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Archtober 2020: Cities of the Future in a post-Covid-19 World

FRIDAY, OCT 16 2020 - MONDAY, NOV 30 2020

Cities play a central role in the pursuit of sustainable development. Cities produce roughly 80% of the global GDP and it is estimated that by 2050, 6.5 billion people will be urban. Cities are key contributors for climate change and raising temperatures. Urban planning plays a key role in achieving a city’s climate goal as the type of buildings and transportation systems contribute to rising temperatures.

The City of Vienna, Austria aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85% until 2050 and targets to cut emissions by 50% until 2030 as stated in the Smart City Vienna framework strategy.
OneNYC 2050 is New York City’s ambitious long-term strategic plan to address the climate crisis, achieve equity, and strengthen democracy. The city aims to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

As cities suffer by the severe economic and social effects of the pandemic and people cautiously gather in the light of Covid-19, how important is transformative urban development?

A lecture and discussion between three experts:

Architect, urban planner and historian, Ms. Yasemin Kologlu (SOM) and Mr. Andreas Trisko, Head of Department for Urban Development and Planning of the City of Vienna and Prof. Benjamin Bross of University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign give insights on how public places could be shaped or integrated into existing sustainability plans to encourage mobility, gathering and social distancing.

This lecture and discussion is curated by Ms. Kristen Beveridge, graduate of the Harvard Design School (MDes) with a career in design thinking that spans over 20 years at both startups and Fortune 500 companies.

The recorded Zoom event will be available on this page in the coming days.



Yasemin Kologlu is a design director in SOM’s New York office. Kologlu adopts a forward thinking and holistic approach to design that integrates wellbeing, environmental design and technology. She is a strong advocate for equality, diversity, and innovation in the design industry.

Kologlu joined the firm in 2004 and has since worked at SOM’s New York and London offices. Her portfolio of completed projects is diverse; it includes innovative headquarters, complex adaptive reuse projects, and large-scale commercial, residential, and mixed-use developments. Kologlu has extensive experience in European projects including the JTI Headquarters and the United Nations in Geneva, Corso Italia 23 in Milan, and Karlatornet in Gothenburg—the tallest residential tower in Scandinavia. Her projects contribute to SOM’s reputation as a leader in sustainable design and wellbeing. She is a LEED® Accredited Professional and an ambassador of the Sustainable Design Group for the firm's London office.

Kologlu has been actively involved in leadership and mentorship activities with organizations such as RIBA and the UK Green Building Council. She is committed to pluralism and diversity of design in practice.


Andreas Trisko

Born in 1965, gained extensive experiences in architecture  as well as in urban planning and specialized in the field of large-scale urban development projects. He joined the Vienna City Administration in 2001. Before being named head of the “Department for Urban Development and Planning” in 2013, he steered urban change processes in Vienna’s largest district. He now leads an innovative team of eighty. Next to being responsible for Vienna’s overall strategies for urban planning and mobility, a main focus lies on transferring these policies into the day to day practice and implementing game-changing projects.


Benjamin A. Bross, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor at the Illinois School of Architecture (ISoA). Benjamin grew up in Mexico in a multi-cultural environment. Currently, Benjamin is focused on the processes by which spatial production generates place-based sociocultural identity. He has published articles ranging in topics from the origin and evolution of spatial typologies, urban spaces and their evolving uses, to the increasing challenges posed to designers by digital and commercial globalization. His book, Mexico City’s Zócalo: A History of a Constructed Spatial Identity (Routledge Publishers, Abingdon, UK) is forthcoming in the fall 2021.

Before joining the ISoA, Benjamin, a licensed architect, worked professionally in various aspects of the built environment for nearly 25 years including four years as the Chief of Development Officer for one of Latin America’s largest commercial and mixed used design offices, where he was directly responsible for design, construction, and entitlement processes. In all, he has been involved directly in the design and construction of over 50 projects in eight countries across North America, South America and Europe. Benjamin holds a Ph.D. in History with Highest Honors from the Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City, Mexico; a Master in Urban Design from UC Berkeley’s CED; a Master in Architecture from Harvard’s GSD, where he was a Graduate Student Associate at Harvard’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies; he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from the UC Berkeley’s CED.


Image Credit: Courtesy of AIANY & Center for Architecture


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