past event
Urban Innovation

Building Affordable, Sustainable Cities That People Want to Live In

Conversations with Great Leaders, In Memory of Preston Robert Tisch: “Building Affordable, Sustainable Cities That People Want to Live In” features Vishaan Chakrabarti, Founder and Creative Director of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism | PAU, in conversation with Inga Saffron, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Architecture Critic of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Face coverings for this in-person program are optional but welcome.

With over twenty-five years of proven experience authoring and implementing visionary urban architecture, Vishaan Chakrabarti is the Founder and Creative Director of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism | PAU, where he leads the firm’s growing global portfolio of cultural, institutional, and public projects including the expansion of Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Brooklyn’s Domino Sugar Refinery, Philadelphia’s Schuylkill Yards, Ford Motor Company’s Michigan Central Station project in Detroit’s Corktown, Princeton’s Hobson College, and a unique urban village in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia as well as serving as the Collaborating Architect on the recently announced JPMorgan Chase World Headquarters.

Chakrabarti is the author of the highly acclaimed book, A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for an Urban America (Metropolis Books, 2013), and is working on a second upcoming book for Princeton University Press entitled The Architecture of Urbanity: Designing Cities for Pluralism and Planet. Vishaan has served as the William W. Wurster Dean of the College of Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley and was a professor at Columbia University for a decade. Vishaan lectures internationally; contributes articles and op-eds to the New York Times, Crain’s Business, and other publications; has appeared on CBS Evening News, MSNBC’s The Cycle, National Public Radio, WNYC, and other television and radio programs; and was a main-stage speaker at TED 2018: The Age of Amazement and a featured speaker at TED Connects 2020: Build Back Better.

Inga Saffron is the architecture critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer. For more than 20 years, she has been a forceful advocate for meaningful design, accessible public spaces and transit, affordable housing, historic preservation and policies that make our cities more liveable and climate resilient. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, the 2018 Vincent Scully Prize from the National Building Museum and a 2012 Loeb Fellowship from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. In June 2020, Rutgers University Press published a selection of her Inquirer columns about Philadelphia’s urban recovery, Becoming Philadelphia: How an old American city made itself new again.

She began her career as a municipal reporter, covering local planning and zoning meetings in New Jersey, and went on to become a foreign correspondent in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. In the 1990s, she covered wars in Yugoslavia and Russia, where she witnessed the destruction of Sarajevo and Grozny. In addition to writing about architecture and urbanism, she is an expert on the cultural history of sturgeon. Her book, Caviar: The Strange History and Uncertain Future of the World’s Most Coveted Delicacy, appeared in 2003. She is currently working on a history of the American newspaper building.

The Aspen Institute is grateful to Steve Tisch, Laurie Tisch, Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch, and to the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund for their generous support of this program.

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