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Designing to Avoid Disaster

March 28, 2018 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm


Thomas Fisher, a professor and Director of the Minnesota Design Center at the University of Minnesota, will discuss the fracture-critical nature of many of the systems we have put in place since the mid-20th century, how such systems are especially vulnerable to catastrophic failure, and what we need to do to create more resilient, affordable, and equitable systems in the future. He will show how fracture-critical failures follow a consistent pattern and how we can spot the vulnerability of systems and prevent their failure.

NYU Urban Seminar Series: Equity, Design, and Climate Change

Co-sponsored by NYU Wagner, NYU Department of Environmental Studies, and UPSA.

Cities today are growing quickly. The UN projects that continuing population growth and urbanization will add 2.5 billion people to the world’s urban centers by 2050. Even as our cities expand, unprecedented climate events flood our urban spaces, redraw shorelines, and devastate infrastructure. In the face of these twinned challenges of rapid growth and climate change, how do we design our cities so that they are inclusive, and remain centers of economic growth and creative dynamism that integrate new arrivals, while at the same time becoming more resilient to climate change? How do we ensure that our design approaches promote equity in our cities, and address climate change impacts that are most often felt by the economically vulnerable populations and areas of our cities? How do we create a design process that is inclusive, represents the needs of different urban constituencies, and draws on the creativity of all residents as we address emergent climate shifts? The 2018 NYU Urban Seminar Series will include urban planners, designers, researchers, practitioners, and artists whose work explores the intersection of equity, design, and climate change.


NYU Wagner, UPSA, NYU Department of Environmental Studies


The Puck Building, The Rudin Family Forum for Civic Dialogue
295 LaFayette Street
New York, NY 10012 United States
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