5KL: Four Questions

Original photograph by Kelly Sikkema

Through their involvement in the public programs of The Five Thousand Pound Life, the speakers and respondents featured below bring varied expertise and insight to the initiative. To capture and compare their thoughts, we present each of them with the same four questions that underpin how we think, talk, and act on architecture, climate change, and our economic future. Click on the questions below for their collated responses or proceed to the first question at the bottom of the page.


The Questionnaire

Question 1: What is the most significant action an individual can take to move American society toward a sustainable future?

Question 2: To what extent is economic growth necessary, and can it be sustained indefinitely?

Question 3: Is regulation or innovation the better tool to slow climate change?

Question 4: Is present sacrifice necessary for future prosperity, or can our creativity sidestep sacrifice through innovation?


The Respondents

Check back for additional answers from other speakers and writers who will be contributing to the project over the coming months.

Vishaan Chakrabarti is a Principal at SHoP Architects, author of A Country of Cities, and Holliday Professor and Director of the Center for Urban Real Estate at Columbia University. For more from Chakrabarti, view his participation in the discussion panel for “Density.”

Stephen Gardiner is Professor of Philosophy and Ben Rabinowitz Endowed Professor of Human Dimensions of the Environment at the University of Washington, Seattle. For more from Gardiner, read his opinion piece on climate change as a “Perfect Moral Storm” and responses to his lecture on the topic.

Rosalie Genevro is Executive Director of The Architectural League of New York and the project director of The Five Thousand Pound Life.

Dale Jamieson is professor of environmental studies and philosophy at New York University and author of the forthcoming Reason in a Dark Time: Why the Struggle to Stop Climate Change Failed–and Why Our Choices Still Matter. For more from Jamieson, view his participation in the discussion panel for “Climate Change in the American Mind.”

Alex Klatskin is a General Partner of Forsgate Industrial Partners, a private industrial real estate development and investment firm based in Teterboro, New Jersey. For more from Klatskin, view his presentation on “Spatial Logistics.” 

Melissa Lane is Professor in the Department of Politics at Princeton University, and affiliated faculty member in the Department of Classics and the Department of Philosophy. For more from Lane, read the full text of her 5KL lecture “Sustainable Citizenship” and view video of the Q&A that followed.

Anthony Leiserowitz is Director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and a research scientist at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University. For more from Leiserowitz, read an excerpt from his 5KL lecture “Climate Change in the American Mind” and view video of the responses that followed.

Paul Lewis is a principal of LTL Architects and a faculty member in the School of Architecture at Princeton University. For more from Lewis, view his participation in the discussion panel for “Climate Change in the American Mind.”

Ted Nordhaus is a co-founder of The Breakthrough Institute — a paradigm-shifting think tank committed to modernizing environmentalism for the 21st century. For more from Nordhaus, read the essay he authored with Michael Shellenberger which originally appeared in The New Republic.

Albert Pope is the Gus Sessions Wortham Professor of Architecture at Rice University. He is the author of Ladders (1997) and numerous articles concerning the broad implications of post-war urban development. For more from Pope, view his presentation on “Density.”

Ted Steinberg is Professor of History and Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University. His new book Gotham Unbound: The Ecological History of Greater New York (2014) examines the ecological changes that have resulted in the reality of present-day New York City. For more from Steinberg, view his presentation on “Nature and the City.”

Emily Talen is a senior sustainability scientist and a professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University. For more from Talen, view her presentation on “Density.”

Andrew Wade is the J. Clawson Mills Fellow at The Architectural League of New York and the project lead of The Five Thousand Pound Life.

Adam Yarinsky is a principal of Architecture Research Office (ARO) in New York. For more from Yarinsky, view his response to “A Perfect Moral Storm.”


Next: Question 1: What is the most significant action an individual can take to move American society toward a sustainable future?