Economic Development

Fellows ↓
Events ↓

Points of Departure

Event ▻ Maintaining
On September 6 we were joined by Tim Braine, Jonathan Cohn, John Falcocchio, Susan Fine and Eve Michel as they proposed new solutions to care for New York City's 472 subway stations.
On August 18, our Forefront Fellows went on a retreat to Newburgh meet with local community leaders and city officials, and discuss challenges facing the city's immigrant communities.
On August 10 we were joined by Sharon Davis, Michelle de la Uz, Brad Lander, Gita Nandan, and Andrea Parker as they proposed leveraging development in Gowanus to expand the neighborhood's green infrastructure network and preserve the area's cultural assets.
On July 18, our Forefront Fellows met for the second event of the Fellowship to explore design projects that aim to foster agency and the integration of migrant communities in urban spaces.
On June 20, for the first Forefront roundtable of the year, we were joined by Doug Saunders, author of Arrival City, which inspired the German Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale and this year's Forefront program theme, and Max Hadler, Senior Health Advocacy Manager for the New York Immigration Coalition.

Grappling with Growth

Event ▻ NY-LON
New York City Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen and London Deputy Mayor Jules Pipe engaged in a cross-Atlantic dialogue on how both cities grapple with creating a fair and equitable city in the face of continued growth.
For the capstone of the Forefront Fellowship program, we visited Hudson Yards - the largest private real estate development project in the history of the US.

New Working Neighborhoods

Event ▻ NY-LON
New working districts are evolving in major cities across the world, with hubs of talent and creativity taking shape beyond the center. How are the global cities, New York and London, transforming their neighborhoods to accommodate new ways of working?

DUMBO Waterfront

Event ▻ Tours
On November 2, the Urban Design Forum featured an exclusive behind the scenes look at the latest two development sites on the DUMBO waterfront: Empire Stores and One John Street. Click for a full recap and photos from the tour!
On June 15, the Urban Design Forum invited Jill Morgenweck, Director of Regional Operations at Shyp; Makoto Okazaki, Partner and Principal Architect at Michael Sorkin Studio; Paul Salama, Zoning + GIS Lead at Envelope; Juliette Spertus, Co-founder of ClosedLoops; and moderator Greg Lindsay to debate the future of urban freight. Lindsay introduced the roundtable by More
On June 23, the Urban Design Forum invited Benjamin Wood, founding principal of Studio Shanghai, and Randall Mason, chair of the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation at PennDesign, to discuss the interplay between economic development and historic preservation in China. Wood began by detailing the design of his signature project, Xintiandi. Rather than demolish the dilapidated More
  Over the last 30 years, more than 200 million people have migrated from the countryside to China’s cities, and officials plan to relocate another 250 million rural residents over the next decade. 55% of China’s population is now living in cities. What are the consequences of this vast urban shift? On May 6, the More
London and New York are harnessing smart industries to drive growth in science, technology and research and underpin their respective pushes for global competitiveness. And designing to allow greater collaboration between companies and sectors appears to be one of the main thrusts in that drive, on both sides of the Atlantic. Those were some of More
London and New York are exploring planning, design and coping mechanisms as they adapt to a wave of tall and super-tall buildings that are set to appear on the skyline of the two famous world cities. A special trans-Atlantic conference and question-and-answer session organised by NLA at KPF’s offices in each time zone last week More
On July 30, the Forum hosted the Next New York Fellows Dinner to celebrate the culmination of the Next New York series. Daniel Doctoroff (Bloomberg LP) and John Zuccotti (Brookfield Office Properties) joined Julia Vitullo-Martin (Regional Plan Association) in conversation about new directions for the next mayor. What were the most pressing challenges facing New More

The New Gown in Town

Event ▻ Next New York
In December 2012, fellows of the Forum assembled to discuss plans for one of New York City’s key new development projects: the CornellNYC Tech campus on Roosevelt Island. The Forum met with Andrew Winters, Director of Capital Projects for the university, to review the master plan and proposed architecture. Situated just north of Four Freedoms More

Balanced Metropolis

Event ▻ NY-LON
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 More
Spontaneous Interventions: design actions for the common good was first presented as the exhibition of the U.S. Pavilion at the 13th International Venice Architecture Biennale (Fall 2012). It documents the nascent movement of designers acting on their own initiative to solve problematic urban situations, creating new opportunities and amenities for the public. Provisional, improvisational, guerrilla, More

Barclays Center Tour

Event ▻ Tours
Three months leading up to its inauguration by Jay-Z, the Forum hosted a tour with Forest City Ratner of the Barclays Center, the arena at the heart of the Atlantic Yards project in Downtown Brooklyn. Winthrop Hoyt, Assistant Vice President of Development in charge of the arena project, sorted through the project’s history, from the More
On November 2, the Forum convened four figures who have radically reconfigured the New York City urban landscape under Michael Bloomberg: Daniel Doctoroff, former Deputy Mayor for Economic Development; Janette Sadik-Khan, Commissioner of NYC DOT; Adrian Benepe, Commissioner of NYC Parks; and Adriaan Geuze, Principal of West 8 and Designer-in-Charge of Governors Island. Doctoroff opened More
Urban Design Week was a public festival created to engage New Yorkers in the fascinating and complex issues of the public realm, and to celebrate the streetscapes, sidewalks, and public spaces at the heart of city life. At its heart was By the City/ For the City, a crowdsourced design project that gathered more than More
In 2011 the Urban Design Forum invited architects, planners, artists, designers, and students around the world to participate in By the City / For the City, a collaborative re-imagining of New York City’s public realm.
The Urban Design Forum and the Times Square Alliance kicked off 2011 by hosting a conversation with three designers of the future Times Square on January 27. Tim Tompkins (Times Square Alliance) opened the evening by presenting the timeline of Times Square in the last thirty years, from a crime-infested neighborhood into the overcrowded commercial More
Saturday, November 7th, 2009 The Great Hall, The Cooper Union Free admission Arrested Development: Do Megaprojects Have a Future? In November 2009, we hosted a public discussion with architects, developers, policymakers and economists on the state of megaprojects in light of the stalled economy. Astoundingly, this era of economic contraction has brought progress in environmental More
Proposals ↓

Station Alliance

Proposal ▻ Maintaining
New York has a history of successful public-private partnerships for public goods: Central Park Conservancy, the High Line, Brooklyn Bridge Park and Business Improvement Districts to name a few. The Station Alliance believes that with support of and partnership with the private sector, we can give New York’s subway stations the innovation and investment that will make them safe, welcoming and inspiring.
How can we encourage manufacturing to take root in our city and thrive? Historically, factories provided stable jobs and built the urban economy. With the advent of containerization and the digital supply chain, factories left for cheaper land and labor in free trade zones with few human rights.

Dynamic Zoning

Proposal ▻ Next New York (2013)
The static nature of the zoning code can make it an ineffective tool in helping communities address changing needs and conditions in their neighborhoods. It’s time to create a more dynamic planning process that explicitly addresses community well-being, not just form.
Let’s push the extension of the 7 Line to Secaucus and bring the subway to New Jersey. The possibilities are extraordinary. And Hudson Yards could serve as a booming new cultural heart for the city.
We have a tremendous opportunity to achieve economic, social, and environmental sustainability by promoting the shift from ownership to membership models. Membership models enable people to share resources they might have previously had to own.
Publications ↓
News ↓
Fellows in the News
Tommy Craig announced the deal for Shake Shack's new flagship restaurant, featuring office space and a test kitchen, in the West Village.
Fellows in the News
Jamie Von Klemperer is bringing vibrancy to the Downtown San Diego waterfront with the design of Pacific Gate.
Fellows in the News
Henry Grabar refutes the common narrative that unregulated zoning exacerbated Houston's flooding, and turns the problem on its head by suggesting that current regulations actually contributed to the damage.
Fellows in the News
Michael Sorkin scrutinizes the privatization of public space and proposes using the private money for Pier 55 to transform the parking lots on Pier 40.
Fellows in the News
Vishaan Chakrabarti and Enrique Norten are transforming the Bears & Eagle Stadium in Newark into a mixed-use development to connect the city.
Fellows in the News
Alex Garvin criticizes the City's proposed rezoning of Midtown East for threatening the neighborhood's existing balance and being a cash sale of zoning rights.
Fellows in the News
Miriam Peterson and Nathan Rich designed Siteless Tower as a critique of recent development in New York City for the Center for Architecture's 5x5 Participatory Provocations.
Fellows in the News
Patricia Dunphy explains the ethos behind bringing independent shops to Long Island City, and how their ventures are a leap of faith in a still developing neighborhood.
Fellows in the News
Robert A.M. Stern is designing Camden Tower, an office building along the Camden Waterfront, in an effort to revive their economy.
Fellows in the News
Tom Wright argues for building essential energy, environmental and educational facilities on Rikers instead of runways from LaGuardia.
Fellows in the News
Jamie von Klemperer is designing Echelon Seaport, a mixed-use development to revitalize the Boston Seaport with a commitment to public space and activity.
Fellows in the News
MaryAnne Gilmartin, Michael Manfredi and Marion Weiss praise the design of The Bridge at Cornell Tech for encouraging serendipitous interactions while also being sustainable.
Fellows in the News
Jed Walentas and Christopher Sharples celebrate the impending opening of 325 Kent Avenue, the first building to open at the site of the former Domino Sugar refinery.
Fellows in the News
Tom Wright, Vishaan Chakrabarti, Andrew Lynn and Polly Trottenberg addressed the various infrastructure projects required in the region at the RPA Assembly.
Fellows in the News
Howard Husock speaks about the origins of federal housing subsidies, their deleterious effects, and how private markets can provide housing to low-income individuals.
Fellows in the News
WXY will design the "Made in NY Campus" in Sunset Park as part of the city's larger effort to support the film and fashion industries.
Fellows in the News
Mark Willis analyzed the impact of the changes from the suspended 421-a program to the 2017 proposed program.
Fellows in the News
Juliette Michaelson and Tom Wright from RPA, with Guy Nordenson and Paul Lewis of Princeton University, are hosting a design competition to transform four corridor geographies within the NY-metro region.
Fellows in the News
Tucker Reed announced the founding of Totem, a real estate development company that will also venture with media and public space tech companies.
Fellows in the News
Eric Fang, Class of 2016 Fellow, helped design Arverne by the Sea, the largest urban waterfront renewal site in the United States.
Fellows in the News
John Clifford, Class of 2016 Fellow, is the lead architect for Industry City, a 35-acre 'innovation ecosystem' and creative space.
Fellows in the News
Stefan Al investigates Hong Kong's vertical urbanism with "expresscalators" crisscrossing mesmerizing atriums, raising questions about architecture, city planning, culture and urban life.
Call for Ideas
How can we use design thinking, creative financing, new technology, and community organizing to maintain our physical and social infrastructure?
Fellows in the News
Sam Schwartz devised the Brooklyn-Queens Connector - a much-needed connection for city commuters.
Fellows in the News
Calvin Tsao and Zack McKown conceptualized the Living Room - a new vision for communal development in China.
Fellows in the News
Adam Lubinsky facilitated the development of the East Harlem Neighborhood Plan, a local effort to preserve affordable housing stock, open space, and the community's cultural heritage.
Fellows in the News
Navid Maqami of S9ARCHITECTURE leads the construction of The New York Wheel, the key to attracting tourists to Staten Island.
William Fain offers lessons that Los Angeles can teach on urban living today. Despite its sprawling and suburban reputation, its brand of urbanism may be influencing cities around the world as much as its older, Eastern US counterparts.