On October 12, Forum Fellows met with New London Architecture members to confront the challenge of balancing investment in the city and its suburbs.

Alex Garvin, President of the Forum, argued that New York contains not only Manhattan, with its dense urban core, but also as a series of diverse and dynamic neighborhoods with newly minted public spaces and a range of housing types. Andrew Altman, former Chief Executive of London’s Olympic Park Legacy Company, discussed the success of the Olympic site and its bright future as a new mixed-use core as London looks east.

Respondents from both cities immediately questioned how equitably investment was being distributed between the urban core and its edge. New Yorkers questioned whether their city had dedicated substantial public investment in infrastructure, and whether the city’s newly minted bike lanes and new tunnel from the airport into Grand Central Terminal would suffice. Londoners questioned whether the Olympic investment would pay off and create a new mixed-use core for the already poly-centric metropolis. Overwhelmingly, denizens of both cities questioned whether cities should be provided a greater share of their tax revenues now dedicated to state and national governments, which could in turn be used to promote public investment and develop new infrastructure.

Balanced Metropolis was the second of a series of simultaneous exchanges hosted by New London Architecture and Kohn Pedersen Fox, in association with the Forum for Urban Design.

Photos:


Alexander Garvin, AGA Public Realm Strategists


Andrew Altman, Olympic Park Legacy Corporation, via teleconference


Vishaan Chakrabarti, Columbia University GSAPP & SHoP Architects


Michael Sorkin, Michael Sorkin Studio


Eugene Kohn, Kohn Pedersen Fox; and Carol Willis, Skyscraper Museum


Michael Sorkin, Michael Sorkin Studio; Alex Garvin, AGA Public Realm Strategists; and Eugenie Birch, Penn Institute for Urban Research