Calendar of Events
Oculus Book Talk: Alexandros Washburn, The Nature of Urban Design
AIA CES: 1.5 LU|HSW
When: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM MONDAY, JANUARY 13
Where: At The Center
Alexandros Washburn, Assoc. AIA, will present his new book The Nature of Urban Design: A New York City Perspective on Resilience, published by Island Press.
The global shift to an urban population comes with an uncomfortable corollary. People who live in cities as they are currently designed produce more greenhouse gasses than their non-urban counterparts—as a global average about three times more. But people in cities, particularly in coastal cities, are waking up to their vulnerability as well as to their responsibility. This newly acknowledged responsibility is reflected in current trends in urban design, in newly conceived projects, plans and standards that try to make cities more resilient in the way they are designed, built and inhabited. To truly prosper, cities need to accommodate a growing number of citizens in dignity, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and still be worth living in.
In this visually rich book Alexandros Washburn redefines urban design by looking at the process and products within the context of rapid urbanization and climate change. The Nature of Urban Design uses real-life examples, drawing heavily from the New York experience, to show how to design beautiful urban spaces that achieve multiple goals and objectives—such as greater resilience, livability and equity—while addressing the political and financial challenges that can accelerate or slow implementation. With examples ranging from the High Line to the post-Sandy recovery of Red Hook, Brooklyn, The Nature of Urban Design shows how a well-designed, well-built city can be the most efficient, equitable, safest, and enriching place on earth.
The Nature of Urban Design will inspire and inform anyone who cares about cities. It provides a framework for participating in the process of change. This includes people who want to become urban designers, particularly students and practitioners in the field of politics, finance and design who help to decide how a city will change.
Alexandros E. Washburn, Assoc. AIA, is the Chief Urban Designer of the City of New York, Department of City Planning. An architect who has worked both in the private and public sector, he served as Environment and Public Works Advisor to US Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, then as President of the Pennsylvania Station Redevelopment Corporation, and then partner of W Architecture and Landscape Architecture LLC. From individual buildings to the most complex infrastructure projects, he judges success in urban design from the point of view of the pedestrian. In his daily work, he tries to achieve the "quantity of Robert Moses with the quality of Jane Jacobs." And for this missing link between the human-scale and the mega-project, he turns to another great New Yorker, Fredrick Law Olmsted, designer of Central Park, for inspiration. He sees the integration of urbanity and ecology as the next great wave in city-building.
Price: Free for AIA members and students with valid student ID - RSVP using the form to the right
$10 for non-members - PURCHASE A TICKET
Organized by: AIANY Oculus Committee
Co-sponsored by: AIANY Planning and Urban Design
Oculus Book Seller: McNally Jackson Books | 52 Prince Street, New York, NY 10012 | 212.274.1160
This program is an initiative of the Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, 2014 Presidential theme “Civic Spirit: Civic Vision”
Each month, the AIANY Oculus Committee presents a Book Talk at the Center for Architecture. Each Oculus Book Talk highlights a recent publication on architecture, design, or the built environment — presented by the author. The Book Talks are a forum for dialogue and discussion, and copies of the publications are available for sale and signing.
2014 Book Talk Series
Monday, January 13, 2014: Alexandros Washburn, The Nature of Urban Design
Wednesday, February 5, 2014: Jan Gehl and Birgitte Svarre, How to Study Public Life
Tuesday, March 11, 2014: Jean-Louis Cohen, Architecture in Uniform
Monday, April 7, 2014: Charles Montgomery, Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design
Monday, May 12, 2014: Francoise Bollack and Kenneth Frampton, Old Buildings, New Forms
Monday, June 9, 2014: Hillary Brown, Next Generation Infrastructure
Tuesday, July 1, 2014: Mark Wigley and Michael Bell, Permanent Change: Plastics in Architecture and Engineering
This program is presented in conjunction with the Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, AIANY Chapter 2014 presidential theme “Civic Spirit: Civic Vision”