Urban Planet: Emerging Ecologies

Tuesday, April 10, 2012, 6 - 9pm

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Credit: Werner Kunz and Denise Hoffman Brandt

Credit: Werner Kunz and Denise Hoffman Brandt



Tuesday, April 10th 2012 at 6pm
Frederick P. Rose Auditorium
41 Cooper Square NY, NY 10003

Prior to the event, there will be a reception on the Alumni Roof Terrace at 5pm

This event is free and open to the public.
Seats are limited and on a first-come, first-served basis.
No registration or RSVP is needed

For the first time in human history, the majority of the world’s population lives in cities. The rise of urban growth over the last decade raises important questions for our planet’s future: How can we adapt to an increasingly urban planet? And what does global urbanization imply for our political and social institutions?

The Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design (CUISD) will host URBAN PLANET: EMERGING ECOLOGIES, a one-night event featuring a unique series of lectures and discussions with internationally known thought leaders in development and design. Key speakers include:

  • Alfredo Brillembourg, Urban-Think Tank and S.L.U.M. Lab, will bring a social investment perspective to these questions,
  • Jean-Claude Bolay, Director of the UNESCO Chair in Technologies for Development, will discuss the role of technology in the emerging global city and
  • Mitchell Joachim, Terreform ONE and Planetary ONE, will explore the move beyond standard notions of “sustainability” toward urban systems that actively benefit their environment.



is made possible through a collaboration with CUISD and ETH Zurich, the Swiss Consulate and EPF Lausanne. A list of speakers appears at the end of the advisory. 



5:00 - 6:00 pm: Reception
Alumni Roof Terrace at 41 Cooper Square

6:00 -6:15 pm: WELCOME
Anthony Vidler
Dean of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at the Cooper Union
Ambassador François Barras
Consul General of Switzerland in New York
Introduction | Lydia Kallipoliti
(Conference Chair)
Assistant Professor Adj. of Architecture | The Cooper Union
Senior Associate | Cooper Union Institute of Sustainable Design

6:15-7:15 pm: LECTURES
“The Architecture of Social Investment” | Alfredo Brillembourg
Founder and director of Urban-Think Tank and co-founder of S.L.U.M. Lab (Sustainable Living Urban Model Laboratory)
Co-chair for Architecture and Urbanism at the Swiss Institute of Technology [ETH Zurich], Zürich.

Technology and Urban Issues for Cities of the South | Jean-Claude Bolay
Director of the UNESCO Chair in Technologies for Development.
Professor at the Laboratory of Urban Sociology – EPFL, Lausanne.

“Post Sustainable: The Future of Socio-Ecological Cities” | Mitchell Joachim 
Co-President of Terreform ONE and Partner at Planetary ONE
Associate Professor in Practice of Architecture, Urban and Sustainable Design
Gallatin School of Individualized Study, New York University 

7:15-8:30PM : ROUND TABLE
Moderator: Lydia Kallipoliti
Carolina Barco
Project Manager Sustainable Cities, IADB (Inter American Development Bank)
Denise Hoffman Brandt Associate Professor, Director of Landscape Architecture
Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture, The City College of New York
Alexander Felson Director, Urban Ecology and Design Laboratory
Partner at Planetary ONE, Assistant Professor and Director of the Joint Degree
Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies & Yale School of Architecture
Grahame Shane Professor Adjunct, the Cooper Union & Columbia University

Discussion with all participants

Conclusions and Salutations | Kevin Bone
Director | Cooper Union Institute of Sustainable Design
Professor of Architecture |The Cooper Union


For more information about this event or other Institute for Sustainable Design events please contact isd@cooper.edu

This event is organized by the Cooper Union Institute of Sustainable Design in collaboration with International Institutional Affairs at ETH, Zurich and the UNESCO Chair for Technologies in Development at EPF Lausanne. It is made possible with the generous sponsorship of the Swiss Consulate in New York and the Swiss organizing institutions.




Located in the Frederick P. Rose Auditorium, at 41 Cooper Square (on Third Avenue between 6th and 7th Streets)

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.