Advise the Forefront Fellows as they explore how the built environment can protect us from the public health risks of climate change.

The design of the built environment is rooted in mediating between the human body and the city to mitigate exposure and health risk. Urban planning emerged in response to the effects of industrialization and urbanization on health and the built environment. Today, climate change poses similarly disruptive threats to wellbeing.

The Forefront Fellowship team is exploring the relationship between climate, design, and health equity, with particular attention to vulnerabilities shaped by past planning decisions. Through an interactive exhibit and conversation with experts in public health and the built environment, their event will address ways that interdisciplinary coalitions can collaborate to pursue equitable health outcomes amid a changing climate.

How can we protect New York City from the public health risks of climate change?


Guest Policy ↓

The Urban Design Forum promotes conversation between invited civic leaders, designers, developers and advocates. Forum Fellows are welcome to invite one additional guest to attend.



Partners ↓

The Urban Design Forum is pleased to partner with the Cornell University College of Architecture, Art, and Planning NYC and Dattner Architects to present this event.


Fall Forefront Events ↓

10/3 Invisible Networks
Digser Abreu, NYCHA
Rhonda-Lee Davis, Lantern Community Services
Dorraine Duncan, NYCEDC
Lydia Gaby, HR&A Advisors
Gloria Lau, Stantec
Manuela Powidayko, NYC DCP

10/24 Public Health
Cyrus Blankinship, NYU Marron Institute
Eileen Chen, Dattner
Gregory Harasym, MTA
Catherine Joseph, 3XN Architects
Amritha Mahesh, NYC DCP
Kathy Mu, Grimshaw
Jill Schmidt, Brooklyn Navy Yard

11/14 Environmental Racism
Abraham Bendheim, Studio Gang
Renée Crowley, NYC Compost Project
Annemarie Gray, NYCEDC
Mike Harrington, New School
Pallavi Mantha, Arup
Mallory Taub, Gensler

12/5 Utopian Systems
Lida Aljabar, NYC HPD
Brandon Cappellari, BIG
Michael Izzo, Hines
Amy Macdonald, Thornton Tomasetti
Rebecca Macklis, NYC PDC
Autumn Visconti, BIG

Meet the 2019 Class of Forefront Fellows ►


About Forefront ↓

Forefront is an annual initiative cultivating emerging leaders in urban design, development and policy. This year’s theme, Turning the Heat, explores how urban practitioners can advance climate justice principles across New York City.

This program is made possible through the support of Robert Sterling Clark Foundation and our Director’s Circle. To learn more, please contact Daniel McPhee, Executive Director, 646-928-0553 or