Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Meet Dr. Hicham Riba, Author and Sustainable Living Enthusiast

Dr. Hicham Riba is a practicing dentist in the United States who graduated from New York University in 1994, and from Tishreen University in Syria in 1989. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Dr. Riba has also been a realtor in the state of Illinois since 2007 and is certified in real estate investments from various real estate institutions in the United States. He is an avid sustainable living enthusiast and author of Innovative Approaches to Sustainable Design: The Riba Green City Model.

1. How did you first become interested in sustainable design?

I've always had an interest in architecture and design. Of course when you have children, if you weren't before, you become much more concerned about the environment. I became hyper-aware of the environmental messes my children would be forced to deal with in the future, not to mention their children, my grandchildren--everyone's.

2. What inspired you to write Innovative Approaches to Sustainable Design: The Riba Green City Model?

It was the war in Syria. Amidst the heartbreaking daily reports of loss of life and devastating destruction, somehow green ideas began to sprout in my mind. These ideas multiplied by the day, and soon I simply could not shake the hope for a new, green, thriving Syria. In time, the opportunity to rebuild would present itself. We needed to be prepared. Instead of consumers, I sincerely believe each one of us possesses the ability to become a producer utilizing the best technology available and shedding our dependence on fossil fuels.

3. Would you tell us a little bit about your "green city model"?

It's a practical guide to creating a completely sustainable and agricultural city. I thoroughly explore all aspects of renewable energy and how we can apply them in every area from the individual housing units to the blocks, neighborhoods, communities, and throughout the entire city.

4. What are some things you do in your own life to be mindful of the environment and live in a more sustainable way?

I recycle, buy local whenever I can, blog, talk to my kids about the environment, and try my best to be a good example, because that is what they'll remember above all else.

5. How do you combine your work as a dentist with your interest in sustainable design?

In the workplace we are paperless. Everything is digital. The office design is also very agronomic, and we use green companies whenever we have the opportunity.

Thanks, Dr. Riba!

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