In the News

(Slideshow Above)

In this issue:
DIY Exhibit at the NYSCI
– Sophie’s Choice
– Prospect Heights Passive
– Ottawa Honors
– A Place Where Scholars Can Collaborate
Continue reading “In the News”

Honors and Awards Luncheon 2014: Design Matters

“If you’re ever going to get an award from the AIA New York Chapter, this was the year to do it.” No one can deny the truth spoken by honoree David Burney, FAIA, winner of the Chapter’s Award of Merit, in extolling this year’s impressive line-up for the Honors and Awards Luncheon, which included Metropolis Magazine Editor-in-Chief and publisher Susan Szenasy, Hon. AIANY, winner of the Stephen A. Kliment Oculus Award; Medal of Honor honorees Denise Scott Brown, RIBA, Int. FRIBA, and Robert Venturi, FAIA, Int. FRIBA; and a special keynote from Shaun Donovan, Hon. AIANY, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Continue reading “Honors and Awards Luncheon 2014: Design Matters”

Lobby from Albany; Learning from Piers

AIA New York State 2014 Albany Lobby Day took place on 04.29.14. With a series of important issues to press, an enthusiastic delegation from AIANY took to the Capitol.

All of our meetings were informative and productive, but our meeting with Assemblymember Deborah Glick was particularly significant because she is chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, the committee currently considering passage of the Good Samaritan Act. This legislation would provide protections for architects who volunteer necessary services to the public during disasters and emergencies, as determined by the governor. Following Superstorm Sandy, the need for this legislation was made very apparent when willing architects hesitated to respond without proper protections. This bill needs a final push to get it through the Assembly Higher Education Committee. Continue reading “Lobby from Albany; Learning from Piers”

Henk Ovink: A Dutch Resiliency Perspective

On Earth Day, 4.22.14, AIANY and the AIANY Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee (DfRR) hosted Henk Ovink, former Acting Director-General of Spatial Planning and Water Affairs for the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and current senior advisor to U.S. Housing and Urban Design Secretary Shaun Donovan, Hon. AIANY. In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, Ovink emerged as a central figure in shaping the future of the entire region affected by the storm by leading the HUD Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Taskforce. As a nation, the Netherlands has formally addressed issues of flood prevention and protection for more than 900 years. Through Water Boards, a system of regional water authorities introduced in the 13th century, formerly separated communities have worked together to address regionalized environmental issues associated with water management. Today, nearly 300 Water Boards actively continue their ancestors’ work by crafting collaborative strategies for water management and extreme weather adaptation throughout the Netherlands. While “resilient” design strategies have become increasingly significant in the wake of Sandy, Ovink has leveraged his experience to introduce a new era of holistic and collaborative responses to extreme water events intensified by climate change. Continue reading “Henk Ovink: A Dutch Resiliency Perspective”

A Sustainable and Resilient Plan for de Blasio’s Next 100 Days + Iowa Passes Good Samaritan Bill

On Thursday, 04.10.14, the New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV) held a demonstration on the steps of City Hall calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio, on his 100th day in office, to focus on sustainability and resiliency efforts in his next 100 days. The press conference announced three suggested steps that, if implemented, will better prepare New York City for future climate change and weather-related events. NYLCV President Marcia Bystryn gave the opening remarks and outlined the three milestones that emphasize long-term planning in a post-Sandy New York City:

  • The de Blasio Administration has set 05.01.14 as the deadline to announce its plan to add and preserve 200,000 affordable housing units. These units should be built sustainably and resiliently. They should also include access to transit and parks.
  • The official start of the next hurricane season is 06.01.14. The mayor should initiate a comprehensive plan to ensure that New York is prepared for the next storm and the changing climate.
  • The deadline for a finalized city budget is 06.30.14. Sustainability and resiliency planning must be included in the capital plan, in addition to vital infrastructure repairs. Continue reading “A Sustainable and Resilient Plan for de Blasio’s Next 100 Days + Iowa Passes Good Samaritan Bill”

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”

New York City’s Waterfront: Three Case Studies in Contemporary Resilient Design

New York has always been a city that celebrates its waterfront. But, in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, New Yorkers, particularly those who reside along the city’s 520 miles of coastline, have become acutely aware of the impacts of rising water levels and storm surges. According to the most recent FEMA maps, more than 400,000 New Yorkers currently live within the 100-year floodplain. Furthermore, the Bloomberg Administration’s 2013 Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency (SIRR) projects that by 2050 an additional 400,000 New Yorkers will live within flood-susceptible areas. Sandy’s toll, 43 lives lost and $19.5 billion in damages according to the SIRR, is a morbid reminder of the outcome of such events. In post-Sandy New York, waterfront development presents a distinct opportunity to illustrate effective resilient design techniques that elegantly respond to the challenges the city will face in the future. Continue reading “New York City’s Waterfront: Three Case Studies in Contemporary Resilient Design”

New York City Resiliency: Explorations of an Emerging Design Paradigm

On 10.21.14, an interdisciplinary panel representing both the public and private sectors within the design community met to discuss the significance of resiliency in contemporary planning and design. Co-sponsored by the AIANY Design for Risk and Reconstruction (DfRR) and the AIANY Marketing and Communications Committees, “The 21st-Century Practice: Marketing Resiliency Planning and Design” ambitiously attempted to define an ethos which has quickly become one of New York’s central design and planning considerations. The panelists approached the concept of resiliency from a distinctly multidisciplinary focus. Focusing particularly on a New York point perspective, moderator John Fontillas, AIA, LEED AP, a partner at H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, sought to explore the concept of resiliency in the context of “the art of the possible.” Continue reading “New York City Resiliency: Explorations of an Emerging Design Paradigm”