DBP Panel: Streets, Sidewalks, + Public Space in a COVID-19 City
Join us for this panel discussion on what the future holds for NYC’s public spaces as we emerge from lockdown, and what can be done in the short- and long-term to accommodate a new normal. How can we adapt the city’s public realm to a COVID-19 world and beyond?
Moderated by New York magazine’s Justin Davidson, with a panel including: Vishaan Chakrabarti; Mara Gay; Ben Kabak; and Regina Myer.
Incoming William W. Wurster Dean, UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design; and Founder and Creative Director Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU), Chakrabarti leads architecture and urbanism projects worldwide such as the Domino Sugar Refinery, Schuylkill Yards, Sunnyside Yards, and Ford Motor Company’s Corktown project. He has taught at Columbia University for a decade, and is author of the highly acclaimed book, A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for an Urban America. He was previously a principal at SHoP Architects, and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. He served under Mayor Bloomberg as the director of the Manhattan Office for the New York Department of City Planning in the aftermath of 9/11, successfully collaborating on efforts to save the High Line, rezone Hudson Yards, and rebuild the World Trade Center. Chakrabarti lectures internationally, contributes articles and op-eds to the New York Times, has appeared on CBS, MSNBC, National Public Radio, and the main stage of TED, and serves on the boards of the Architectural League of New York and the Regional Planning Association.
Mara Gay is a member of the New York Times editorial board, focusing on New York State and local affairs. Before coming to The Times in 2018, she was a City Hall reporter at The Wall Street Journal, covering Mayors Bill de Blasio and Michael Bloomberg, and dozens of other stories that have shaped the nation’s largest, most dynamic city. Ms. Gay has also worked for the New York Daily News, The Atlantic and The Daily, an all-digital newspaper owned by News Corp. She has a degree in political science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, is a New York City native and lives in Brooklyn.
Benjamin Kabak is founder and editor of Second Ave. Sagas, a widely read website founded in 2006 that focuses on issues involving mass transit and transportation in New York City. He also runs the site’s Twitter feed @2avsagas, and sits on the board of the Riders Alliance, a grassroots organization focusing on adding the riders’ voices to the political process to push transit change and improvement. While not thinking about all things transportation, he is a technology transactions lawyer for a Manhattan-based firm.
Regina Myer is President of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, a not-for-profit local development corporation that serves as the primary champion for Downtown Brooklyn as a world-class business, cultural, educational, residential, and retail destination. Until October 2016, Myer served as president of Brooklyn Bridge Park, transforming 85 acres of formerly industrial Brooklyn waterfront into a world-class open space that welcomes millions of visitors a year. Myer was the senior vice president for planning and design at the Hudson Yards Development Corporation, and the Brooklyn Borough Director for the New York City Planning Department, where she directed the comprehensive redevelopment of the Greenpoint/Williamsburg waterfront, the rezoning of Downtown Brooklyn for high density office and residential development, and numerous neighborhood rezoning efforts. She received her BA and Masters in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan, and resides in Brooklyn.
Justin Davidson has been New York magazine’s classical music and architecture critic since 2007. In addition to architecture and classical music reviews, he writes a weekly column about cities for the magazine’s Intelligencer site, and has written feature stories on urban planning issues, including adapting to climate change and the development at Hudson Yards. The AIA’s New York chapter awarded Davidson the 2014 Stephen A. Kliment Oculus Award for architecture journalism, and he was a 2009 finalist for the National Magazine Award in reviews and criticism. His book Magnetic City: A Walking Companion to New York, was published by Spiegel & Grau in April 2017. He is also an Associate Adjunct Professor at Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.
Before joining New York, he worked as Newsday’s classical music critic from 1996-2007. In 2002, he won a Pulitzer Prize for criticism for his classical music coverage, and that year added the architecture beat to his portfolio at Newsday. He was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 2020. He has contributed to Smithsonian, Departures, Travel & Leisure, Architectural Record, Architect, and the New York Times Book Review, among many other publications.
He lives in New York City with his wife Ariella Budick, an art critic for the Financial Times, and their son Milo.