Calendar of Events

Tue 04.08.2014

Cities by Water: Solutions from Copenhagen and New York


When: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM TUESDAY, APRIL 8

Where: At The Center   

“We have a 100-year flood every two years now”, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo stated in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Indeed, it no longer seems relevant to ask “if” cities such as New York are threatened by the effects of climate change. Hurricane Sandy’s water masses flooded low-lying communities and brought devastating damage to buildings, infrastructure, and coastal areas in New York. The resiliency of New York was seriously questioned. The question is not whether to act – but how to act in order to increase resiliency and sustainability of the City.

New York is not alone in its fight against climate change. This week, a committee of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society, released a new report, warning about the dire effects of global warming.

“The evidence is overwhelming: levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are rising,” says the report. “Temperatures are going up. Springs are arriving earlier. Ice sheets are melting. Sea level is rising. The patterns of rainfall and drought are changing. Heat waves are getting worse, as is extreme precipitation. The oceans are acidifying.”

Denmark’s capital city of Copenhagen also lies on the waterfront and it, too, has experienced the last decade’s devastation of torrential downpours and rising sea levels. The approach taken in Copenhagen has championed holistic, integrated solutions and extensive public-private collaboration, making the city a global leader in fighting climate change while improving recreational infrastructure for its citizens.

On April 8, the AIA New York Chapter in collaboration with the Consulate General of Denmark in New York, the Confederation of Danish Industry and State of Green will put a spotlight on the water-related challenges faced by New York and Copenhagen, and the wide array of approaches and solutions these cities have already deployed or are working to implement.

Rick Bell, FAIA, Executive Director, AIA New York | Center for Architecture

Bjarke Ingels, Founder, BIG
Tina Saaby, City Architect of Copenhagen
Henk Ovink, Senior Advisor to US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan, and Principal 'Rebuild by Design'
Alan Cohn, Director for Climate and Water Quality, NYC Environmental Protection (DEP)
Jesper Kjelds, Vice President, DHI (Danish Hydraulic Institute)
Doug Friend, NY Regional Director/Chief Project Manager.COWI Ocean and Coastal Consultants
Roland Lewis
, President and CEO, Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance

The program will explore how the integration of urban planning, infrastructure and new technologies is redefining not only how cities cope with climate change, but also how they improve conditions of human life. What solutions and technologies are emerging? What is required to increase the resiliency of existing water infrastructure? What prospect does integrated water resource management hold?

How can New York and Copenhagen increase their resiliency, while remaining vibrant, sustainable and livable cities for people?

This program is related to the exhibition Copenhagen Solutions, on view through April 16, 2014.

Organized by
the Center for Architecture and the Consulate General of Denmark in New York

Price: Free for AIA members and students with valid student ID - RSVP using the form to the right
$10 for non-members

Watch the video of this program here.


The exhibition and related programs are presented in New York through the partnership of:

The following are presenting partners for the exhibition’s related programming:

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