A New Era for Cities

January 22, 2021  • Energy and Environment Program

Cities have largely been the same since the dawn of the industrial revolution and rise of the automobile. The ways we design and build them are outdated. The dual crises we face this decade – the COVID crisis and the Climate crisis – are going to force us to re-examine and change the ways our cities are designed and built. How can we reimagine the process of urban planning in a way that is more equitable, just, and environmentally sustainable?

This townhall series explores how new ideas are being put into practice and the potential impact on climate change, equity and inclusion, mobility, and access to housing in order to build strong, more vibrant cities.


Nicole Flatow, Managing Editor for CityLab, Bloomberg

Nicole Flatow is the managing editor for Bloomberg CityLab, where she oversees coverage on urban policy and the future of cities. She was previously the editor of CityLab at the Atlantic, and enterprise editor at the Guardian.


Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Mayor, Miami-Dade County

Daniella Levine Cava was elected Miami-Dade County’s first-ever woman Mayor in November 2020. She enters the Mayor’s office following a nearly 40-year career as a relentless advocate for South Florida families in public service and elected leadership. As Miami-Dade County’s Mayor, she oversees a metropolitan government with more than 28,000 employees serving nearly 3 million residents, managing an annual budget of approximately $9 billion.

Mark Falcone, Founder, Continuum Partners, LLC

Mark G. Falcone founded Continuum Partners, LLC in Denver in 1997. Since its inception Continuum has successfully completed over $2.5 billion of development and has another $3.0 billion in its pipeline. Since its inception Continuum has won numerous awards for its innovative projects and established itself as a national leader of complex, mixed use urban infill projects. Throughout his career Mark has been actively engaged in the dialog to advance more sustainable settlement patterns within his industry and amongst public policy makers.

Federico Negro, Founder , The Canoa Supply Co.

Federico Negro is the CEO and founder of CANOA, a scaling platform for design and construction of physical spaces. CANOA aims to drastically reduce the difficulty, waste and cost of quickly adapting and retrofitting existing buildings and infrastructure for new uses. It allows property owners and operators to quickly adapt to changing behaviors and markets in a responsible way. Federico was previously the Head of Design for WeWork, running their internal global design studio of more than 900 architects, interior designers, engineers and more. Federico came to WeWork in 2015 through their acquisition of his first startup, CASE, an 8 year-old digital design consultancy based in New York City that focused on developing and implementing technology into Built Environment businesses.

Emily Talen, Professor of Urbanism, the University of Chicago

Emily Talen is Professor of Urbanism at the University of Chicago, where she teaches urban design and directs the Urbanism Lab. She holds a PhD in urban geography from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners, and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. Talen has written extensively on the topics of urban design and social equity. Her books include New Urbanism and American Planning, Design for Social Diversity, Urban Design Reclaimed, City Rules and Neighborhood. She is co-editor of the Journal of Urbanism.