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Making Space for a Low-Emissions Future: 80×50 and the Challenge for Transportation

March 20, 2017, 6:30 pm8:00 pm EDT

New York City’s strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% by the year 2050 provides both a challenge and an opportunity for the world of transportation. What is certain is that in order to reach this goal, New York City will have to dramatically shift away from personal car usage to more sustainable modes.

But in a city of 8.6 million people and counting, where streets have long been designed for private cars instead of people, where do we begin to claim road space for a low- (and no-) emissions future? How can we both incentivize low-emission travel and pursue designs and policies that discourage driving? Low-emissions zones, car-free streets, car-free days, parking reform, and restrictions on high-emission vehicles can all move the needle on climate change as well as influence how we think about street space.

Join us in the run up to Earth Day 2017, which will be the stage for a new trial of car-free streets, for a discussion of how we can make more room on NYC streets for low- and no-emissions travel. We will examine reclaiming space for sustainable transportation through four lenses: the curb, the street, the neighborhood, and the city and discuss the legal framework for implementing these changes.

1.5 CLE credits offered in the areas of Professional Practice category. The credit is both transitional and non-transitional.

Monday, March 20th from 6:30 – 8pm

Vanderbilt Hall, Greenberg Lounge
40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012

Please register, here

This event is being hosted in collaboration with Transportation Alternatives.


  • Vishaan Chakrabarti (Moderator), Founder, Practice for Architecture and Urbanism
  • Frederick Harris (’79), Managing Director, Jonathan Rose Companies
  • Julia Kite, Policy and Research Manager, Transportation Alternatives
  • Benjamin Mandel, Renewable Energy Policy Advisor, New York City Mayor’s Office of Sustainability

Vishaan Chakrabarti is the Founder of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism. Simultaneously, Vishaan is an Associate Professor of Practice at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation (GSAPP), where he teaches architectural design studios and seminars on urbanism. His highly acclaimed book, A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for an Urban America (Metropolis Books, 2013), argues that a more urban United States would result in a more prosperous, sustainable, joyous,
and socially mobile nation. Of the book, the Toronto Globe and Mail wrote: “In the world of urbanism and planning, there’s been a barrage of recent books on similar themes…but Mr. Chakrabarti has written maybe the most useful one, a polemic in favor of city living that makes the stakes clear.” Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradlee named A
Country of Cities one of the top ten books of 2013 in the Huffington Post.

Chakrabarti has been a guest on The Charlie Rose show, MSNBC’s The Cycle, NY1, NPR, WNYC, and has been profiled in The New York Times and The Financial Times. Vishaan has lectured widely across Europe, Asia and the Americas. In April, 2014, the New York Times published his Op Ed, “America’s Urban Future.”

From 2012 to 2015, Vishaan was a principal at SHoP Architects where he co-led major architecture and urban design projects including the master plan and first building at the Domino Sugar site in Williamsburg as well as the master plan and first building at the Essex Crossing site at Seward Park, which together bookend the Williamsburg bridge in a new form of mixed use, mixed income urbanism.

From 2009 to 2015, Vishaan also served as the Marc Holliday Professor and Director of the Master of Science in Real Estate Development program at Columbia’s GSAPP. While there he became the founding director of the Center for Urban Real Estate (CURE). Chakrabarti is widely credited for transforming the program into one of the finest programs of its kind by establishing an interdisciplinary mission that focused on the potential role urban development could play in generating groundbreaking design, greater sustainability, and shared economic prosperity.

From 2005 to 2009, Chakrabarti was the president of Moynihan Station Venture, and remains an ardent advocate for the reconstruction of New York’s Pennsylvania Station. In addition, Chakrabarti was the inaugural Jaquelin T. Robertson Visiting Professor in Architecture for the University of Virginia in 2009.

From 2002 to 2005, Chakrabarti served under Mayor Michael Bloomberg as the Director of the Manhattan Office for the New York Department of City Planning, where he successfully collaborated on the now realized efforts to save the High Line, rezone Hudson Yards, extend the #7 subway line, rebuild the East River Waterfront, expand Columbia University, and reincorporate the street grid at the World Trade Center site after the tragic events of 9/11.

Prior to 2002, Vishaan was an Associate Partner at the New York office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LP. There he managed numerous skyscraper projects, including the new headquarters for the New York Stock Exchange, as well as the master plan for Columbia University’s new campus in Manhattanville.

Chakrabarti holds a Master of Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley, a Master of City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and dual bachelor’s degrees in Art History and Engineering from Cornell University. He is a registered architect in the State of New York.

He serves on the boards of the Architectural League of New York, and the Regional Planning Association. He is a trustee of the Citizens Budget Commission, and is an emeritus board member of Friends of the High Line. He is also a member of the Young Leaders Forum of the National Council on US-China Relations and has served on the National Mayor’s Institute of City Design. Metropolis Magazine named Chakrabarti one of the top 12 “Game Changers” for 2012, he is a former Crain’s “40 Under 40” and David Rockefeller Fellow. Chakrabarti and his family live in Manhattan, where his spouse Maria Alataris is also a practicing architect.

Fred Harris, Managing Director, Development Practice Group. Fred Harris was named Managing Director for Real Estate Development of Jonathan Rose Companies in 2016. Mr. Harris is responsible for directing the expansion and diversification of the Companies’ nationwide development portfolio.

Prior to joining Jonathan Rose Companies, Mr. Harris, as Senior Vice President, directed real estate development activities for AvalonBay Communities’ New York region for over 13 years. During that time, he oversaw development of $2 billion of new apartments in New York City, Westchester and Long Island—primarily in dense urban settings. His work was widely hailed and AvalonBay and Mr. Harris received numerous awards including University Settlement’s Charles Stover Award, Phipps Houses’ Community Builder Award, The Cathedral of St. John the Divine’s Spirit of the City Award and BOMA’s Developer of the Year.

Mr. Harris then served as the Executive Vice President for Real Estate Development at the NYC Housing Authority for a little over two years. He directed the offering of sites for the construction of over 4000 new mixed income apartments and his efforts have sparked a nationwide discussion about the future of public housing in New York and elsewhere.

Prior to joining AvalonBay, he oversaw the development of the first building of the master-planned community of Queens West, across the East River from 42nd Street in Manhattan.

Previously, he directed Real Estate for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, where he oversaw annual revenues in excess of $60 million, developed a new headquarters building for the NYC Transit Authority, conducted some of the largest dispositions of Real Estate in New York City, assembled a blockfront of Madison Avenue in midtown, began the restoration and redevelopment of Grand Central Terminal.

Mr. Harris currently serves on the Board of Advisors of the NYU Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy and the Moelis Institute for Affordable Housing Policy. He was a Governor of the Real Estate Board of New York, New York Board member of the Trust for Public Land, a Trustee of Brooklyn Hospital and an adjunct Professor at Columbia University.

Julia Kite is the Policy and Research Manager at Transportation Alternatives, New York City’s advocates for biking, walking, and safer streets. As part of TransAlt’s mission to reclaim streets for all New Yorkers and to advocate for initiatives that bring the city closer to achieving Vision Zero, she guides the organization’s evidence-based policy initiatives and undertakes research on topics including automated enforcement, safe street redesign, and cycling expansion. She leads a working group on maximizing public space as part of Streets Renaissance 2.0, a new project to transform transportation, design, and street management policies in New York City. Prior to joining TransAlt, she worked as a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and the Ipsos MORI Social Research Institute in London. Julia holds an MA from UC-Berkeley, an MSc with Distinction from the London School of Economics, and a BA from Columbia University.

Benjamin Mandel is the Renewable Energy Policy Advisor at the New York City Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. In this role, Ben represents the Mayor’s Office in the development of programs and policies to decarbonize New York City’s electricity supply, including accelerating the penetration of distributed energy resources and facilitating generation from large-scale low-carbon sources. Ben also leads the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability’s efforts on vehicle electrification and worked with other City stakeholders to develop NYC Clean Fleet, a comprehensive sustainability plan for the City’s municipal vehicle fleet. Prior to joining the City of New York, Ben completed a fellowship in the Guarini Center at NYU School of Law, where he wrote policy papers on regulatory mechanisms to align incentives for electric utilities with public policy goals. Ben has also previously worked as an Assistant Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Ben holds Masters degrees in Public Policy and Energy & Resources from UC-Berkeley and a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University.



March 20, 2017
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm EDT
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NYU School of Law, Greenberg Lounge
40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012 United States
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