Last month, over two days, 150 expert speakers inspired us to build The City We Want.
Take a look and see what you helped us accomplish:
More than two million people worldwide saw tweets from this year’s Summit, with over 19 million individual tweets seen! Thoughtful, inspiring, and sometimes downright funny, your tweets proved that the audience is just as important as what’s going on up on stage.
Thursday Morning, A City of Possibilities
The Summit started off by delving into the city’s biggest unsung infrastructure emergency: How do we get the 21st Century Penn Station New York deserves? Building a new Penn Station is a critical infrastructure investment that will have a significant impact on our long-term economic success, both within the city and across the metro area. We looked to peer cities for inspiration, as representatives from London and Washington, D.C., shared how they handled similar projects.
Thursday Afternoon, A City by Design
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Landmarks Law, MAS took the stage with the World Monuments Fund and the National Trust for Historic Preservation to discuss what the next fifty years of preservation will look like. We heard about innovative new uses for public space in New York and abroad with deep dives on Pier 57, the New York State Pavilion, Williamsburg’s Maker Park, and Germany’s Zollverein. And we discussed revitalizing some of New York’s most treasured legacy spaces, from the TWA Flight Center to the recently recovered Spivak mural that lay hidden in a Manhattan lobby for decades.
Friday Morning, A Responsive City
With the third anniversary of Superstorm Sandy upon us—and yet another hurricane scare behind us—New York’s new climate reality has pushed urban resilience challenges to the forefront of our city’s survival. But as MAS has always said, resilience is about more than just water. We opened Day 2 of the Summit asking, how do we imbue our neighborhoods with the diverse resilience networks that make all the difference during times of emergency—strong civic commons, well planned parks, and diverse economies? How can we take underutilized spaces and turn them into neighborhood anchors? Finally, we looked at the role of New York’s arts institutions as neighborhood anchors as well as cultural magnets, and examined the next generation of public/private partnership parks like Pier55.
Friday Afternoon, A Just and Equitable City
Next year, the United Nations’ conference on our global urban agenda will convene for the first time in decades. In order to be successful, that agenda needs voices beyond nation-state governments. It’s up to groups like MAS and the urbanists who are part of the Summit every year to make sure community and neighborhood perspectives are part of that conversation. At the 2015 Summit, we asked: what is our vision for a just and equitable city in the 21st century? Is New York’s focus on affordable housing too narrow? And Senator Schumer and Senator Booker made the case for infrastructure as an essential piece of the urban agenda.
2015 Jane Jacobs Forum: Sensing the City
Jane Jacobs famously wrote about the importance of “Eyes on the Street.” This year, the MAS Urbanists took that and extended it to all five senses with an exploration of how we experience and observe our city. We heard from The SoHo Memory Project, who described how our sense of smell is intrinsically tied to memory and nostalgia of place; The Tactile City, an innovative project helping the visually impaired better navigate our streets; Float, an app that helps us uncover the often overlooked stories in our city; The Museum of Food and Drink, who explained the power of food and flavors in community building; and the Endangered Language Alliance, who described the need to preserve the many dying languages of our city.
Thank you again for the best Summit yet!