Quoth the Fellows: Holl, Sassen, & Williamson

Monday, July 25th, 2011

In a Time magazine article about the advent bookless libraries, Patron Steven Holl noted that “Acknowledging the digital and its speed and putting it in relation to the history and physical presence of the books makes it an exciting space. A book represents knowledge, and striking a balance in a library is a good thing.” Asked what makes a city successful, Board Member Saskia Sassen (pictured at left) argued that it is cities’ “incompleteness that gifts them their longevity. A city does not become obsolete.” (Sassen also sat down with Nicolas Nova for a great interview in advance of Lift Lab earlier this month.) And June Williamson spoke about the future of suburbia in one of Record‘s “What’s Next” features, explaining that “We spent 50 to 60 years building it up, so we’re going to have to spend an equivalent period of time restructuring, infilling, and remaking it.”

Cities and the New Wars Conference, September 25 and 26

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Cities-and-the-New-WarsInstitute board member Saskia Sassen and the Committee on Global Thought have organized Cities and the New Wars, a two-day conference on September 25th and 26th, 2009 at Wood Auditorium in Avery Hall, Columbia University.

The multiple meanings of the new urban wars: asymmetric armed conflict, US Army training for the “urban enemy,” forms of economic violence that kill, cities and urban space as a technology for war, reapropriating the city of fear, civil war refugees and their flight from and to cities, measuring human rights violations during war.

The limits of power and of war: the role of the civic, war and law, the growing global web of interdependencies — all can contest the most powerful states and all can undermine the idea of victory in war. Conditions under which powerlessness becomes complex and transcends mere victimhood.