WORLD HABITAT DAY 2013, Resilient Design for Sustainable Urbanization

United Nations Headquarters October 4, 2013

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The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization, the Center for Resilient Design at New Jersey Institute of Technology, and the American Institute Architects New York joined to host a high-level discussion that covered key developments in the area of resilient design in response to natural disasters such as Superstorm Sandy that devastated the New York-New Jersey region.

In celebration of World Habitat Day 2013, cities around the world organized events addressing Sustainable Urban Mobility. As natural disasters often result from expanding settlements in areas of risk around older urban cores, an alternative is a higher density sustainable urbanism supported by urban mobility. Many cities exist in fragile ecosystems and economies that must be understood and protected if urban growth is to be sustained. The conference was held in the recently restored UN ECOSOC Chamber and addressed the resilient design challenges and opportunities that cites and regions like ours may face from natural disasters.

Speakers included H.E. John Ashe, President of the 68th UN General Assembly; H.E. Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General; H.E. Nestor Osorio, President of the UN Economic and Social Council; Dr. Joan Clos, Under Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN-Habitat; Henk Ovink, Senior Advisor to Secretary Donovan & former Director General for Spatial Planning and Water Affairs, Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Planning; Xavier Trias, Mayor of Barcelona, Spain; Dawn Zimmer, Mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey; Daniel Zarrilli, NYC Director of Resiliency; Laurie Johnson, Johnson Consulting & Research; Alex Wilson, Founder and Executive Director, BuildingGreen; Rick Bell, Executive Director, AIA New York Chapter, The Post Sandy Initiative; Leslie Chapman-Henderson, President &CEO, Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH); Jill Lerner, FAIA, 2013 President, AIA New York Chapter; Nancy Kete, PhD, Managing Director, Rockefeller Foundation; Fiona Cousins, Principal, ARUP; Craig Schwitter, Principal, Buro Happold; Harini Nagendra, Cities and Biodiversity Outlook (CBO).

Link to the videos of the event:


Part 1:

Part 2:


Event Information / Agenda


Article by Bill Millard

Article by Alex Wilson, speaker at the World Habitat Day 2013