Design Trust Feature Grant

Zero Waste Design Guidelines for High Density Cities

Center for Zero Waste Design

The Zero Waste Design Guidelines were developed through the American Institute of Architects New York, to address the crucial role that the design of the built environment plays in achieving circular material loops. While developed for New York City’s context, the design
strategies are applicable to any city, and are especially valuable for reducing waste in high density cities. For this project a public facing panel discussion will be held in Hong Kong and Singapore to engage the local design community and discuss the concepts of zero waste design. An expert thinktank with local stakeholders will follow, to explore how the design strategies can be adapted and applied to each city. The intent is to begin a process of collaboration between the three cities, with each sharing strategies, research, case studies and policies, to deepen the impact and engagement of the design community in achieving zero waste goals.

About the Center for Zero Waste Design
Waste is a design flaw: Ecosystems recycle materials indefinitely in circular loops, but humans have designed a system which trashes over 90% of the materials extracted from the earth within six months. The Center for Zero Waste Design (CfZWD) promotes the role of design of the urban realm in helping cities achieve circular material loops and zero waste. Clare Miflin leads the Center, which adapts the design strategies from the Zero Waste Design Guidelines to the context of other cities, expands the database of case studies, and develops research and policy tools. The impact of applying the design strategies goes beyond reducing waste, to reduction of truck traffic and greenhouse gas emissions, improvement of public space, and more sustainable and resilient cities.

About Clare Miflin

Clare Miflin has over 25 years of experience as a practicing architect, primarily with Kiss + Cathcart Architects, where she led award winning projects including an AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Ten Award and a Holcim Gold award for sustainability. In 2017 she led the development of the ground-breaking Zero Waste Design Guidelines which included the exhibition Designing Waste at the Center for Architecture in New York City. These provide design strategies and case studies to help cities reduce waste through design of the built environment.

Clare is active in the New York City’s sustainable community as Chair of AIANY COTE, and Sustainability Coordinator for her local food cooperative. She is a certified LEED and Passive House professional. Fascinated by natural systems, she also holds a MS and Professional Certification in Biomimicry. She set up the Center for Zero Waste Design in 2019 to further knowledge and implementation of Zero Waste Design in cities worldwide.