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Newsletter of the Institute for Urban Design September/October 2005 Vol. 21 No. 5

PATAKI LEADERSHIP FAILURE AT GROUND ZERO ECHOES IN BATON ROUGE, NEW ORLEANS BY BUSH / FEMA FUMBLE Among Fellows closest to Gulf Coast catastrophe has been University of Texas at Austin Dean Frederick Steiner who enrolled nine Tulane University students on emergency basis at Austin. Austin has also provided an academic base for three Tulane professors and has extended a continuing offer to Dean Reed Kroloff at Tulane for further assistance as needed. Biloxi

Biloxi, Mississippi is focus of a study by Michael Sorkin and the Urban Program at City University of New York. The group is working, at the invitation of Biloxi Community Development Director Jerry Creel to modify city plan in response to damage done by Hurricane Katrina. Andreas Duany is also advising the city as part of a Congress for the New Urbanism Charette. Hargreaves Associates will do a new waterfront plan for Baton Rouge, reports Glenn Allen. And Ove Arup is working in several Gulf Coast sites.

Baton Rouge

It has been said that the Gulf Coast area devastated by Hurricane Katrina is the size of England. If so, how could FEMA and/or the White House respond appropriately? George Bush may return in November for more photo opportunities with Habitat for Humanity and other self-help group. But a congressional bill for $1 billion in aid to Gulf Coast disaster struck sites will be provided as loans rather than grants. And Senator Ted Kennedy’s proposal for a Gulf Coast Recovery and Disaster Preparedness Agency that would coordinate Federal funds to the region has little change of passing. This means that help to cities in region from outside urban designers is unlikely to have much impact. On the other hand, Baton Rouge, whose population has doubled, Biloxi, which is rebuilding, and New Orleans, whose mayor has formed a citizen committee, will remain urban design case studies for years to come on how to respond on a regional scale to natural disasters. A hint of what urban designers can anticipate in re-planning New Orleans may be glimpsed in the looking glass of Ground Zero. Here Governor George Pataki moved quickly to create a new Lower Manhattan Development Corporation into which an anticipated $21 billion in federal funds could be funneled. When, in early October, the Governor withdrew plans for the Freedom Center, by Fellow Craig Dykers’ Snøhetta Group, he killed the most promising design element in the Ground Zero plan. Governor Pataki’s decision to, in effect, substitute retail shopping space for The Freedom Museum is the template for public leadership failure that one can continue to expect to see from President Bush through the remainder of 2005. The good news is that urban design is emerging in new education programs across North America. At the same computer aided design holds perhaps the best key to urban design on a regional scale. The Emergent Design Group, founded in 1997 at MIT develops simulations based on modeling theory and intelligent systems. A master plan for Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, with Frank Gehry and Alvaro Siza suggests successful acceptance of their work.


The city of Hartford is currently working with the Connecticut state government to implement a mixed-use development on a 7-acre site adjacent to the state’s new $350 million convention center, reports John Palmieri, Director of Department of Development Services. The Witkin Group will plan a residential/retail/entertainment center on the same site. The Parrish Art Museum is moving from its historic 19th century building on Jobs Lane in Southampton and onto the international stage with the selection of Basil architects Herzog and De Muron to design a new building. The new building, to open in 2009, will be constructed on a 14acre site in Water Mill. The about-to-open de Young Museum in San Francisco and the Walker Art Museum in Minneapolis are by the same architects.


Warsaw may begin to look like Manhattan on the Vistula when a new skyscraper by Fellow Daniel Libeskind goes up in the reconstructed 19th century downtown. Jean-Claude Moustacakis, Orco Property Group, Luxembourg, will be the developer. The 45-story, glass-enclosed apartment building, will have a slopping roof, slightly reminiscent of Libeskind’s early Freedom Tower design for Ground Zero in Manhattan. Staten Island’s Stapleton Waterfront Park is moving forward with an urban design element by Marpillero Pollak Architects for the Economic Development Corporation (ck). Weidlinger Engineers and WRT, Philadelphia are landscape architects. In Long Island City, MPA is working on Queens Plaza Bicycle and Pedestrian Path, also with WRT





Board Member Michael Sorkin was at the School of Architecture in Aarus, Denmark in October to work with students at the School of Architecture on a new plan for the Harbor . . . Shane Coen flew from Rochester to Chicago in early October to participate in a program on new developments in Dutch landscape architecture sponsored by IIT . . . Jayne Merkel has returned home from a tour of lectures on her new Eero Saarinen published by Phaidon Press . . . Ruth Durack, who left Kent State last spring for her hometown of Perth, is now director of the new Urban Design Centre of Western Australia located at The University of Western Australia (for details: . . . Jon Michael Schwarting continues to divide his time between Port Jefferson, where he practices architecture and the Manhattan campus of the New York Institute of Technology where he is director of the graduate program in urban and regional design. An exhibition of his work held there recently will be followed by a talk “where’s the parti”. . . Laurie Kerr travels from New York to her cottage in Greenport, Long Island where she can rest up from the monumental task of preparing a sustainable New York report for Mayor Michael Bloomberg. A draft will be circulated to some 50 New York agencies early in 2006 . . . Alexander Garvin has opened a new office at 15 East 32nd Street, New York, NY 10016 . . . Casey Jones has moved from Office of the Chief Architect in Washington to New Orleans where he continues to work as a virtual employee. In addition, he is designing a pedestrian corridor to link Syracuse University with downtown Syracuse. He is also designing a pedestrian bridge over the Ohio River in Pittsburgh. “Architecture as Public Policy” will be the theme of the 2006 Metro AIA Chapter under Mark E. Strauss. As a planning principal at Fox & Fowle, he is an architect, urban designer and certified planner. At Newman Institute, Strauss is also co-chair, with Fellow John Shapiro, of a new department of planning and community development. The program seeks to make developers more aware of planning and urban design issues The Center for Architecture in New York last month showed distinguished student projects of New York metropolitan area’s nine schools of architecture: City College of New York, Columbia University, Cooper Union, New Jersey Institute of Technology, New York Institute of Technology, Parsons/The New School for Design, Pratt Institute, Princeton University, and Yale University. The exhibit shows a diverse range of projects, which incorporate technology, sustainability, and in-depth research. Lance Brown, ASCA, Distinguished Professor at CUNY and two-term Director for Educational Affairs of the AIA New York Chapter, explained that “this is the inauguration of an annual event, with the intention to open a new era of communication and dialogue among the school communities and the profession in the region.” Also, said Brown, this format will be promoted for use by

other regions in anticipation of further expanding the dialogue, until perhaps this becomes a national display in 10-year intervals. For the first time ever, nine schools of architecture have an opportunity to interact with one another through an exhibition and companion symposia. In this context they will also show the profession – and the public – what they’re doing, where they’re going, what makes each one unique, and how they incorporate technology, sustainability, research, and culture. As part of the student project exhibition, nine joined a panel to discuss education just before the exhibit closed in late September.


W Architecture and Landscape Architecture has received a 2005 National Honor award for Urban Design by the American Institute for Architects, reports Barbara Wilks, principal of the firm.


Sense of the City: An Alternative Approach to Urbanism is on display at the Canadian Centre for Architecture through September 10, 2006. Curator and CCA Director Mirko Zardini says that the show proposes a rethinking of latent qualities of the city.



Urban Changes in Europe: New Scenarios and New Challenges, November 30-December 2, 2005 will be held at the University of Florence reports Milan Prodanovic, Ecourban Workshop, Belgrade. For information: ecourban@eunet.yu Recombinant Urbanism: Conceptual Modeling in Architecture, Urban Design and City Theory. By David Grahame Shane. Black/white and color illustrations. 344 pages. Wiley/Academy, New York. Hardcover $140.00. Paperback $50.00. Between the fall of the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001 and the natural and human disaster of New Orleans, urban design has emerged from academic obscurity to become a dinner table topic. In the last decade urban design has become a core subject in the architecture curriculum with more than 35 schools offering a graduate degree. Grahame Shane’s Recombinant Urbanism, which traces the history of urban models from the Renaissance to the present, provides useful paradigms for looking at urban design past, present and future. Shane develops the urban modeling techniques of Kevin Lynch and Fred Koelter and - argues that city design depends on such models. Where Kevin Lynch criticized contemporaries for considering only fragments of the city, Shane moves forward to current emphasis on larger scale approaches for example found in landscape urbanism. Shane goes on to review I.M. Pei’s 1961 urban design plan for Boston, Jonathan Barnett and the work of the Urban Design Group in the New York of Mayor John Lindsay and the perception of the city as many fragments in Rowe and Koelter’s College City 1978. Shane goes on to show how faster communication and transportation systems are providing a new network city. His overarching theory is that cities today are necessarily built around patches or enclaves. But these enclaves can be interconnected by a variety of armatures. The Form of Cities: Political Economy and Urban Design. By Alexander Cuthbert. Black/white illus. 258 pages. Blackwell Publishing, Malden, Mass. Paperback $36.95. This analysis proposed that much of accepted urban design theory is wrong. Instead of a base in architecture, the author proposes that theory should be based in spatial political economy. From this premise, the author proposes that urban design students be trained in graphics, business, and negotiation. They must learn to interpret plans and visualize outcomes in three dimensions. They must have visual literacy and be able to innovate. The successful urban design graduate orchestrates the urban elements making a more harmonious whole for pedestrians as well as those in cars. “Urban design has more integrity in theory and practice than does urban planning. I look forward to the day when the first Institute of Urban Design exists as a legitimate region of human knowledge.” The author predicts that third millennium cities will erode medieval and modern elements in cities while making the prevailing trans national power invisible. Cuthbert contrasts to new situation to prior historic periods where monarchy on the state offered concrete manifestations of power in, for example, the Houses or Parliament in London on St. Peter’s Square outside the Vatican in Rome. Perhaps because the author’s home base is Sydney, most of his case study examples are from Southeast Asia: Beijing, Hanoi, Taipei, Jakarta.

BOOKS (continued)


Designing Cities: Critical Readings in Urban Design. Edited by Alexander Cuthbert. Black/white illus. 401 pages. Blackwell Publishing, Malden, Mass. Paper $38.95. This useful and compact book will surely become a must in the 30 some urban design programs in North America. In a salute to German sources it includes Christian Norbert – Schultz on the phenomenon of place, Mark Gottdiener on the meaning of shopping malls, Peter Marcuse on Berlin. Among outstanding American contributions are Anne Vernez Moudon on a catholic approach to urban design and Dolores Hayden asking, “What would a non-sexist city be like?” The chapters in this book follow the same division as those in Cuthbert’s Form of Cities and are meant to be read with them. Glenn Allen, Principal, Hargreaves Associates, New York, NY; Fredric Bell, Executive Director, AIA New York Chapter, New York, NY; Trevor Boddy, Architecture Critic, The Vancouver Sun, Vancouver, BC, Canada; Peter Bosselman, College of Environmental Design, University of California, Berkeley, CA; Colin M. Cathcart, Principal, Kiss + Cathcart Architects, Brooklyn, NY; Anthony Cracchiolo, Director, The Port Authority of NY & NJ, New York, NY; Shaun Donovan, Housing Preservation Commissioner, Housing Preservation Dept., New York, NY; Alex Felson, EDAW Inc., New York, NY; Vincent Ferrandino, Principal, Ferrandino & Associates Inc., Elmsford, NY; Adriaan Geuze, West 8 Urban Design & Landscape Architecture, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Kathryn Gustafson, Partner, Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Ltd., Seattle, WA; Tony Hiss, New York, NY; Cathy Lang Ho, Editor, The Architect's Newspaper, New York, NY; Purnima Kapur, Planning Director, Bronx Borough, Bronx, NY; Steven Kratchman, Steven Kratchman Architect, New York, NY; Jon Lang, Professor of Architecture, The University of New South Wales, Kensington, Australia; Steve Litt, Art & Architecture Critic, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Cleveland, OH; Anne Locke, AKRF, New York, NY; Randall Morton, Partner, Cooper Robertson & Partners, New York, NY; Regina Myer, Director, Brooklyn Office, NYC Department of City Planning, Brooklyn, NY; John F. Palmieri, Director, Department of Development Services, City of Hartford, Hartford, CT; Maria L. Sachs, Portfolio Manager, Pikes Peak Income Holding, New York, NY; Joshua Sirefman, Chief of Staff, Mayor's Office, New York, NY; Anthony Sorrentino, Director of External Affairs, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; Richard M. Sommer, Director, Urban Design Program, Harvard GSD, Cambridge, MA; David Thom, Managing Director, IBI Group, Irvine, CA; Kishore Varanasi, Urban Designer, CBT Architects, Boston, MA; Steven M. Weber, AICP, Lower Manhattan Borough Commissioner, NYC Dept. of Transportation, New York, NY; John Young, Planning Director, Queens City Planning, Kew Gardens, NY; Charles Zucker, Washington, D.C.

UPDATE, published six times a year, welcomes contributions from members.

Institute for Urban Design - Urban Design Update Sept./Oct. 2005