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Building the Digital City

CURE. The Center for Urban Real Estate at Columbia University

Friday, November 1, 2013 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (EDT)

Building the Digital City

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Columbia Alumni Ended Free  
General Public Ended Free  

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Event Details

On November 1st, 2013, the Center for Urban Real Estate at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation will sponsor Building the Digital City: Tech and the Transformation of New York – a daylong 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.


Conference Program


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           Keynote Address:  Tech and the City: The Long View

James Sanders AIA

Principal, James Sanders + Associates and CURE. Senior Fellow

10:10 am         Panel 1: The Rise of an Urban Digital Culture

This panel will introduce the day’s program by looking in broadest terms at the relationship between the physical city and the tech culture that has arisen within it.  It will explore how the distinctive character of new tech-driven districts -- built around a complex mix of live/work uses, advanced data infrastructure, a rich layer of urban amenity, and a decided preference for older, smaller, more idiosyncratic structures over conventional modern office buildings -- has profound implications for the future of the city. 


Ben Fried, Chief Information Officer, Google

David Hantman, Head of Global Policy, AirBnB

Rachel Sterne Haot, Chief Digital Officer of New York City

Kevin Ryan, Former CEO, DoubleClick; Founder, Gilt Groupe, Business Insider, and Mongo DB


Jonathan Bowles, Executive Director, Center for an Urban Future, and co-author, New Tech City 

11:10 am         Morning coffee break

11:20 am         Panel 2:  Accelerator: The New Urban Workplace

This panel will look at the transformation at the scale of the individual workplace through the emergence of new collaborative models – including “coworking,” “incubator” and “accelerator” spaces -- that are reshaping basic notions about the layout and structure of the urban office.  It will explore both the spatial and the functional implication of these new workplace models, especially in their impact on building types and urban communities. 


Eric Liftin, AIA, Principal, Mesh Architectures 

Jennifer Magnolfi, AIA, Advanced R&D Consultant, Coworking Development for the Downtown Project, Las Vegas 

Miguel McKelvey, Co-founder, WeWork

Andrea Steele, AIA, Partner, TEN Arquitectos


Greg LindsayJournalist (Fast Company) and co-author of Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next. 

12:20 pm         Lunch

                        A complimentary lunch will be provided for all conference registrants.

12:30 pm         Lunch Discussion

A lunch conversation/panel on the physical growth of the city’s tech industry from the perspective of developers, owners and brokers. 

1:15 pm           Afternoon Welcome  

1:30 pm           Conversation

A conversation with Google’s Craig Neville-Manning about the physical and urban implications of the rise of the tech industry in New York.

Craig Nevill-Manning, Director of Engineering, Google


2:00 pm           Panel 3: The Wired and Wireless City: Challenges and Opportunities

This panel will focus on the crucial significance of digital infrastructure to urban development in New York and other cities, as the essential foundation blocks for “building the digital city.”  Starting from the understanding that data infrastructure has become as essential to modern urban life as electricity, gas, water, and sewer systems, the panel will look both at existing challenges in New York and other older cities and opportunities for the future in the fast-growing area of “smart development.”   


Scott Anderson, Chief Strategy Officer and Partner, Control Group

Carlos Dominguez, Senior Vice President, Cisco

Andrew Rasiej, Chairperson, New York Tech Meetup

Tom Touchet, CEO and President, City 24/7


Andrew Blum, Journalist (Wired, Metropolis) and author of The Tubes: A Journey to the Heart of the Internet

2:50 pm           Afternoon coffee break

3:10 pm           Presentation: Work in the Digital City: The Emerging Technology                                   Workplace in New York

Andrew Laing, Global Practice Lead, AECOM, and Fellow, CURE. 

3:40 pm           Afternoon coffee break

3:50 pm           Panel 4: The New Tech District and the Changing City

This panel will look at the emergence and significance of the new tech districts in New York and elsewhere, and discuss how and where existing tech industry growth in the city can be sustained and encouraged in the next decade.  It will also explore the long-term implications for New York’s development – as new tech clusters in lower Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens challenge the city’s historic “hub-and-spoke” orientation to its midtown central business district, in favor of a multi-centered urban network. 


John Alschuler, Partner, HR&A Advisors

MaryAnne Gilmartin, President & CEO, Forest City Ratner Companies

Adam Neumann, Cofounder, WeWork

Jed Walentas, Managing Partner, Two Trees Management


Vishaan Chakrabarti, AIA 

4:50 pm           Presentation

                        Media City:

                        A New Tech Corridor for New York

An illustrated in-progress presentation of the research and visioning project associated with the conference, exploring the digital industry in New York and proposing new models for tech-driven development, applicable not only to New York but other global cities.

                        James Sanders, AIA

                        Raj Patel, Partner, Arup

5:10 pm           Closing Remarks

                        Vishaan Chakrabarti, AIA

5:20 - pm          Cocktail Reception

Have questions about Building the Digital City? Contact CURE. The Center for Urban Real Estate at Columbia University

When & Where

The Altman Building
135 West 18th Street
New York, NY 10011

Friday, November 1, 2013 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (EDT)

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CURE. The Center for Urban Real Estate at Columbia University

The Center for Urban Real Estate (CURE.) at Columbia University represents a new paradigm in real estate development research and practice, applied as a transformative and positive force.

  Contact the Organizer
Building the Digital City
New York, NY Events Conference

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