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Urban Development Now

March 13, 2015 at 6:00 pm - March 14, 2015 at 2:00 pm

Urban Development Now

The symposium will kick-off with a Keynote Lecture by Jeanne Gang on Friday, March 13, 2015. For more information, please view the Jeanne Gang lecture

The 2nd Annual Urban Development Now symposium explores the relationship between urban development and capital, and the twin roles of innovative design and innovative finance in transforming urban neighborhoods into thriving communities. Architectural and urban design serve private development and the public good; innovative financing models sync the capital markets with private and public demand not only for individual signature buildings but also for public infrastructure and transport. What is the appropriate level of public investment in private development? What are the most critical infrastructure needs occurring alongside mega-urban developments? How do resources flow from profitable development to partially subsidized development such as affordable housing, public space and cultural institutions? Leaders in real estate and finance will discuss their current development projects in Miami Beach and the Miami Design District, Olympic Park in London, Roosevelt Island and other boroughs in New York. Keynote lectures by Jeanne Gang and Craig Robins will frame two panel discussions and presentations on 1) Capitalizing on Space – focused on long-term imagination in conceptualizing urban precincts, and 2) Leveraging Typology and Mixed-Use – focused on linking singular developments to existing urban fabrics.

Urban Development Now Keynote: Craig Robins from Taubman College on Vimeo.

Participants and Bios:

  • Opening Remarks: Monica Ponce de Leon, Dean and Eliel Saarinen Collegiate Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning; President, Monica Ponce de Leon Studio

Monica Ponce de Leon, AIA, was appointed Dean and Eliel Saarinen Collegiate Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning of University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning in September, 2008. In 1991, she co-founded Office dA and in 2011 launched her own design practice; Monica Ponce de Leon Studio. Dean Ponce de Leon received a Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1989 from the University of Miami and a Master of Architecture in Urban Design degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1991. She joined the Harvard Graduate School of Design faculty in 1996, where she was a Professor of Architecture and the Director of the Digital Lab. She has also held teaching appointments at Northeastern University, the Southern California Institute of Architecture, Rhode Island School of Design and Georgia Institute of Technology among others. She has received honors from the Architectural League of New York (Young Architects Award, 1997, and Emerging Voices, 2003) the American Academy of Arts and Letters (Award in Architecture, 2002), the Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper- Hewitt National Design Museum (National Design Award in Architecture, 2007), and the United States Artists (Target Fellows in Architecture and Design, 2007). Her practice has received over 60 design awards including the AIA’s Institute Honor Award for Architecture (Macallen Building, 2010), Honor Award for Design Excellence, AIA New York Chapter (200 West Street Project Team (including Office dA), 2010), Wallpaper Design Awards Best New Restaurant (Banq, 2009), the AIA/LA Design Award (Helios House, 2007), the AIA/ALA Library Building Award (Fleet Library at RISD, 2007), the AIA/Committee on the Environment’s Top Ten Green Projects (Macallen Building, 2008), five I.D Magazine Annual Design Review Awards and eight Progressive Architecture Awards.

  • Introduction: Milton S.F. Curry, Associate Dean/Associate Professor of Architecture, University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning

Milton S. F. Curry is associate dean for academic affairs and strategic initiatives at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan, and associate professor of architecture. He is director of the master of urban design degree and Michigan Architecture Prep program, and project director of the Michigan-Mellon Project in Egalitarianism and the Metropolis, a $1.3 million / 4-year research initiative focused on urbanization in Brazil, Mexico and the US (2014-2018). Curry was a professor of architecture at Cornell University from 1995-2010, and  director of the Cornell Council for the Arts from 2002-2008.

Professor Curry’s work crosses the disciplines of architecture theory, political philosophy, cultural theory and urbanism. He founded two peer-reviewed academic journals – CriticalProductive and Appendx. His design work has been exhibited at the Studio Museum in Harlem. His writings have been published in edited volumes and journals, including in Where are the Utopian Visionaries (2012), Suburban Sprawl: Culture, Theory and Politics (2003); and in The Huffington Post. His current writings work in progress on egalitarianism and urbanism with a focus on race and social movement in North and South America, and work on the visual and spatial implications of US incarceration policies.

  • Friday Keynote Lecture: Jeanne Gang, Founder / Principal, Studio Gang Architects

Visionary architect and MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang is the founder and principal of Studio Gang Architects, a Chicago-based collective of architects, designers, and thinkers whose projects confront pressing contemporary issues. Driven by curiosity, intelligence, and radical creativity, Jeanne has produced some of today’s most innovative and award-winning architecture. The transformative potential of her work is exemplified by such recent projects as the Aqua Tower (named the 2009 Emporis Skyscraper of the Year), Northerly Islandframework plan, Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo, and Columbia College Chicago’s Media Production Center.

Jeanne seeks to answer questions that lie locally (site, culture, people) and resound globally (density, climate, sustainability) through her architecture. Her designs are rooted in both architectural form and idea-driven content to make a compelling whole, and she often arrives at design solutions through investigations and collaborations across disciplines.

Jeanne’s work has been honored and exhibited widely, most notably at the International Venice BiennaleMoMA, theNational Building Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago. A distinguished graduate of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, she has taught at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and IIT, where her studios have focused on cities, ecologies, materials, and technologies. Reveal, her first volume on Studio Gang’s work and working process, was released in 2011 from Princeton Architectural Press.

  • Saturday Keynote: Craig Robins, CEO / President, Dacra; Principal, Design Miami/

Craig Robins is Chief Executive Officer and President of Dacra, a global real estate development company that is known for its cultivation of creative communities, integration of art and design, and overall value creation. Based in Miami, Florida, Dacra has spearheaded some of the most successful and transformative commercial, residential and mixed-use projects in the city’s history. The company has distinguished itself in the marketplace by strategically developing and programming vibrant communities of substance that have become international destinations. Robins is currently developing new opportunities that harness Dacra’s expertise and unique approach in international markets.

For over ten years, Dacra transformed a once abandoned neighborhood – the Miami Design District – into one of the most important global centers for cutting edge design, fashion, food and art. The neighborhood’s renewal was the inspiration for the creation of the leading international design show Design Miami/ and Design Miami/ Basel. Robins is a Principal of the fair, which he owns in partnership with MCH Swiss Exhibition, the producers of Art Basel.

An avid collector and supporter of the arts, Mr. Robins is also the Founder and Chairman of the Anaphiel Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting arts education, exploration and expression in all its forms. Robins is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Miami Art Museum. Robins’ long-term commitment to design earned him the 2006 Design Patron Award from the Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. The award recognizes an individual’s patronage of design within the business and civic sectors. 

  • Kathryn Firth, Chief of Design, London Legacy Development Corp.

Kathryn Firth is the Chief of Design at the London Legacy Development Corporation and urban designer with over 25 years of experience working on a variety of projects. Prior to this appointment she was Director of Urban Design at PLP Architecture.

Ms. Firth has worked on a range of masterplanning and urban regeneration projects in the US, Europe, the Middle East and the UK.  They include projects in sensitive heritage contexts such as the Somerset House masterplan and courtyard redesign in London, and a masterplan for the redevelopment of Covent Garden in London’s West End.  She has lead numerous regeneration projects on former industrial sites including the development of a 15 ha riverside site in Moscow, the redevelopment of a 80 ha industrial site outside Paris, Le Parc des Portes de Paris, and a mixed-use masterplan framework for Convoys Wharf, London, a brownfield site on the River Thames, and a masterplan for a 32ha disused brownfield site in Prague. She has worked in complex urban environments such as Victoria Transport Interchange – a landmark development that will transform the way people work, live and shop in the heart of Westminster, London and a masterplan providing the redevelopment of a 1960s social housing estate in the east end of London.

Ms. Firth has ongoing involvement in highly topical research projects that inform both the practice of urban design and associated policy.  These include a study of the spatial and social dynamics of streets in smaller cities and towns, an exploration into the New London Vernacular, the Third Age and urban density how it affects neighbourhood perception.

Originally from Toronto, Canada, where she attained her Bachelor of Architecture and subsequently practiced, Ms. Firth then went on to do a Masters of Architecture in Urban Design at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (GSD). Kathryn has taught at several universities in Canada and the US, including the GSD, Rhode Island School of Design and the University of Toronto. More recently she ran the MSc City Design and Social Science in the London School of Economic Cities Programme for 6 years.

  • Arianna Sacks Rosenberg, Project Manager, The Hudson Companies Inc.

Arianna Sacks Rosenberg has over 9 years of experience in real estate development and design. At Hudson Arianna oversees a broad range of residential and commercial development projects in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Ms. Rosenberg is excited about building a greener, more sustainable city. Prior to joining Hudson in 2011, Ms. Rosenberg completed her Master’s Degree at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where she studied Real Estate Development. Preceding Harvard, she practiced architecture in New York City, working for Rafael Viñoly Architects. Ms. Rosenberg received a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University. Arianna currently sits on the Board of Women in Housing and Finance (Co-VP of Operations) and is a member of the 26th cohort of Coro Leadership New York.

  • Carlos Rosso, President, Condominium Division, The Related Group

Since joining Company in 2002, Carlos Rosso has been responsible for a broad range of activities. As President of the Condominium Division, he has directed all aspects of residential development both in various properties in Florida and internationally in Mexico, Colombia, Argentina and Uruguay. Throughout his career Mr. Rosso has developed more than 20 properties with over 6000 units, bringing his depth of experience in construction, project financing, land acquisition and sales and marketing.

His broad experience in real estate includes having worked as Vice President of Real Estate Development for Investment Properties in Boston and ten years as Project Director for Besix International, overseeing the development and construction of over ten million square feet of multi-family, hotel and office buildings in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Mr. Rosso graduated from the Universidad de Buenos Aires with a Master’s degree in Architecture. He also earned a Master’s degree in Real Estate Development and Finance from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

  • Margaret Anadu, Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group

Margaret Anadu leads the investing efforts in New York and New Jersey within the Urban Investment Group (UIG). She is responsible for the sourcing, investment and management of community and economic development investments across a broad range of asset classes and investment types. Margaret is a member of the Finance Division Black Network Steering Committee. Previously, she worked in the Equity Derivatives Strategy group in the Equities Division. Ms. Anadu joined Goldman Sachs in 2003 as an analyst and was named managing director in 2013.

Ms. Anadu serves on the boards of several community and economic development nonprofit organizations, including the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, the Center for an Urban Future, Core Innovation Capital and 651 Arts.

  • V. Mitch McEwen, Assistant Professor of Architecture

As Partner at A(n) Office and Principal of McEwen Studio, V. Mitch McEwen works in architectural and urban design. Before co-founding A(n) Office, she worked as an urban designer in the office of Bernard Tschumi Architects and New York City’s Department of City Planning. Her work has been published in Architectural Record magazine, the New York Times, and the New Museum, as well as exhibited at P! gallery, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, Storefront for Art & Architecture, and internationally. ArtNews named her a designer to watch in 2011. The Akademie Schloss Solitude granted Professor McEwen an architecture fellowship in Stuttgart, Germany in 2012, and her projects have received awards from the Graham Foundation and Knight Foundation. Since 2014 she has been Assistant Professor of Architecture at Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning at University of Michigan, after teaching previously as Charles Moore Visiting Professor of Urban Design and Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and New Jersey Institute of Technology. Professor McEwen holds an MArch from Columbia GSAPP and BA from Harvard in Social Studies.

  • McLain Clutter, Assistant Professor of Architecture

McLain Clutter is an architect, author and Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. Professor Clutter’s design and scholarship focuses on the role of architecture within the multidisciplinary milieu of contemporary urbanism. His essays and design work have been featured in Grey Room, MONU, 306090, the Journal of Architectural Education, Pigeon, Praxis (forthcoming), Plat (forthcoming), the edited volume Formerly Urban: Projecting Rustbelt Cities, and other venues. He has exhibited work and participated in conferences internationally. Professor Clutter’s book, Imaginary Apparatus: New York City and its Mediated Representation is forthcoming from Park Books/Scheidegger and Spiess in March of 2015.

Professor Clutter received a Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University and an MED from the Yale School of Architecture, where he was the recipient of the Everett Victor Meeks Fellowship. He has practiced professionally in offices in New York and Chicago, working on projects ranging in scale from residential renovations to campus master planning. His Ann Arbor based design and research practice is named Master of None.

Lunch will be provided for registered attendees, and you will also get the chance to sit with one of our speakers.


Friday, March 13, 2015 

University of Michigan Museum of Art

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm Reception
6:00 pm – 7:45 pm

Jeanne Gang, Founder / Principal, Studio Gang Architects
Helmut Stern Auditorium


Saturday, March 14, 2015 

University of Michigan Museum of Art Helmut Stern Auditorium

9:00 am OPENING REMARKS: Taubman College Dean Monica Ponce de Leon
9:05 am INTRODUCTION: Taubman College Associate Dean Milton S. F. Curry
Craig Robins, CEO / President, Dacra; Principal, Design Miami/
MODERATOR: Mitch McEwen, Assistant Professor of Architecture
Margaret Anadu, Managing Director, Goldman, Sachs & Co. Urban Investment Group
Kathryn Firth, Chief of Design, London Legacy Development Corp./Olympic Park
Craig Robins, CEO, Dacra; Principal, Design Miami
MODERATOR: McLain Clutter, Assistant Professor of Architecture
Arianna Sacks Rosenberg, Project Manager, The Hudson Companies Inc. New York
Carlos Rosso, President, Condominium Development Division, The Related Group
1:30 pm NETWORKING LUNCH Michigan Union, Kuenzel Room

Schedule is tentative and subject to change.

Urban Development Now 2015


March 13, 2015 at 6:00 pm
March 14, 2015 at 2:00 pm