Feb 21

Past Event

The Innovative Metropolis: Fostering Economic Competitiveness through Sustainable Urban Design


Full Event


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As global cities have embraced sustainable urban design and entrepreneurism, their strategies can serve as a source of inspiration and new knowledge to U.S. cities and beyond. By pairing best practices from international metros with their U.S. counterparts, the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at the Washington University in St. Louis has developed a series of case studies that examine the urgent challenges of an increasingly urbanized planet, focusing on the development of sustainable products, services, technology, and land use patterns following the economic recession.

On February 21, the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings and the Sam Fox School’s Master of Urban Design Program hosted an all-day forum which explored the intersection between sustainable urban design and economic growth while discussing the implications for design and practice. The event also highlighted policies that have enabled individual cities to become successful models of sustainability and examined specific design and policy issues through the lenses of economy, government, climate and social systems.

Mark Wrighton, chancellor of the Washington University in St. Louis, welcomed the forum participants and audience members, followed by a presentation from Ricky Burdett, professor of urban studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Panel discussions covered transportation; environmental and building technologies; and adaptation and renewal. The program closed with a presentation from Mohsen Mostafavi, dean and the Alexander and Victoria Wiley professor of design at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, followed by a reception and respondent discussion.

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Event Agenda

  • 9:00

    Registration and Coffee

  • 9:30

    Welcoming Remarks

  • 9:40


    • Peter MacKeith

      Associate Dean

      Sam Fox School, Washington University in St. Louis

  • 9:45

    Keynote: “Living in the Endless City”

    • Ricky Burdett

      Professor of Urban Studies, London School of Economics and Political Science

      Director, LSE Cities and the Urban Age Program

  • 10:30

    Panel 1: Transportation and Mobility in Portland, Copenhagen and Hong Kong

  • 11:30

    Panel 2: Environmental and Building Technologies in Chicago, São Paulo, Masdar and Helsinki

    • Moderator

      Christof Jantzen

      I-CARES Professor of Practice

      Washington University in St. Louis

    • Chicago: Gordon Gill


      Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

    • São Paulo: Fabio Mariz Gonclaves

      Professor of Landscape and Urban Design

      University of São Paulo School of Architecture and Urbanism

    • Helsinki: Johanna Kirkinen

      Energy and Climate Change Lead

      SITRA - Finnish Innovation Fund

    • Masdar: Erik Olsen



  • 12:30


  • 1:30

    Panel 3: Adaptation and Renewal in Shanghai, Mexico City, and New York

    • Moderator

      Michelle Knapik

      Director, Sustainable Environments Program

      Surdna Foundation

    • Shanghai: Seng Kuan

      Assistant Professor

      Sam Fox School, Washington University in St. Louis

    • Valente Souza


      IQh, Mexico City

    • New York: Alexandros Washburn

      Urban Design Chief

      City of New York

  • 2:30

    Keynote: “Ecological Urbanism”

    • Introduction: Bruce Lindsey

      Dean, College of Architecture and Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design

      Sam Fox School, Washington University in St. Louis

    • Mohsen Mostafavi

      Dean and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design, Graduate School of Design

      Harvard University

  • 3:15

    Reception and Respondents Discussion


February 21, 2013

9:00 AM - 4:30 PM EST

Brookings Institution

Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW


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