New York Society for Ethical Culture
Monica Weiss and Richard Koral
The New York Society for Ethical Culture is a humanist community that has been dedicated to social justice and education since its founding in 1876. At a time when other nonprofit institutions, including major universities like Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Columbia, have failed to divest and have so far failed to rebuild their curricula with […]
by Emily Rutland
Peter Kalmus
A scientist pioneers a low carbon lifestyle in Altadena, CA
Peter Kalmus has reduced his personal carbon emissions from roughly 20 tons to 2, and he's written a book about what he's learned.
by Alice Goldsmith
Wellington Chen
Executive Director, Chinatown Partnership
Chinatown was hurt during Hurricane Sandy, with many non-English speaking elderly stranded in high rises without water, lights, heat, or elevators. What future plans for the historic neighborhood are best, as projections for sea level rise increase?
by Angie Koo
Beginning the Baykeeper
Andrew Willner, Founding Director
In recent years, science and policy have been catching up with Andrew Willner's vision for a sustainable harbor.
by Ana Cecilia Deustua
The Natural History Museum
Beka Economopoulos, Co-Founder
"Museums are leaders, and we're asking them to demonstrate their leadership."
by Angie Koo
Walter Meyer
Co-Founder, Power Rockaways Resilience
The Power Rockaways Resilience team developed cultural knowledge so valuable that it led to an award from the White House.
by Francesca Luberti
Marshall Herskovitz
Marshall Herskovitz is a Hollywood producer, director and screenwriter who has also served as president of the Producers Guild of America (2006 - 2010). His credits include films such as “Traffic,” “The Last Samurai,” and “Blood Diamond."
by Abigail Carney
British scientist gives best human rights talk of the year
"This is not about just incremental change. This is about whole system change. And this applies to all of us, whatever sphere of influence we have."
by Richard Reiss
Marshall Saunders
Founder, Citizen's Climate Lobby
Citizens Climate Lobby aims to price carbon, solve climate change, and to do it in a way that crosses Amer­i­can polit­i­cal bar­ri­ers. Founded by a Texan, after the creek behind his childhood home dried up.
by Francesca Luberti
James White: ice & the city
Director, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research
James White explains that the future of the city depends on how the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets melt in a warmer climate, and on what we do to slow the process down.
by Jamie Carpenter
Joel Towers
Executive Dean, Parsons The New School for Design
"We’re educating students who will go out into the world and have 60 years or more of productive and engaged life. What is the world going to be like 60 years from now?"
by Madeleine Levin
China's energy future: an interview with Ella Chou
Ella Chou, an energy consultant and an expert on energy in both the China and the U.S., spoke with City Atlas about China’s energy future, North American energy independence, fracking, and the relationship between China and the U.S.
by Jingwen Tong
Michael Premo: the idea of home
Michael Premo, artist and activist, spoke to City Atlas about the power of sharing stories, the future of New York as a waterfront city and place for artists, and the importance of home.
by Jingwen Tong
Gay Talese and a city of permanent change
City Atlas sits down with Gay Talese to learn his thoughts about the future and the past of New York City, which has been his home for 60 years.
by Abigail Carney
Eddie Bautista
Executive Director, New York City Environmental Justice Alliance
Eddie Bautista, Executive Director of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, has spent a lifetime committed to empowering New York’s low-income communities of color.
by Somala Diby
Curtis Ravenel
Director of Sustainability, Bloomberg L.P.
To really understand how a company is positioned for the future, you have to know how it's managing its environmental impact.
by Calah Singleton
Mariellé Anzelone
There are few places in Amer­ica where you can you lose your­self in a shaded for­est, take a twenty-minute break to enjoy empanadas at a Mex­i­can bodega, and then return to the wilder­ness to fin­ish your hike. That's what we did with ecol­o­gist Mariellé Anzelone...
by Aaron Reiss
Claire Weisz
WXY Architecture + Urban Design
"...Our cities all over the country--from Detroit to New Orleans--present the best opportunity for lowering our carbon footprint..."
by Patrick O'Neill
Hester Street Collaborative
Anne Frederick - Executive Director
"Design allows for the different learning styles to be celebrated and exercised...we see our students keep coming back to learn and they get engaged more and more."
by Jeff Kasper
Mary Miss
Artist and designer, City As Living Laboratory
"I really have this fantasy, this image, that a community could develop that begins to picture New York in a bigger way."
by Maddie Oliver
Michael Bierut
Listen, think, react. A graphic designer considers communication.
"The public won’t ever tell you, 'this is how you change our mind.'"
by Sascha Mombartz
Pathways in Technology High School
"For every student who comes to P-TECH, they’re going to be a great leader in the city, in another ten years–and we’re so proud of them. But it’s also about the whole economic development of New York City... "
by Vesna Petrin
Klaus Lackner
Physicist develops artificial tree to help solve climate change
"And so, in essence, this is a CO2 pump: it takes CO2 from the air and pumps it and delivers it into this stream. This will work over and over for years and years."
by Maria Ioshpa
Christine Gaspar
Executive Director, Center for Urban Pedagogy
"All of our projects start by asking a question about how the city works..."
by Jeff Kasper
Glenn Phillips
Executive Director, NYC Audubon
"When should you go bird watching? Now."
by Sam Brand
Lara Penin and Eduardo Staszowski
Amplify/DESIS Lab
"If we want society to change, we should look at ourselves, and learn from whatever is already working."
by Jeff Kasper
Allan Frei
Climatologist, Hunter College
"There is no filtration on New York City water."
by Rosie duPont
Nilda Mesa
Assistant VP of Environmental Stewardship, Columbia University
"More trees, more plants, more – OK, in my big picture thing – I would love to see more raptors in the city."
by Rosie duPont
Erin Barnes
"The first thing you can do is take a look around. What does the block where you live look like? What does the block where you work look like?"
by Sam Brand
Projjal Dutta
Director of Sustainability Initiatives, MTA
"New York is livable–it is more than livable, it’s wonderful -- because of density. And not just the density of people, but I think the density of opportunity."
by Rosie duPont
Diana Balmori
Landscape Architect
"I would like within the next ten years for the whole surface of the city to be totally porous... "
by Arnaldur Schram
Eric Sanderson
Ecologist and creator of
"In fact, what we need to be talking about isn’t with nature or without nature, but between nature."
by Sam Brand
David Hyde Pierce
I’m not a big person for revolution. I believe in change happening at a pace that allows it to meaningful. So much that I’ve seen going on in the city in the past couple years has seemed to be going in the right direction.
by Alice Goldsmith
Reese Schonfeld
Media Entrepreneur
It’s the most exciting city in the world to work in. I could walk down the street, bump into somebody; you begin to talk to each other and before you know it, we are starting a business. It’s just people you meet casually.
by Rosie duPont
Dong-Ping Wong
"Plus Pool is a floating pool in the river for everyone. The most important aspect of the design is that it filters river water through the pool’s walls."
by Ouida Biddle
Gavin Schmidt
Climate Scientist, NASA
Let’s deal with the sci­ence. And there are uncer­tain­ties there too, we can talk about those. But gases don’t care whether you are a Repub­li­can or a Demo­c­rat, left wing or right wing, libertarian or conservative.
by Sam Brand
Milton Puryear
Co-Founder, Brooklyn Greenway Initiative
"All the way from Greenpoint to Bay Ridge there were, for a hundred years, only four places where a private citizen could get to the water."
by Rosie duPont
Britta Riley
Founder, Windowfarms
"What I tell them is that in New York, the landscape is the people."
by Rosie duPont
Stefan Sagmeister, Khoi Vinh, Ji Lee
Three of New York's top graphic designers talk about design, its impact and the city.
"Listening and understanding the other side are the first steps to a truly meaningful exchange..." -- Ji Lee
by Sascha Mombartz
Interviews with New Yorkers and visitors
During the making of this photo essay, someone told us that "the people make the city." City Atlas plans to include ongoing interviews in all five boroughs--to find out what people think about the future of New York and their role in it.
by Alice Goldsmith
Grand Central interviews
A short film containing ideas and thoughts of New Yorkers passing through Grand Central Terminal, by Caroline Kim
by Caroline Kim