2018 Summit for New York City

Shaping the City

This year marks MAS’s 125th anniversary. Since our founding in 1893, MAS has worked to educate and inspire New Yorkers to engage in the betterment of our city. Our advocacy efforts have led to the creation of the New York City Planning Commission, Public Design Commission, Landmarks Preservation Commission, and the Tribute in Light; the preservation of Grand Central Terminal, the lights of Times Square, and the Garment District; the conservation of more than 50 works of public art; and the founding of such civic organizations as the Public Art Fund, the New York Landmarks Conservancy, P.S. 1, the Historic Districts Council, the Park Avenue Armory Conservancy, and the Waterfront Alliance.

The 2018 Summit will explore present-day concerns around the issues central to our long history of advocacy. From preserving the character of rapidly changing neighborhoods to examining the future of our public realm in the age of the autonomous vehicle, this year’s Summit tackles the most prominent issues shaping the city. At the center of this discourse is the critical role that the individual plays in the process.

Early bird ticket sales are now open. Speakers and full program to be announced later this summer. To view last year’s program, visit our Save the Date page for a recap of the 2017 Summit.

Student rate tickets are also available. Please contact Gabriela Philo (gphilo@mas.org, (212) 935-3960) for more information.

Tuesday, October 9
8:00 AM — 7:00 PM

Saint Bartholomew's Episcopal Church (325 Park Avenue, New York, NY)

Member: $75
Non-member: $100

This year’s Summit panels will touch on four themes that have been central to our advocacy throughout the last 125 years.


This past year, monuments and their subjects emerged as flashpoints of heated debate. What began as a process of intense scrutiny and historical reckoning with our nation’s past has set the stage for a future-oriented conversation about the role of public art in our cities. How can the selection of new works meaningfully engage citizens, raise up the overlooked histories that helped shape our city, and advance principles of inclusion?


Traditional historic preservation advocacy has focused on the “bricks and mortar” of high-style architecture. But in the face of accelerated change, there is a pressing movement to protect the urban heritage found in less tangible formats: the graffiti, the mom and pop shop, the gay night club, the basketball court, the community garden. How do we best preserve the city’s cultural identity?


The age of the automobile fundamentally altered 20th century urban streetscapes. As autonomous vehicle technology advances, we are approaching yet another point of inflection. With that comes an opportunity to wholly rethink our city streets, reclaim space from cars, and apply human-centered design principles. Whether this becomes a reality depends on proactive planning. How do we realize a public realm and pedestrian experience worthy of the 21st century?


City governments are accumulating treasure troves of data on everything from transportation patterns to real estate trends. But contrary to its name, open data often remains inscrutable to the average citizen. How can we promote transparency by translating this data into measured policy and sound decision-making?

  • Summit 1
    Networking reception following the 2017 Summit at The Morgan Library & Museum.
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  • Summit 2
    United States Senators Chuck Schumer and Cory Booker discuss critical infrastructure needs at the 2015 Summit.
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  • Summit 3
    The 2017 Summit featured a series of thought-provoking projects as part of our Innovation Exhibition.
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  • New York Times Architecture Critic Michael Kimmelman moderated a discussion with Chief Resilience Officer Daniel A. Zarrilli and Gita Nandan, a leader in community resilience planning, at the 2017 Summit.
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  • Summit 4
    2015 Summit for New York City, at the TimesCenter.
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  • Summit 5
    Guests were invited to share their thoughts on the state of our city's public assets at the 2016 Summit.
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  • Summit 6
    2015 Summit for New York City at the TimesCenter.
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  • Summit 12
    Carol Coletta, then-Vice President of Knight Foundation, and NYC Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen discussed ways to promote equitable, inclusive cities at the 2015 Summit.
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  • Summit 17
    Musicians performing an excerpt from the musical "A Marvelous Order", inspired by legendary urban activist Jane Jacobs, at the 2015 Summit.
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  • Spoken word poet Jared Green at the 2015 Summit.
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  • Summit 11
    A packed house at the 2013 Summit hosted at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
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  • Former Commissioner of the NYC Department of Transportation Janette Sadik-Khan speaking at the 2013 Summit.
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  • Summit 13
    Darren Walker, President of Ford Foundation, speaking at the 2013 Summit.
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  • Summit 14
    Battery Dance Company performing at the 2012 Summit.
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Select Past Summit Speakers

Hon. Cory Booker
Santiago Calatrava
Roz Chast
David Childs
Justin Davidson
Dan Doctoroff
Susannah C. Drake
Helena Rose Durst
Ingrid Gould Ellen
Norman Foster
Alicia Glen
Adam Gopnik
Michael Kimmelman
Fran Lebowitz
Damon Rich
Judith Rodin
Janette Sadik-Khan
Hon. Charles E. Schumer
Richard Sennett

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Monument restored by Adopt-A-Monument

Protecting Public Art through Adopt-A-Monument

In response to the deterioration of many of New York City’s outdoor statues and public murals in hospitals, schools and libraries, and the limited resources to preserve them, MAS (in partnership with NYC Parks and the Public Design Commission) launches the Adopt-A-Monument program to raise private funds for the conservation and maintenance of public art.

View Our Full History