Journey to Medellín: WUF7

Conversations with Dr. Joan Clos, the executive director of the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat), started and ended my visit to Medellín. I was presenting at the World Urban Forum 7 (WUF) with the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization (CSU), an emerging non-governmental organization (NGO) that was formalized in 2008. CSU is co-chaired by James McCullar, FAIA, past AIANY president, and Aliye Celik; other board members include Margaret Castillo, FAIA, past AIANY president, and myself. The CSU partners with and is sponsored by the AIANY, NJIT, and CCNY/CUNY, among others. Detailed information can be found on its website at www.consortiumforsustainableurbanization.org, and information on the UN Habitat World Urban Forum can be found at wuf7.unhabitat.org.

”With sessions held every two years, the World Urban Forum examines rapid urbanization and its impact on communities, cities, economies, and policies. This year’s session of the Forum, with the theme ‘Urban Equity in Development – Cities for Life,’ drew more than 22,000 participants from more than 140 countries representing governments, UN agencies, NGOs, urban professionals, local authorities, and academics. The WUF, convened by UN-Habitat, is a non-legislative technical forum.” So starts the UN Summary of the WUF7 event. In large part, the activities were in service of formulating the agenda for HABITAT III, to be held in 2016, when the previous agenda from the last Habitat meeting in Istanbul 20 years ago will be assessed, and new goals will be set for our common global future. Continue reading “Journey to Medellín: WUF7”

Cities by Water: Solutions from Copenhagen and New York

The line of people that stretched down LaGuardia Place to attend “Cities by Water: Solutions from Copenhagen and New York” on 04.08.14 was a testament to the fact that in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, New Yorkers have become acutely aware of the threat that climate change poses to their city. The program, related to the “Copenhagen Solutions” exhibition currently on view at the Center for Architecture, compared and contrasted approaches to the water-related challenges facing New York and Copenhagen.

Bjarke Ingels, founder of the Copenhagen- and New York-based architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), and Tina Saaby, City Architect of Copenhagen, fielded the first questions posed by AIANY Executive Director Rick Bell, FAIA, who guided the evening’s discussion. Bell asked Ingels and Saaby to comment on the extent to which political leadership, policy, and the relationship between the public and private sectors determines what is possible in Copenhagen. Saaby explained that in Copenhagen there is both a top-down and bottom-up approach implemented simultaneously, resulting in long-term visions for city planning coupled with short-term actions. Continue reading “Cities by Water: Solutions from Copenhagen and New York”

In the News

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In this issue:
– Ciao Bella Sophia
– Memorial Museum Embraces Memory, Authenticity, Scale, and Emotion
– Stadium Scores a Goal
– A Cure for Fair Fatigue
– Central Harlem’s Sweet Adeline Continue reading “In the News”