Arrested Development: Public Symposium


A public discussion with an array of experts, from architects and developers to policymakers and economists, on the state of megaprojects in light of the stalled economy

On November 7, 2009, the Institute for Urban Design will host a day-long event titled Arrested Development: Do Megaprojects Have a Future? The symposium will examine the effects of the global recession on large-scale developments and the ramifications of the re-emergence of megaprojects.

Astoundingly, this era of economic contraction has brought progress in environmental policy at local, national, and international levels. As megaprojects like New York City’s Atlantic Yards and the UK’s “eco towns” slow down, stall, and even stop, local and national leaders are rethinking the nature of these projects with respect to social and environmental sustainability. Historically, megaprojects have been controversial. Although there have been outright failures, megaprojects can offer opportunities for great urban renewal. Our panels of experts will examine how market mechanisms enable megaprojects, what characterizes their success, and why, how, and if megaprojects have a future.

The symposium is organized in three sessions: in the morning two panels will discuss Megaprojects in Suburbs and Megaprojects as New Towns; in the afternoon we will look at Megaprojects in the Metropolis.

The symposium will be the basis for the second publication in the Institute for Urban Design’s Notebook series. Click here for more information on The New York 2030 Notebook.

This event will offer Continuing Education credits for AIA and ASLA members and affiliates. CES LUs: 6.0, HSW: 6.0



Symposium organized by the
with the support of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and
anplogo and CurbedNY

Saturday, November 7th, 2009
The Great Hall, The Cooper Union
Free admission

9:30 am
Welcome: Olympia Kazi, Executive Director, Institute for Urban Design
Opening Remarks: Anthony Vidler, Dean, The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, The Cooper Union

10:00 am – 11:30 am
Lawrence Levy
, Executive Director, National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University
David Manfredi
, Principal, Elkus Manfredi Architects
Myron Orfield
, Professor of Law; Executive Director, Institute on Race & Poverty, University of Minnesota
: June Williamson, Associate Professor, Spitzer School of Architecture, The City College of New York / CUNY

11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Chris Corr
, Regional Chair, Planning, Design and Development, AECOM, Florida
Tom Jost
, Director of Urban Planning, ARUP, New York
Emily Talen
, Professor, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, School of Sustainability, Arizona State University
James von Klemperer
, Principal, Kohn Pedersen Fox Architects
: Robert Fishman, Professor, School of Architecture and Planning, University of Michigan

2:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Keynote: Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President

Vishaan Chakrabarti, Marc Holliday Professor of Real Estate Development; Director, Real Estate Development Program, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation, Columbia University
Susan Fainstein, Professor, Department of Urban Planning and Design, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University
Jeff Madrick
, Senior Fellow, Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, The New School
Thom Mayne
, Founder, Morphosis Architects
: Peter Grant, The Wall Street Journal


About the Participants

Vishaan Chakrabarti
Vishaan Chakrabarti is the Marc Holliday Professor of Real Estate Development and the Director of the Real Estate Development program in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University. For 2009-2010, the University of Virginia has also named Chakrabarti as the Jaquelin T. Robertson Visiting Professorship in Architecture. Chakrabarti is the founding principal of VCDC, an urban design firm based in Manhattan. Formerly an Executive Vice President of Related Companies, Chakrabarti ran the design operations for the firm’s development portfolio including Moynihan Station. From 2002 to 2005, Chakrabarti served as the Director of the Manhattan Office for the New York Department of City Planning. Prior to this, Chakrabarti was an Associate Partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

Chris Corr
Regional Chair for AECOM Planning, Design + Development, Chris Corr leads five business lines: economics, design + planning, architecture, building engineering, and program + construction management. Corr is responsible for winning approval of the largest real estate project in Florida’s history, the 75,000 acre West Bay Area Sector in Bay County. From 1992 to 1998, Corr was a senior manager at the Walt Disney Company and was one of the leading developers of the town of Celebration, near Orlando, a 5,000-acre master planned community inspired by Walt Disney’s vision of EPCOT. Corr is presently a member of the Florida Council of 100, The Jacksonville Economic Development Commission, the Urban Land Institute, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Atlanta Metro Chamber of Commerce.

Susan Fainstein
Susan Fainstein is a Professor of Planning in the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. She has also taught at Columbia and Rutgers Universities and been a visiting professor at the University of Amsterdam and the University of Witwatersrand. Her teaching and research have focused on comparative urban public policy, planning theory, and urban redevelopment. Among her books are The City Builders: Property, Politics, and Planning in London and New York, Restructuring the City, and Urban Political Movements. She has co-edited volumes on urban tourism, gender and planning, planning theory, and urban theory. She has just completed a book entitled The Just City. She is a recipient of the Distinguished Planning Educator Award of the Association of American Schools of Planning.

Robert Fishman
Historian Robert Fishman is Professor at the Taubman College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Michigan. He is the author of Urban Utopias in the Twentieth Century: Ebenezer Howard, Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier and Bourgeois Utopias: The Rise and Fall of Suburbia.  His edited books include The American Planning Tradition and New Urbanism (Michigan Debates on Urbanism). Fishman was a Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. and is a director (board member) of America 2050, an advocacy organization that promotes national planning and infrastructure investment.

Peter Grant
Peter Grant is the deputy editor of the Wall Street Journal’s real estate group. Currently focused on commercial real estate coverage, Grant has previously covered economic development, business, minority enterprise, the cable television industry, and wars in Lebanon and Afghanistan. He has written for the New York Observer, Crain’s New York Business, The Buffalo News, syndicated columnist Jack Anderson, and the Daily News, where he was involved in the Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the Apollo Theater. His articles have appeared in the Boston Globe, Newsday, San Francisco Examiner, Legal Times of Washington, Africa Confidential, and Global Finance. Grant holds a degree in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania.

Tom Jost
Tom Jost heads the New York office for Arup’s Integrated Urbanism practice. With a background in urban planning and design, Tom directs some of Arup’s most important sustainable planning and urban regeneration projects including: the Long Island 2035 Action Plan, a strategic set of actions to sustain a successful suburban community of more than 2 million people; and Destiny, a plan for Florida’s first eco-City of 200,000 inhabitants. Tom has been responsible for several New York projects, including the High Line, Fresh Kills, and Hunters Point South. Tom is an active member of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA, the Forum for Urban Design and is the Chair of the Economic Development Committee of the NY Chapter of the APA.

Olympia Kazi
A critic and curator of architecture, Olympia Kazi is the Executive Director of the Institute for Urban Design in New York. After her architecture degree at the University of Florence, Kazi served as Junior Curator at the Milan Triennale before moving to New York to become a Fellow of Architecture and Urban Studies at the Whitney Museum of American Art. A member of the Exhibition Committee of the Architectural League of New York and an advisor to Urban Omnibus, Olympia Kazi has written for The Architect’s Newspaper, AD, and the Skira Yearbook, and is currently the architecture editor of Wound magazine.

Lawrence Levy
During his 30 years as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist, Lawrence C. Levy has won many of journalism’s top awards, including Pulitzer Finalist, for in-depth works on suburban politics, education, taxation, housing and other key issues. In his leadership role at the National Center, he works with the center’s academic director to shape an innovative agenda for suburban study, forge alliances with other institutions, not-for-profit groups and government agencies and promote the study of the suburbs nationwide. He is a member of a Brookings Institution advisory panel, Guest Contributor on and, and appears frequently on local and national television and radio.

Jeff Madrick
A regular contributor to The New York Review of Books and a former economics columnist for The New York Times, Jeff is also editor of Challenge Magazine, visiting professor of humanities at The Cooper Union, and senior fellow at the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, The New School. His books include 2009’s The Case for Big Government, Taking America, and The End of Affluence. He has written for many other publications, including The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, The Boston Globe, Newsday, and currently blogs for The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast. His awards include an Emmy and a Page One Award. Madrick is a fellow of the World Policy Institute and the Century Foundation, and is a member of the board of Economists for Peace and Security and the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

David Manfredi
As a founding principal of Elkus Manfredi Architects, David Manfredi has worked to protect and rebuild urban places across the United States, creating a new generation of places that honor their heritage and environment while embracing the 21st century. His architectural and planning practice is grounded in a commitment to create inspiring spaces and durable, livable communities. Conceived within a framework of sustainability and environmental preservation, David’s design work has transformed retail precincts into vibrant mixed-use “downtowns.” He has pioneered the prototype design of urban, high-rise research buildings to support the collaborative imperatives of today’s science, opened educational campuses to engage with adjacent communities, and has been responsible for planning and design of suburban projects, specifically the first phase of Belmar in Lakewood, Colorado and Westwood Station in Westwood, Massachusetts.

Thom Mayne
Thom Mayne founded Morphosis in 1972. The Los Angeles-based firm currently maintains a permanent office in New York City as well as site offices in Paris and Shanghai. Mayne’s distinguished honors include the Pritzker Prize, the Edward McDowell Medal, and the National Design Award from the Cooper Hewitt. With his firm, he has completed several recognizable buildings of the last ten years, including the Caltrans District 7 Headquarters in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Federal Building, the New Academic Building for the Cooper Union in NYC, and the Phare Tower, currently in development in Paris. Throughout his career, he has remained active in the academic world: he was a co-founder of the influential Southern California Institute of Architecture and currently holds a tenured professorship at the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture.

Myron Orfield
Myron Orfield is the Executive Director of the Institute on Race & Poverty and a professor of law at the University of Minnesota, a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., and an affiliate faculty member at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. He teaches and writes in the fields of civil rights, state and local government, state and local finance, land use, questions of regional governance, and the legislative process. For over a decade, Professor Orfield has been president of a nationally respected regional research organization undertaking studies involving the legal, demographic and land use profiles of various American metropolitan areas. In 1990, Professor Orfield was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives, where he served five terms, and to the Minnesota Senate in 2000, where he served one term.

Scott Stringer
Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer has dedicated himself to making Manhattan more affordable, livable, and breathable. The foundation for much of the borough president’s work is the change he has brought to Manhattan’s community boards, infusing badly needed resources to strengthen the voice of Manhattan’s neighborhoods in debates over city planning. Stringer’s community-based approach also has succeeded in accelerating New York’s urban greening effort by launching “Go Green” campaigns in three Manhattan neighborhoods. Along with fighting for affordable, sustainable housing, he has authored a number of policy reports on issues including food policy, environmental protection, parental involvement in public schools, and transportation. Stringer formerly served for 13 years in the State Assembly. The New York Times credited him as having “a sterling reputation as a catalyst for reform.”

Emily Talen
Emily Talen is a professor at Arizona State University, where she has two affiliations: the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning and the School of Sustainability. Her research focuses on topics dealing with new urbanism, urban design, and the social implications of community design. In addition to close to 50 scholarly journal articles, she has authored three books, one on the historical lineage of new urbanism: New Urbanism and American Planning: The Conflict of Cultures; a study of the urban design requirements of socially diverse neighborhoods in Chicago: Design for Diversity; and Urban Design Reclaimed, a set of 10 urban design exercises for planners.

Anthony Vidler
Anthony Vidler is Dean and Professor of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at The Cooper Union, New York. A historian and critic of architecture, Vidler was the recipient of awards from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities and is the author of several scholarly works on the history of early-modern, modern and contemporary European and American architecture.

James von Klemperer
A Design Principal at Kohn Pedersen Fox, James von Klemperer has more than 25 years of experience in the design of mixed-use, office, hotel, residential and civic/cultural facilities, as well as master planning for urban and waterfront developments. Most recently, Mr. von Klemperer has worked on new city planning for New Songdo City in Korea, a city in India (near New Delhi), and an Eco City project known as Meixi Lake in the Hunan Province. With his work at KPF, he has won several design awards from the NY AIA and the City of Beijing, among others. He has lectured at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Cambridge University in England, ESA in Paris, Universidad Mayor in Santiago Chile, Seoul National and Yonsei Universities in Korea, and TsingHua and Tongji Universities in China.

June Williamson
June Williamson, RA LEED AP is an associate professor of architecture at the City College of New York / CUNY. An urban designer and registered architect, she has authored design guidelines and consulted on numerous urban design projects throughout the U.S. She has taught at Columbia University, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Utah, and the Boston Architectural College. She is co-author, with Ellen Dunham-Jones, of the book Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs, and her writing has been published in the books Writing Urbanism: A Design Reader and the Institute for Urban Design’s own New York 2030 Notebook as well as the journals Places, Harvard Design Magazine, Urban Land, the Journal of Urbanism, and Thresholds.


Reviews of Arrested Development Symposium

Urban Omnibus

Architect Magazine

Atlantic Yards Report


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