So after much research and time spent figuring out what I want to do I have decided to go to grad school for architecture. I want to, however, try and either apply to a program with a dual degree in either urban planning or a masters in real estate development, or go back to school after my masters in architecture degree to obtain this extra degree. What I am trying to figure out is which one will better suit my career goals. I have an undergraduate degree in environmental planning and through the course of my undergraduate experience I have developed a desire to really "design" or "build" communities/areas/regions/towns around concepts of sustainability and more efficient means of energy usage. I want to use my architecture degree to develop sustainable architecture, but I would also like to one day try and develop sustainable areas on a larger scale instead of one building at a time. I feel that locating certain business in close proximity to one another will allow for unique synergistic conglomerations to form. I read a book called the "Ecology of Commerce" and they state a case study in Denmark which I found amazingly fascinating:
"A coal-fired plant, an oil refinery, a pharmaceutical comany specializing in biotechnology, a sheetrock plant, concrete producers, a producer of sulfuric acid, municipal heating authorities, a fish farm, some greenhouses, local farms, and other enterprises work cooperatively with one another. The refinery produces surplus gas, which was not used prior to 191 because of the sulfur. After installing a sulfur removal system the gas could be sold to the sheetrock factory, as well as the coal fired utility (saving 30,000 tons of coal). The sulfur being retrieved was sold to the chemical company. The sulfur removal system also produces calcium slufate, which they will be selling to sheetrock factory as well as a substitute for mined gypsum (reducing resource depletion). The fly ash from coal generation is used in road construction and concrete production. Waste heat from the refinery is used to warm the waters of a fish farm that produces 200 tons of turbot and trout sold on the market, while its fish sludge goas to local farmers as fertilizers."
The unique synergistic associations go on and on. Through unique design, and business location, the conditions necessary for such associations was made available. While my initial goal is to design buildings to be more sustainable, I want to try and create conditions like the one stated above. I find it extraordinary how through unique design and proper planning these types of conglomerations can be created.
My question is ontop of receiving my Architecture Masters degree which would be a good degree to lead me in this direction? I really want to make an impact on the built environment and the more and more I am learning about the planning profession, I feel it is more based on bureaucratic and policy issues, not so much the design and built environment. I know that The City College of New York offers a one year Urban Design masters after you recieve the Masters of Architecture degree, and maybe this would be a better route for me to take. I am still trying to figure out exactly what the MRED would allow me to do, but if anyone has any insight for me I would really appreciate it. Thanks.