On November 1, 2013, the Center for Urban Real Estate (CURE.) will host the Building the Digitial City: Tech and the Transformation of New York
-- day long multi-disciplinary conference exploring the dramatic rise of the tech industry in New York and its growing impact on the planning, development and urbanism of the city.
Organizaed by Senior Fellow James Sanders
, AIA, together with Prof. Jesse M. Keenan
, Research Director of CURE., and Prof. Andrew Laing
, the event will feature distinquished participants from a wide variety of sectors, including MaryAnne Gilmartin
, CEO, Forest City Ratner; Craig Nevil-Manning
, Director of Engineering, Google; David Hantman
, Head of Global Public Policy, Airbnb; Kevin Ryan
, former CEO, DoubleClick, and founder of the start-ups Gilt Groupe, Business Insider and MongoDB; Jed Walentas
, Managing Partner, Two Trees Management; Ben Fried
, CIO, Google; Andrew Rasiej
, Board Chair, NY Tech Meetup; and Rachel Stern Haot
, NYC Chief Digital Officer, Adam Neumann,
Co-Founder and CEO, We Work, among others.
Focused on issues and opportunities in New York, Building the Digital City
will present state-of-the-art (and science) research and will feature innovative projects from across the five boroughs, as well as urban centers from across the globe. In turn, the signifigance of the conference will extended to cities everywhere, which are increasingly looking to tech and digital enterprises as a source of urban growth and innovation in the 21st century.
Location: The Altman Building, 135 West 18th Street
Date: Noveember 1, 2013
Time: 8:15 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Partners: ARUP, Jamestown, The Durst Organization, Airbnb, Google, Inc.
Friday, November 1, 2013
8:15 am Registration and Coffee/Refreshments
9:00 am Welcome and Introduction
Vishaan Chakrabarti, AIA
Holliday Professor of Real Estate Development, Columbia University GSAPP,
Director of CURE., and Principal, SHoP Architects
9:20 am Address: Tech and the City: The Long View
James Sanders, AIA
Project Director and Conference Organizer
Principal, James Sanders + Associates, and CURE. Senior Fellow
This opening address will establish several themes of the conference
by exploring the historic relationship between great cities – above all,
New York – and technological innovation, especially in the area of
telecommunications, information, and media. In the recent explosion
in the digital industry in New York, and in its striking attraction to a
classically dense urban environment – utterly distinct from the
suburban-oriented growth of Silicon Valley – can be seen the
rebirth of a culture of urban tech innovation, whose roots stretch
back to the 19th century.
10:00 am Panel 1: The Rise of an Urban Digital Cultur
This panel will provide an introduction to the day’s program by
looking in broad terms at the sudden (and largely unexpected)
emergence of New York’s tech industry over the past decade, and
its complex relationship with – and orientation to – the distinctive
urban character of the city. It will explore the ways in which the
rise of new tech-driven communities – which have developed
around a complex mix of live/work uses, high-quality data
infrastructure, a rich layer of urban amenity, and a decided
preference for older, smaller, more idiosyncratic structures
over large, conventional “modern” office buildings – have already
begun to change the urban fabric of the city, and carry profound
implications for its future.
Chief Information Officer, Google
Head of Global Policy, AirBnB
Rachel Sterne Haot
Chief Digital Officer of the City of New York
Former CEO, DoubleClick; Founder, Gilt Groupe, Business Insider, and Mongo DB
Executive Director, Center for an Urban Future, and co-author, New Tech City
11:00 am Morning coffee break
11:15 am Panel 2: Accelerator: The New Urban Workplace
Among the most evident ways in which digital culture is transforming
city life is in the rapid emergence of new kinds of tech-oriented
workplaces, and, more generally, of new ways of working in the city.
This panel, comprised of some of the leading designers and developers
of these new spaces, will explore the different type of new workplace
models – including “coworking,” “incubator” and “accelerator” spaces– that
are reshaping basic notions of the layout and structure of the urban office.
The panel will also explore the ways in which these interior spaces interact
with the larger urban environment – including such classic public settings
as cafes, hotel lobbies, parks, and plazas – to turn the city itself into a kind
of vast, seamless, indoor-outdoor workspace.
Eric Liftin, AIA
Principal, Mesh Architectures
Advanced R&D Consultant
Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer, WeWork
Andrea Steele, AIA
Partner, TEN Arquitectos
Journalist (Fast Company) and co-author of Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next
12:15 pm Lunch
A complimentary lunch will be provided for all conference registrants.
1:00 pm Afternoon Welcome
Commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment
1:15 pm Conversation
A conversation with Google’s Craig Nevill-Manning about the rise of the tech industry
in New York, and the larger relationship of tech and the city.
Director of Engineering, Google
1:45 pm Panel 3: The Wired and Wireless City: Challenges and Opportunities
This panel will look at what might be considered the basic foundation blocks
for “building the digital city,” by examining the significance of data infrastructure
to urban development and redevelopment. From the starting point of the
(still-emerging) understanding that in the 21st century digital access has become as
essential to urban life as electricity, gas, water, and sewerage, the panel will look at the
current challenges in providing broadband access within existing urban areas
(and its impact on growth), at the emerging possibilities for digitally propelled
“smart development,” and at new initiatives to create a standardized, widely
adopted digital certification program for buildings and developments, equivalent
Chief Strategy Officer and Partner, Control Group
Senior Vice President, Cisco
Chairperson, NY Tech Meetup
CEO and President, City 24/7
Journalist (Wired, Metropolis) and author of The Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet.
2:45 pm Afternoon coffee break
3:00 pm Presentation:
Work and Workplaces in the Digital City: The Emerging Technology Workplace in New York City
Global Practice Lead, AECOM, and Senior Fellow, CURE.
Technology and patterns of work are resetting expectations for what the future
workplace should provide. The tech sector plays a unique role both as a
creator of products that enable new ways of working, and as a pioneer of
new kinds of workplaces. In New York, the sector thrives in the city’s dense
collaborative culture that re-mixes how technology and space can be used.
Flexible and mobile ways of working are enabling new concepts of workplace.
Three models are identified: Co-working, Open House, and Co-Habiting.
Technology is also enabling new ways of providing space: workplace as a
service and collaborative consumption. Propositions for the future tech
workplace are highlighted.
3:30 pm Afternoon coffee break
3:40 pm Panel 4: The New Tech District and the Changing Cit
This panel, comprised of leaders in tech-oriented real-estate and
collaborative workspace development in New York, will look at the
emergence and significance of the new tech districts in the city, and discuss
how and where existing growth can be sustained and encouraged
in the next decade. It will also explore the long-term implications for
New York’s development and transportation patterns – as new tech
clusters in Brooklyn and Queens challenge the city’s historic “hub-and-spoke”
orientation to its midtown central business district, in favor of an
emerging multi-centered urban network.
CEO, Forest City Ratner
CEO and Co-Founder, WeWork
Jamie Torres Springer
Partner, HR&A Advisors
Managing Partner, Two Trees Management
Vishaan Chakrabarti, AIA
4:40 pm Presentation
Media City: A New Tech Corridor for New York
An illustrated presentation of the draft materials from the research
and visioning project associated with the conference, exploring
the urban characteristics of the digital industry in the city and studying
new areas and models for tech-driven development in New York
and other cities.
James Sanders, AIA
Jesse M. Keenan,
Research Director, CURE.
5:00 pm Closing Remarks
Vishaan Chakrabarti, AIA
5:10-7 pm Cocktail Reception
Installations and Activities
Throughout the day, Building the Digital City will host a variety of
tech-related activities and installations on the main floor and lower
level of its Altman Building venue. A pop-up coworking installation
on the main floor, sponsored by the New York-based collaborative
space WeWork, will feature start-up entrepreneurs, engineers and
designers developing applications, along with members of the WeWork
staff, who will be live-tweeting the event and conducting interviews to
be streamed through social media platforms.
The venue will also include a range of digital installations and projections,
curated by Hannah Cloepfil, including the work of such noted New
York-based artists and studios as The Makery, Tomorrow Lab, Nils Hickey,
Ekene Ijeoma, Pepin Gelardi, Michael Edgcumbe, Sujiku, David Rife, and
Francis Bitonti Studio.