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The Five Thousand Pound Life: Land

September 26, 2014 @ 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm


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The Five Thousand Pound Life: Land addresses the need to consider settlement patterns and competing land uses in new ways given the reality of climate change.  The value assigned to various forms of land use, and various attitudes towards land as a resource, must be understood in terms of ecological services and impacts, rather than narrowly-defined economic imperatives. In sessions on “Nature and the City,” “Spatial Logistics,” and “Density,” speakers will consider American approaches to development, attitudes toward nature, and whether the current dominant narrative of the environmental superiority of concentrated high density development might be challenged by a counter-narrative of lower density land-use that takes advantage of distributed energy production and localized treatment of waste. Ultimately, The Five Thousand Pound Life: Land will ask what the desirable and politically achievable mix of these narratives could be.

The Architectural League launched The Five Thousand Pound Life—an initiative of public events, digital releases, and a major design study—in September 2013 to address the intertwined challenges of reimagining the American way of life to address climate change and to rebuild a robust economic structure that offers viable livelihoods across the income spectrum. The League brings the perspective of the design professions to these issues, as its contribution to what must be a broad collective effort spanning geographies, generations, occupations, disciplines, and ideologies.

Opening Remarks
Kevin Bone, Director, The Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design
Rosalie Genevro, Executive Director, The Architectural League of New York

A Conversation on Nature and the City
Eric Sanderson & Ted Steinberg
Moderated by Rosalie Genevro

Eric Sanderson is an expert in the ecology of New York City, a Senior Conservation Ecologist at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and the best-selling author ofMannahatta: A Natural History of New York City (2009) and Terra Nova:  The New World After Oil, Cars, and Suburbs (2013).

Ted Steinberg is Professor of History and Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University. His new book Gotham Unbound: The Ecological History of Greater New York(2014) examines the ecological changes that have resulted in the reality of present-day New York City.

Spatial Logistics
Alex Klatskin
Rob Holmes
Jesse LeCavalier
Moderated by Coral Davenport

Alex Klatskin is a General Partner of Forsgate Industrial Partners, a private industrial real estate development and investment firm based in Teterboro, New Jersey.

Rob Holmes is an assistant professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Florida and co-founder of Mammoth, a blog about infrastructures, logistics, landscapes, and architecture.

Jesse LeCavalier is working on a book about the architecture and logistics of Walmart, forthcoming from the University of Minnesota Press. He is a member of Co + LeCavalier and an assistant professor of architecture at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, where he coordinates the first year design studio.

This panel is moderated by Coral Davenport, who covers energy and environmental policy for The New York Times.

Emily Talen
Charles Waldheim
Albert Pope
Moderated by Vishaan Chakrabarti

Emily Talen is a senior sustainability scientist and a professor in the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University.

Charles Waldheim is a Canadian-American architect, urban theorist, and John E. Irving Professor and Chair of Landscape Architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.

Albert Pope is the Gus Sessions Wortham Professor of Architecture at Rice University. He is the author of Ladders (1997) and numerous articles concerning the broad implications of post-war urban development.

This panel is moderated by Vishaan Chakrabarti, Principal of SHoP Architects and author of A Country of Cities. He is also Holliday Professor and the director of the Center for Urban Real Estate at Columbia University.

The League is a proud partner of Climate Week NYC.








Photo by Folkert Gorter | used under CC BY 3.0, desaturated from original


September 26, 2014
2:00 pm - 6:00 pm
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The Architectural League of New York
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Cooper Union Great Hall
The Foundation Building, 7 East 7th Street
New York , NY 10003 United States
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