-owned real estate company – Rudiment Management – is running and renting out some of the most prominent skyscrapers of the city along with residential buildings overlooking the Central Park.

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We were learning about smart buildings and how a proper tracking system of a 40 floor building’s day can save 3000 USD/hour for its proprietaries while in the meantime, also earning the fancy label of being sustainable and environmentally conscious.

The other day, we were sunbathing on a rooftop farm, familiarizing with the great concept of urban farming and talking to people who wanted to start something new at the old navy yard of Brooklyn. Brooklyn Grange is founded and ran by a passionate young engineer who dreamt about supplying fresh salad from the heart of a metropolis. His dream come true, and after a few years the model is already flourishing not just in NYC.

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Moving back to the always busy Manhattan, we changed ideas with Robert Zuber, an independent consultant to the United Nations, a man with unique thoughts on conflict resolution, disarmament and on other UN related issues. He runs his small NGO and tries to make a living without being influenced by the donors.

These are only a few of the highlights of our last week. I think we all need a little more time to digest the plenty of thoughts and ideas we have encountered during our stay in the Big Apple. One thing is certain, experiencing the vibe of the metropolis, and being guided by great professionals coming from different fields, was a truly priceless experience!

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