Christopher Gliwa ’21


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Project Title

Advancing a Climate Park in the New Jersey Meadowlands

Certificate(s): Environmental Studies

I worked under the Regional Plan Association’s Energy and Environment research team on an ambitious climate adaptability and resiliency project that would convert the Meadowlands of northern New Jersey into a climate park to help mitigate local climate change effects. My work focused on community engagement and outreach to citizens, lawmakers and organizations in the Meadowlands region in order to maximize public support and equity. My goal was to find the most effective way to communicate the issues of climate change and sea-level rise. I interviewed organizers of previously successful environmental projects in the Meadowlands and drafted community engagement guidelines using the insights gained from those interviews. What I found most interesting about my work was the disparity between relatively unresponsive lawmakers and highly responsive community members, and the difference in environmental commitments between those two parties. As a native of the Meadowlands region, this internship reaffirmed my personal and professional aspirations to combat the environmental inequities that exist in my community, a topic that also will be the focus of my senior independent research.

* This internship is connected to the HMEI Water and the Environment Grand Challenges project, “The Meadowlands: A National Climate Park.”

Internship Year


Project Category

Urban Systems and Planning for a Sustainable Future


Regional Plan Association (RPA)


Robert Freudenberg, Vice President, Energy and Environment, RPA