A Side event as part of the ECOSOC Integration Segment at the Center for Architecture New York
“SMART CITIES, how to promote a sustainable urbanization”
Organized by the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization (CSU) in cooperation with UN-Habitat New York Office and co-sponsored by the American Institute of Architects, New York Chapter’s 2014 Presidential theme “Civic Sprit: Civic Vision” on the Occasion of the 2014 Integration Segment of the UN Economic and Social Council on Sustainable Urbanization at the United Nations, May 27-29.
Throughout history cities have been a source of development, and today urban centers account for 70% of the world’s GDP. Thus urbanization can be a powerful tool for transforming living standards, especially in developing countries. At a global level, this requires a shift in mindset of the decision makers, away from viewing urbanization as a problem, towards viewing urbanization as a tool for sustainable development. It is recognized that if cities are well planned and managed, they can promote an economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable urbanization.
This session looked at Sustainable Urbanization through the lens of Smart Cities that use information and communication technologies as tools to achieve its goals. Smart city also implies a high degree of responsiveness and transparency in meeting the needs of its citizens. Furthermore, it assumes cities are more nimble, able to adapt and reinvent themselves. The speakers explored the issue from several viewpoints: a global perspective, a regional perspective, a city perspective, and a sectoral perspective. At issue is how to plan wisely, how to garner the political will and how to effectively implement the idea of a smart, sustainable, resilient city.
The event gathered participation of more than 250 professionals, students, academicians and CSU partners involved in urban development.
Welcome: Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, 2014 President, AIA New York Chapter, and Board Member, CSU
Introduction: Aliye P. Celik, PhD, Co-Chair, CSU
Speakers: H.E. Vladimir Drobnjak, Vice President, UN Economic and Social Council
Dr. Joan Clos, Executive Director, UN-Habitat
Tom Wright, Executive Director, Regional Plan Association
Margaret O’Donoghue Castillo, AIA LEED AP, Principal, Helpern Architects, and Board Member, CSU
Moderator: Urs Gauchat, Dean College of Architecture & Design, New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Board Member, CSU
Closing: James McCullar, FAIA, James McCullar Architecture, Co-Chair CSU