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Future Cities: Sustainable Solutions, Radical Designs

Future Cities: Sustainable Solutions, Radical Designs

Future Cities: Sustainable Solutions, Radical Designs

We stand at a crossroads. Cities must change radically to achieve long-term sustainability. Energy, food and water sources, transportation systems and basic infrastructure, must all adapt to emerging pressures from climate change, dwindling resources and growing urban populations.

How will we meet this immense challenge? In a program that is part celebration of human ingenuity and part stark reminder of the problems we face, urban planner Peter Head, architects Blaine Brownell and Mitchell Joachim, environmentalist Majora Carter, and microbiologist Dickson Despommier laid out radical blueprints and innovative solutions as they imagine housing, feeding, transporting and sustaining city dwellers of the not too distant future. The event was moderated by President of the Aspen Institute and noted journalist, Walter Isaacson.

  • Blaine Brownell

    Blaine Brownell is an architect with expertise in how revolutionary eco-materials have the potential to facilitate sustainable building and design. He is a Visiting Professor in Sustainability at the University of Michigan as well as founder and director of the design/materials research firm, Transstudio.

  • Majora Carter

    Majora Carter is a leading environmentalist whose rallying cry is “Green the Ghetto.” A 2005 MacArthur fellow, she is the founder of Sustainable South Bronx, a community-based organization that is spearheading efforts to revitalize disadvantaged neighborhoods in New York City and beyond.

  • Dickson Despommier

    Dickson Despommier is a pioneering researcher in the development of urban vertical farm skyscrapers for food production. He is a professor of public health and microbiology in environmental health sciences at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

  • Peter Head

    Peter Head is an expert on the sustainable development of cities and the project leader for China’s first eco-city, Dongtan. An award-winning structural engineer, he is the director of Global Planning at Arup, the worldwide engineering, design, and consulting firm. Head was recently named one of "50 global green heroes who could save the planet" by The Guardian newspaper.

  • Walter Isaacson

    Walter Isaacson is the President and CEO of the Aspen Institute. He has been the Chairman and CEO of CNN and the editor of Time Magazine. He is the author of Einstein: His Life and Universe, as well as biographies of Benjamin Franklin and Henry Kissinger.

  • Mitchell Joachim

    Mitchell Joachim is an architect and urban designer as well as a partner in Terreform, a New York–based organization for philanthropic architecture and ecological design. His design of a compact, stackable “city car,” developed with the MIT Smart Cities Group, won the 2007 Time Magazine Best Invention of the Year.


Con Edison, Major Sponsor of the Festival,
is proud to have supported this event.


This event was supported by


Image © SOA Architects

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