Land

The Five Thousand Pound Life: Land was a symposium on the need to consider settlement patterns and competing land uses in new ways given the reality of climate change. Organized by The Architectural League and The Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design and held on September 26, 2014, the symposium addressed American approaches to development and attitudes toward nature in three sessions: “Nature and the City,” “Spatial Logistics,” and “Density.” The day opened with remarks on “Land as a System” and closed with a conversation on “Land, Climate, and Culture.”

Land as a System

In the opening remarks to The Five Thousand Pound Life: Land, Kevin Bone brings to light just how recently the impact of carbon dioxide emissions has entered into our conversation on the environment.

Kevin Bone on land as a complex system

Kevin Bone, Director of The Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design, brings to light just how recently the impact of carbon dioxide emissions has entered into our conversation on the environment as part of The Five Thousand Pound Life: Land conference.

September 26, 2014

Nature and the City

The Nature and the City panel brought together two experts in ecological history to present New York City’s natural history and development and debate how we value — or don’t value — nature today.

Eric Sanderson on the ecological history of Manhattan

Eric Sanderson, author of Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City (2009), details the previously rich ecology of Manhattan or Mannahatta, “land of many hills,” and the disruption of natural systems following European settlement in the 17th century as part of The Five Thousand Pound Life: Land conference.

September 26, 2014

Ted Steinberg on the development of New York City

Ted Steinberg, author of Gotham Unbound: The Ecological History of Greater New York (2014), attributes the development of New York City to the 300-year-old view of the city as a “limitless proposition” driven by the “growth imperative.”

September 26, 2014

Spatial Logistics

The Spatial Logistics panel invited an industrial real estate developer and two designers and academics to unpack the spatial dimensions of the sometimes hidden networks of logistics and debate their consequences — the good, bad, and unknown — for design and society.

Alex Klatskin on shipping containers

Through the lens of historic and current trade routes, Klatskin, General Partner of Forsgate Industrial Partners, shows how climate change has affected the distribution of goods.

September 26, 2014

A conversation on spatial logistics

In the closing panel of the Spatial Logistics session, Alex Klatsin, Rob Holmes and Jesse LeCavalier join New York Times reporter Coral Davenport to consider how design intersects with logistics.

September 26, 2014

Density

Participants in the Density panel drew on their backgrounds in architecture, landscape architecture, geography, city planning, and urban theory to discuss the value of density and the forms that it takes — or should take — to mitigate ecological impact.

Albert Pope on carbon neutral neighborhoods

Albert Pope of Rice University urges us to “be in panic mode” in response to climate change, arguing that the implications of climate science need to be taken on as a cultural problem and “issue of urban reform.”

September 26, 2014

Charles Waldheim on creating an empirical urban position

Waldheim is a Canadian-American architect, urban theorist, and Chair of Landscape Architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. He brings an academic perspective to the relationship of density and carbon, building a case for a new professional identity for the design disciplines based around a framework of ecological thinking.

September 26, 2014

A conversation on density

In conversation with Vishaan Chakrabarti, a principal at SHoP Architects and author of A Country of Cities, members of the Five Thousand Pound Life: Density panel debate the varied forms that density does or should take.

September 26, 2014

A Conversation on Land, Climate, and Culture

Rebecca Solnit on land, climate, and culture

In the closing session of The Five Thousand Pound Life: Land, activist and writer Rebecca Solnit discusses American identity formation, land and settlement patterns, and climate change with Cassim Shepard.

September 26, 2014