The Five Thousand Pound Life: Land


Photo by Folkert Gorter | used under CC BY 3.0, desaturated from original

The Five Thousand Pound Life: Land
A symposium on rethinking land and its value in light of climate change
Speakers include: Kevin Bone, Vishaan Chakrabarti, Coral Davenport, Rosalie Genevro, Rob Holmes, Alex Klatskin, Jesse LeCavalier, Albert Pope, Eric Sanderson, Cassim Shepard, Rebecca Solnit, Ted Steinberg, Emily Talen, and Charles Waldheim

4.0 AIA and New York State CEUs

This symposium is co-sponsored by The Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design.

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The Five Thousand Pound Life: Land addresses the need to consider settlement patterns and competing land uses in new ways given the reality of climate change.  The value assigned to various forms of land use, and various attitudes towards land as a resource, must be understood in terms of ecological services and impacts, rather than narrowly-defined economic imperatives. In sessions on “Nature and the City,” “Spatial Logistics,” and “Density,” speakers will consider American approaches to development, attitudes toward nature, and whether the current dominant narrative of the environmental superiority of concentrated high density development might be challenged by a counter-narrative of lower density land-use that takes advantage of distributed energy production and localized treatment of waste. Ultimately, The Five Thousand Pound Life: Land will ask what the desirable and politically achievable mix of these narratives could be.

The Architectural League launched The Five Thousand Pound Life—an initiative of public events, digital releases, and a major design study—in September 2013 to address the intertwined challenges of reimagining the American way of life to address climate change and to rebuild a robust economic structure that offers viable livelihoods across the income spectrum. The League brings the perspective of the design professions to these issues, as its contribution to what must be a broad collective effort spanning geographies, generations, occupations, disciplines, and ideologies.

Opening Remarks
2:00 – 2:10 p.m.
Kevin Bone, Director, The Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design
Rosalie Genevro, Executive Director, The Architectural League of New York

A Conversation on Nature and the City
2:10 – 3:20 p.m.
Eric Sanderson & Ted Steinberg
Moderated by Rosalie Genevro

Eric Sanderson is an expert in the ecology of New York City, a Senior Conservation Ecologist at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and the best-selling author of Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City (2009) and Terra Nova:  The New World After Oil, Cars, and Suburbs (2013).

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.

Spatial Logistics
3:20 – 4:30 p.m.
Alex Klatskin
Rob Holmes
Jesse LeCavalier
Moderated by Coral Davenport

Alex Klatskin is a General Partner of Forsgate Industrial Partners, a private industrial real estate development and investment firm based in Teterboro, New Jersey.

Rob Holmes is an assistant professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Florida and co-founder of Mammoth, a blog about infrastructures, logistics, landscapes, and architecture.

Jesse LeCavalier is working on a book about the architecture and logistics of Walmart, forthcoming from the University of Minnesota Press. He is a member of Co + LeCavalier and an assistant professor of architecture at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, where he coordinates the first year design studio.

This panel is moderated by Coral Davenport, who covers energy and environmental policy for The New York Times.

4:30 – 4:45 p.m.

4:45 – 6:15 p.m.
Emily Talen
Charles Waldheim
Albert Pope
Moderated by Vishaan Chakrabarti

Emily Talen is a senior sustainability scientist and a professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University.

Charles Waldheim is a Canadian-American architect, urban theorist, and John E. Irving Professor and Chair of Landscape Architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.

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.

This panel is moderated by Vishaan Chakrabarti, Principal of SHoP Architects and author of A Country of Cities. He is also Holliday Professor and the director of the Center for Urban Real Estate at Columbia University.

A Conversation on Land, Climate, and Culture
6:15 – 7:00 p.m.
Rebecca Solnit
Cassim Shepard

Rebecca Solnit is a writer, historian, and activist. She is the author of Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas (2010), Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas (2013), and The Faraway Nearby (2014), among others. She is a contributing editor to Harper’s and regular contributor to the political site Tomdispatch.

Cassim Shepard
 is the Editor of Urban Omnibus.

The League is a proud partner of Climate Week NYC.

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Time & Place
Friday, September 26th, 2014
2:00 – 7:00 p.m.
The Great Hall
The Cooper Union
7 East 7th Street
New York
Tickets are free for League members and students; $20 for non-members. Members may reserve a ticket by e-mailing: Member tickets will be held at the check-in desk. Non-members may purchase tickets at the door, cash only.
The Five Thousand Pound Life is an initiative of The Architectural League of New York on new ways of thinking and acting on architecture, climate change, and our economic future. It is supported, in part, by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Art Works. This project is also supported by the J. Clawson Mills Fund of The Architectural League. Architectural League programs are also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.