NEXT CITY: Sustainable Urbanization

Today, half of the world's populations live in cities; by 2030, an additional five billion people will have joined them. Hear from some of the country's top voices on urban issues and explore one of the great challenges of the 21st century in this dynamic series.

The UW has made "sustainable urbanization" a major focus for the coming academic year. With the support of The Graduate School, the NEXT CITY series will include six lectures. The spring 2010 Provost Lecture will also discuss sustainable living and the future of our cities.

When:Oct. 13, Nov. 3, Jan. 20, Feb. 9, Feb. 10, April 21, May 14-15
Where:Kane Hall, UW Seattle. See individual lectures for details.
Cost:All NEXT CITY events are free and open to the public.
Space is limited and advance registration is recommended. Register for each of the lectures individually using the links below.

You may also register by calling the UWAA at 206-543-0540.

Message from UW Provost Phyllis Wise
"Sustainable urbanization hits close to home. As a public research institution located in the heart of a globally connected metropolitan area, with deep faculty expertise in urban fields, the UW can be a leader in finding informed solutions to the social and environmental challenges posed by the urbanization of the planet. NEXT CITY will form a conversation across the UW and with the community and region." Read more from the Provost...

Upcoming Lectures


April 21, 2010
Provost Lecture: City in Five Acts: Interpreting Urban Experience
Speaker: Daniel S. Friedman
Dean of the College of Built Environments, University of Washington

Daniel Friedman

Complementing data-oriented policies of the empirical city, Daniel S. Friedman, dean of the UW College of Built Environments, explores the "analogical city," understood as a language-like collection of signs, both abstract and representational, discovered and expressed through varieties of powerful, often iconic imagery. Instead of focusing on buildings or utopian town plans, Dean Friedman will offer five interpretive vignettes that frame evolving images of the city, each featuring a singular author and artwork that illuminate major and minor themes of human experience, especially the ways modern urban environments uniquely embody our anxieties, memories, dreams and aspirations.
More information and online registration...

May 14-15, 2010
NEXT CITY: The LMN Symposium on Design and Urbanization
"Speculative Urbanism: Research and Visualization"

Keynote Speaker: Mitchell Joachim
Columbia University

This two-day symposium honors the 30th anniversary of LMN Architects. Creating a vital framework for the discourse on design and urbanization, the symposium is free to the public and explores architecture's role in the evolution of the contemporary city. Mitchell Joachim, a leader in ecological design and urbanism, will present the keynote address Friday evening. Joachim will be joined for a panel discussion Saturday morning by Nancy Levinson (Arizona State), Richard M. Sommer (University of Toronto), and moderator Ken Tadashi Oshima (University of Washington).
More information and online registration...

Past Lectures


October 13, 2009
The Great Recession: What Comes Next for our MetroNation
Speaker: Bruce Katz, Jessie and John Danz Endowed Lecturer
Vice President and Founding Director of the Metropolitan Policy Program, Brookings Institution

Bruce Katz

The Great Recession has dramatically disrupted the lives and livelihoods of tens of millions of Americans through lost jobs, foreclosed homes and diminished wealth. Bruce Katz, an expert on metropolitan policy reform, will discuss the broad forces affecting our country and argue that metro economies like Seattle can lead the way forward. He will contend that Seattle and other metros need a new kind of partner in Washington, D.C. and their state capitals if the promise and potential of our MetroNation is to be realized.
More information...

November 3, 2009
Who Are the NEW Polluters?
Speaker: Hedrick Smith, Jessie and John Danz Endowed Lecturer
Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and editor and Emmy Award-winning TV producer/correspondent

Hedrick Smith

When the Clean Water Act passed in 1972, the focus was on big industrial polluters such as chemical plants and steel mills. Today, the problems and the villains have changed. Scientists now point to the ecologically damaging runoff from highways, parking lots and suburban developments as the largest source of toxic waste flowing into Puget Sound and other iconic American waterways. In short, we're all the New Polluters. Hedrick Smith, a nationally recognized reporter, editor and TV producer, looks at the daunting challenges this poses to our policy-makers and citizens.
More information...

January 20, 2010
Jane Jacobs and Rachel Carson: The Death and Life of Nature and the City
Speaker: Robert Fishman, Walker Ames Lecturer
Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan

Robert Fishman

When Jane Jacobs and Rachel Carson first published books attacking the orthodoxy of their respective fields in the early 1960s, they appeared to belong to two very different debates: urbanism for Jacobs, environmentalism for Carson. Today, we can see they shared an important new theoretical perspective. Robert Fishman, an expert in the areas of urban history and urban policy and planning, discusses the impact of these two women and how they not only revolutionized their own fields but changed the way we think about sustainability.
More information...

February 9, 2010
Note: This lecture has reached capacity. Walk-up registration will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Leveling the Playing Field: Helping Poor Children Succeed
Speaker: Geoffrey Canada, Jessie and John Danz Endowed Lecturer
President and CEO, Harlem Children's Zone

Geoffrey Canada

Geoffrey Canada has a radical new idea: if you really want to change the lives of inner-city kids, change everything all at once—their schools, families and neighborhoods. As President and CEO of the revolutionary Harlem Children's Zone in New York City, Canada has dedicated the past 20 years of his life to helping the most impoverished, at-risk youth beat the odds. Radically ambitious and startlingly simple, Canada's programs are on the cutting edge of preventing youth violence and fostering community development.
More information...

February 10, 2010
Human Rights. Global Cities. Catastrophe!
Panel Discussion: Victoria Lawson, Katharyne Mitchell and Matthew Sparke, UW Department of Geography professors; Jean Carmalt, human rights lawyer and Department of Geography Ph.D. candidate

What makes an event a catastrophe? For whom is it catastrophic? And how does framing an event as an urban catastrophe change the discussion and response? Panelists explore these questions through examples ranging from the financial crisis and Hurricane Katrina to the WTO and global health. They will consider the structural forces that may precipitate urban crises, how such crises are framed, and who profits from them, as well as the role of engaged citizenship in moving us towards greater democratic accountability in urban governance. Audience members are encouraged to participate in the discussion and bring questions for the panelists.
More information...

NEXT CITY Facebook Group

Are you on Facebook? Join the NEXT CITY Facebook group where we'll discuss the issues and keep you apprised of updates.


Series sponsors:

UW Graduate School
UW Alumni Association
KUOW University Book Store
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