The New Urban Interface

The New Urban Interface

Of interest to Loeb Fellows, GSD denizens and the general public:

Aaron Naparstek (LF 2012), MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning visiting scholar and founder of Streetsblog, is hosting the fall 2012 City Design and Development Forum, "The New Urban Interface.” The series, stimulated by new directions in urban design and planning, began on October 15 with Charles Marohn of Strong Towns.

Upcoming programs

Monday, November 19, 6:00 pm, Building 10, Room 485

Human Transit: Public Transportation for Personal Freedom
Jarrett Walker, Author and Transit Planner

Jarrett Walker is an international expert in public transit planning and policy and the author of the popular blog He consults in North America through his own firm Jarrett Walker & Associates, and is also a principal consultant with MRCagney in Australia. In his new book, "Human Transit," Walker provides planners, policy-makers and citizens with the basic tools, the critical questions and the means to make smarter decisions about designing and implementing transit services. Join MIT Visiting Scholar Aaron Naparstek for a conversation with Jarrett Walker, as he shares his vision of "abundant access," in which public transit might be brought back to a core purpose of expanding every individual's freedom to access the riches of their city. 

Monday, November 26, 5:00 pm, Long Lounge, Building 7, Room 429
Chicago Forward: Toward a User-Friendly City
Gabe Klein, Commissioner, Chicago DOT

What happens when a tech-minded entrepreneur is unexpectedly chosen to lead a big city government bureaucracy? Gabe Klein was an unconventional pick to head D.C.'s DOT when he was hired back in 2008, by then-mayor Adrian Fenty. He'd been a Zipcar executive. He helped found a local boutique food-truck company. He grew up in a Virginia ashram called Yogaville. But he had never worked in government. Over the next 23 months Klein implemented a program of transformative innovation, rapidly rolling out bike-sharing, new bike lanes, streetcar plans and next-generation parking infrastructure. Now Klein is a year-and-a-half into his second unexpected job in government, as the head of Chicago's DOT under Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Join Aaron Naparstek in conversation with one of America's most visionary and inspiring new urban leaders.

Monday, December 3, 6:00 pm, Building 10, Room 485
No Accident: Urban Design and Motor Vehicle Violence
Aaron Naparstek, Streetsblog founder and MIT DUSP Visiting Scholar

If you ever want to kill someone in NYC or just about any other American city, use a car as your weapon. As long as you are sober, licensed and do not flee the scene of the "accident," it is virtually guaranteed that you will get away with murder. Around the world, 1.3 million people die in road traffic crashes and 20 to 50 million more are injured each year. It is a massive global health crisis that, for the most part, we ignore. Aaron Naparstek discusses emerging new perspectives on motor vehicle violence and the critical role that urban planners and designers must play in solving the problem. 

Past Programs


Monday, October 29, 5:00 pm, Building 10, Room 485 - CANCELLED DUE TO STORM WARNING - check back for rescheduling informaiton
Sustainable Streets: New York City's New Public Space Vision
Andrew Wiley-Schwartz, Assistant Commissioner, NYC DOT Public Plaza Program

Andy Wiley-Schwartz is an Assistant Commissioner for Planning and Sustainability at NYC Department of Transportation. He was hired by Commissioner Janette Sadik-Kahn in 2007 to develop a public space program at DOT and develop a complete street design and planning process for the department. In this capacity he developed and launched the NYC Plaza Program to create new public spaces out of existing streets across the city. Andy joins DUSP Visiting Scholar Aaron Naparstek in discussing the details of the groundbreaking approach to urban planning and design that has led to the construction of more than 50 new plazas and 21 acres of new public space in North America's biggest, busiest, most politically complex urban environment.

Monday, November 5, 6:00 pm, MIT Media Lab, Building E14, Third Floor Atrium
Peer-to-Peer Politics: Moving Beyond Left and Right
An election eve conversation with Steven Johnson, author of "Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked World" and Harvard Law School's Lawrence LessigYochai Benkler & Susan Crawford.

The market versus the state. Big capital versus big government. Just about everything we talk about in politics today revolves around those two poles. What if there's a third option? Instead of those two creaky old monoliths, imagine a web of collaboration that's neither market nor state, where no one is in charge because everyone is in charge. In his new book, "Future Perfect," author Steven Johnson argues that the core principles that apply to the design and function of the Internet could be applied to solving many different kinds of problems, across dozens of sectors, including cities. What if the most powerful tool to advance the cause of social progress is the peer-to-peer network? Join hosts Aaron Naparstek and Ethan Zuckerman of the MIT Media Lab for an election eve conversation with four leading thinkers on the Internet and society.


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