Infrastructural Monument

Can a typical American city be transformed from a collection of fragments assembled regionally by interstate highways, to a more durable regional constitution, using targeted infrastructural investment projects? A positive answer would imply that it is possible to use infrastructure designs and investments to leverage results beyond the realm of transportation of goods or labor; in the realm of culture, public space, architecture and landscape form. This question frames the first conference of the Center for Advanced Urbanism.

The inaugural symposium provides a forum for distinguished designers, scholars, policy makers, urban practitioners and industry leaders from assorted fields such as real estate development, finance, and transportation, to convene over discussions as to the future of American infrastructure. The program is structured around panel sessions that address a series of hypotheses that each discussant will be invited to evaluate, critique, and respond to.

Monday April 8, 2013

Apr 08, 2013 - 3:00 PM


Apr 08, 2013 - 3:45 PM


Apr 08, 2013 - 4:00 PM

The infrastructural monument

Which great projects need to be undertaken today that can have a great visibility and demonstrate that infrastructures can inspire optimism and a sense of progress? The Chinese and Europeans have high-speed rail with great stations; or new airports. What monuments can we configure that are productive for the American city, while instilling a new sense of civic pride?

Apr 08, 2013 - 6:00 PM


Tuesday April 9, 2013

Apr 09, 2013 - 8:15 AM

Registration and Breakfast served in the Winter Garden

Apr 09, 2013 - 9:00 AM

Infrastructural redundancy

Any analysis of infrastructure grids of American cities, compared to others, displays the massive presence of transportation infrastructure, specifically for automobiles. As we move past peak car use, do our cities have excess infrastructure, and if so, does it makes sense to eliminate certain redundancies, and re-program roads for other (including private) uses?

Apr 09, 2013 - 11:00 AM

Morning break

Apr 09, 2013 - 11:30 AM

Marrying infrastructure design and urban development

Historically suburban development is grounded in the independence of the production of roadways (public, government) from the development of properties along it (private). In order to guarantee this independence, roads are designed with rules and zoning principles that are value- neutral to any adjacent development opportunity. Recently, cash-strapped towns are beginning to outsource infrastructure design and production to real estate developers. What are the opportunities that a more close alignment of infrastructure design and development can offer to the public interest?

Apr 09, 2013 - 1:30 PM


Apr 09, 2013 - 2:30 PM

The intermodal station as a viable alternative

The intermodal station, based on the intersection of regional highways or interstates, with railroad lines, offers a great opportunity, based on the latent centrality of such intersections within the larger urban transportation system. Should we place big bets on such projects? Is this a future for the suburbs?

Apr 09, 2013 - 4:30 PM


Apr 09, 2013 - 4:45 PM

Infrastructure for the long haul

Stan Allen

Professor of Architecture, Princeton University

Stan Allen is an architect working in New York and George Dutton ’27 Professor of Architecture at Princeton University. From 2002 to 2012 he was Dean of the School of Architecture at Princeton. He holds degrees from Brown University, The Cooper Union and Princeton. His architectural firm SAA/Stan Allen Architect has realized buildings and urban projects in the United States, South America and Asia. Responding to the complexity of the modern city in creative ways, Stan Allen has developed an extensive catalogue of innovative design strategies, in particular looking at field theory, landscape architecture and ecology as models to revitalize the practices of urban design. In 2008, he received a P/A Award for the Taichung Gateway Park and a Faith and Form Award for the CCV Chapel; In 2009 he received a P/A Award for the Yan-Ping Waterfront in Taipei, an AIA Award for the CCV Chapel, the John Q. Hejduk Award, and an Academy Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; in 2010, his building for Paju Book City in Korea received an AIA Award. In 2011, the Taichung InfoBox was recognized with a P/A Award, and AIA Awards from New York City, New York State and the Tri-State Region. In addition to numerous articles and project reviews, his architectural work is published in Points + Lines: Diagrams and Projects for the City, (Princeton Architectural Press 2001) and his essays in Practice: Architecture, Technique and Representation (Routledge, 2008). His most recent book is the edited volume Landform Building: Architecture’s New Terrain, Published by Lars Müller in 2011.

Pierre Bélanger

Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, Harvard GSD

Pierre Bélanger is Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. As part of the Department of Landscape Architecture and the Advanced Studies Program, he teaches and coordinates graduate courses on the convergence of ecology, infrastructure and urbanism in the interrelated fields of design, planning and engineering.

Responding to the growing inertia of urban planning and the overexertion of civil engineering in public works today, Bélanger has formulated the term “landscape infrastructure” used today by governments, professionals and academics worldwide to designate how the field of landscape is redefining the morphology of urban infrastructure in research, pedagogy and practice vis-à-vis the complexities of sub-urbanization and super-urbanization. Foregrounding and augmenting the biophysical landscape of living systems that has been marginalized by the historical divide between economy and ecology of industrial economies, the double-entendre of the landscape infrastructure project aims to reposition the agency of ecology as a sophisticated, instrumental system of essential services, resources, processes and agents that underpin contemporary urban economies towards the 22nd century.
Cited by urbanists such as AbdouMaliq Simone, Elizabeth K. Meyer and Dirk Sijmons, Bélanger’s research work is published in planning, design and engineering journals and books including Journal of Landscape Architecture, Ecological Urbanism, New Geographies, Landscape Journal, Topos, The Landscape Urbanism Reader, Geoinformatics, Journal of Tunneling and Underground Space Technology, Trash, Food, and Canadian Architect. Bélanger’s most recent publications include Landscape Infrastructure: Urbanism Beyond Engineering (2012),  The Agronomic Landscape (2011), Regionalization (2010), Redefining Infrastructure (2010), Power Perestroika (2010), Landscape as Infrastructure (2009), Landscapes of Disassembly (2007), Synthetic Surfaces (2007), Foodshed: The Cosmopolitan Infrastructure of the Ontario Food Terminal (2007) and Airspace: The Economy and Ecology of Landfilling in Michigan (2006). Bélanger has received several international prizes in planning and design competitions including Switzerland's 2011 Dübendorf Airport Competition, Australia’s Sea Change 2030+ Competition, ASLA’s 2010 Professional Awards, EDRA’s 2010 Great Places Awards, the 2009 World Sustainability Centre Competition, 2G’s 2008 Venice Lagoon Competition, the AIA’s 2007 Columbus Rewired Design Competition, the 2007 Chicago Prize, and the Architectural Association 2006 Environmental Tectonics Competition. Bélanger is recipient of the Professional Prix de Rome in Architecture awarded by the Canada Council for the Arts.
As a member of the internationally recognized Harvard Project on the City led by architect and urbanist Rem Koolhaas, Bélanger completed graduate studies for the Masters in Landscape Architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design where he received the Janet Darling Webel and Norman T. Newton Prizes in design. Prior to that, he worked as a project manager for Brinkman & Associates, Canada’s largest reforestation and bioengineering contractor. Bélanger is professionally registered as a Landscape Architect and Urban Planner as well as certified in Canada as a Surface Miner, skilled in precision earthmoving and heavy equipment operations.

Combining knowledge from the earth, engineering and economic sciences, Bélanger collaborates with government agencies, resource industries, regional authorities, professional organizations, universities, corporations and a team of interdisciplinary practitioners in the reclamation of regional systems and large urban landscapes. Through the inception of the Landscape Infrastructure Lab in 2006 (a federally incorporated, non-profit, design-research organization in Canada), Bélanger initiates and coordinates a portfolio of projects funded by public/private partnerships that include the Canada Foundation for Innovation, Transport Canada, Foreign Affairs & International Trade Canada, the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council, the Toronto Region Conservation Authority, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, Cadillac Fairview Corporation, Waste Management Inc., the City of Toronto, Aéroport Régional de Mont-Joli, the Charles River Conservancy and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Eran Ben-Joseph

Professor, MIT

Eran Ben-Joseph is a Professor and Head of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research and teaching areas include urban and physical design, standards and regulations, sustainable site planning technologies and urban retrofitting. He published numerous articles, monographs, book chapters and authored and co-authored the books: Streets and the Shaping of Towns and Cities, Regulating Place: Standards and the Shaping of Urban America, The Code of the City, RENEW Town and ReThinking a Lot. Eran worked as a city planner, urban designer and landscape architect in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the United States on projects including new towns and residential developments, streetscapes, stream restorations, and parks and recreation planning. He has led national and international multi-disciplinary projects in Singapore, Barcelona, Santiago, Tokyo and Washington DC among other places. Eran is the recipient of the Wade Award for his work on Representation of Places – a collaboration project with MIT Media Lab and the Milka Bliznakov Prize for his historical work on Pioneering Women of Landscape Architecture. He holds degrees from the University of California at Berkeley and Chiba National University of Japan. Current Research: Urban Form and Health, Urban Form and the Aging Population, Urban Form and Ecological Models of Development, Urban Form and Visualizing Change

Alan Berger

Associate Professor of Urban Design and Landscape Architecture, DUSP, MIT

Alan Berger is Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urban Design at Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he teaches courses open to the entire student body. He is founding director of P-REX lab, at MIT, a research lab focused on environmental problems caused by urbanization, including the design, remediation, and reuse of waste landscapes worldwide. He is currently Head of the famed City Design and Development Group in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. He is also Research Director of CAU, MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism. All of his research and work emphasizes the link between our consumption of natural resources, and the waste and destruction of landscape, to help us better understand how to proceed with redesigning around our wasteful lifestyles for more intelligent outcomes. Unlike conventional practice, there are no scalar limits in his outlook or pedagogy: projects are defined by the extent of the environmental problems being addressed. He coined the term “Systemic Design” to describe the reintegration of disvalued landscapes into our urbanized territories and regional ecologies. In addition to his award winning books Drosscape: Wasting Land in Urban America, and Reclaiming the American West, his other books include Designing the Reclaimed Landscape, Nansha Coastal City: Landscape and Urbanism in the Pearl River Delta (with Margaret Crawford). His most recently published books are Systemic Design Can Change the World and Landscape + Urbanism Around the Bay of Mumbai (with Rahul Mehrotra). He has also established, (in collaboration with USEPA Superfund Region 8 and Tiffany & Company Foundation) the world's first web portal for community-based reclamation design advocacy at Prior to MIT he was Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at Harvard-GSD, 2002-2008. He is a Prince Charitable Trusts Fellow of The American Academy in Rome.

Ole Bouman


Ole Bouman was 2006 t / m 2012 Director of the Dutch Architecture Institute. Prior to joining the NAI, he served as editor of the journal Volume and director of the Archis foundation. 

Bouman is also active as an author, curator and lecturer. Among his publications should include the encyclopedic manifesto 'The Invisible in Architecture (2004) and "The Battle for Time" (2003). He shows including for Manifesta 3 and Museum Boijmans van Beuningen. Ole Bouman has lectured at the Massachusettes Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA and regularly lectures at internationally renowned universities and cultural institutions.

Don Briggs

President, Federal Realty Boston

Don Briggs is the President of Federal Realty Boston. In this capacity, Mr. Briggs is responsible for managing Federal Realty Investment Trust’s New England portfolio and for managing the Trust’s national pipeline of large scale development. Mr. Briggs also serves as a member of the Trust’s Investment and Executive Committees. With over 15 years experience in real estate development and the construction industry, he has been responsible for the development of several mixed‐use projects and public/private endeavors including the development of Rockville Town Square, phases of Bethesda Row, phases of Santana Row, and currently Assembly Square and Pike & Rose. Prior to joining Federal Realty in 2000, Mr. Briggs worked as a Development Manager for Cousins Properties and with Whiting‐Turner Contracting Company as a senior project manager. Mr. Briggs has a degree in Architecture from the University of Florida. He currently serves as a board member for NAIOP Massachusetts, a board member for A Better City, and on the Advisory Panel for ULI Boston.

Stephen Crosby

President, CSX Real Property, Inc.

Steve Crosby has been the president of CSX Real Property, Inc., since 2000. In this role, he is responsible for sales, leasing and development of CSX properties. Additionally, he oversees acquisition of property for railroad and industrial development, licensing of rail corridor use by third parties, non-operating property management, and corporate facilities management. His group is also responsible for the company’s land records, fixed asset agreements with other railroads, along with numerous other property related responsibilities.

Crosby’s tenure at CSX spans more than 25 years, affording comprehensive insight into the issues surrounding site identification, acquisition, and development. In addition to properties related duties, he serves on CSX Corporation’s Strategic Development Team and its Pension Investment Committee.

Crosby earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and his masters of business administration from the University of Florida. He has served as national chairman of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP), and currently serves as a trustee of its Research Foundation and chairman of its investment committee. He has served as an advisory board member for the University of Virginia School of Architecture, and chairman of Downtown Vision Inc of Jacksonville where he currently chairs its sustainability committee. He represents CSX on the Land Trust Alliance Corporate Council. He is a current member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) North Florida Advisory Council, chairs its Downtown Committee, and also serves on the ULI’s Public Development and Infrastructure national council. He represents CSX on the board of the Delaware Otsego Corp and the NYS&W railroad.

Dennis Frenchman

Leventhal Professor of Urban Design and Planning, DUSP, MIT

Dennis Frenchman is the Leventhal Professor of Urban Design and Planning at MIT, where he is former director of the City Design and Development program and chair of the Masters in City Planning program. He is also on the faculty of the Center for Real Estate. He has taught and practiced extensively in Asia, Europe, and South America and served as External Advisor on urban livability to the President of the World Bank. He is also a registered architect, and founding principal of ICON architecture in Boston an international architecture and urban design firm. Dennis Frenchman’s practice and research focuses on the transformation of cities. He is an expert on the application of digital technology to city design and has designed large-scale media oriented cities and industrial clusters including Seoul Digital Media City in Korea, the Digital Mile in Zaragoza, Spain, Media City: UK in Salford, England, Twofour54 in Abu Dhabi, and Ciudad Creativa Digital, Guadalajara, Mexico. He has a particular interest in the redevelopment of industrial sites and has prepared plans for the renewal of textile mill towns, canals, rail corridors, steels mills, coal and oil fields, shipyards and ports, including many of international cultural significance. Currently he is leading an MIT research effort to develop new models for clean energy urbanization in China, sponsored by the Energy Foundation. He is the author of articles and books on advanced urban design, including Technological Imagination and the Historic City (2008, Ligouri, with William J. Mitchell, et al). His work has been widely recognized including awards from Progressive Architecture, the American Institute of Architects, and three citations from the American Planning Association for the most outstanding projects in the United States.

Jo Guldi

Historian, Harvard Society of Fellows

Jo Guldi is a historian of Britain and its Empire, whose first book, Roads to Power: Britain Invents the Infrastructure State (Harvard 2012) documented the rule of experts with the rise of the first national bureaucracy dedicated to the civilian connections that undergirded the industrial revolution, and shows how battles over funding the roads divided the nation and caused strangers to stop speaking on the public street.

An assistant professor at Brown University, she has enjoyed fellowships from the Harvard Society of Fellows and the University of Chicago, where she taught courses on landscape and capitalism since 1350. She has published on aspects of the spatial turn and interactions between strangers in London's public spaces. Her new project, The Long Land War, traces the global movement of land reform since 1860, when simultaneous famines and peasant riots in India, Ireland, and Scotland rocked British empire and caused the rethinking of property law among governing elites. In 2012-3, she will be working on this project while finishing her stead at the Society of Fellows, visiting archives in the UK, India, and North America.

Dr. Guldi is also involved in conversations about digital technology and how it effects pedagogy, publishing, and research among historians. She has published several articles about digital methods for creating knowledge from the new mass-digitized databases online.

Guldi has written for Counterpunch and The Huffington Post about the foreclosure crisis, America's shrinking cities, and other issues of the politics of landscape, and she maintains a blog at

Antón García-Abril

Professor, MIT

Antón García-Abril, (Madrid, 1969) is a European PhD Architect, full-professor at the School of Architecture and Planning of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.), and he is currently developing a second doctoral thesis about “Stressed Mass” at the School of Civil Engineering of the Polytechnic University of Barcelona. He received the Spanish Academy Research Prize in Rome in 1996. He has been associate professor at the School of Architecture of the Polytechnic University of Madrid (E.T.S.A.M.-U.P.M.) for a decade, invited professor at the Graduate School of Design of Harvard University in 2010 and Cornell University in 2008, and visiting critic and lecturer in different universities and institutions in America and Europe, being the most recent ones the Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart, Kunstakademie of Düsseldorf, AA London, Instituto Cervantes Chicago, Bienne Forum de l’Architecture, University of Texas at San Antonio, Bauhaus University Weimar, the ETH Zürich, Princeton University, Harbin Institute of Technology China, ZA 2010 Congress, Johannesburgo, Sudafric, Accademia d’Architettura of Mendrisio, or the College of Architects of Ecuador in Quito. In 2000 he establishes ENSAMBLE STUDIO leading, together with his partner Débora Mesa, a cross-functional team with a solid research background on the lookout for new approaches to architectonical space, building technologies and urban strategies. Their built projects are exposed structures that explore the essence of materials to create space. The Music Studies Center and the SGAE Central Office in Santiago de Compostela, the Martemar House in Malaga, the Hemeroscopium House in Madrid, The Truffle in Costa da Morte (Spain) and more recently the Reader’s House in Madrid and the Cervantes Theater in Mexico City have been internationally published. Their office has been awarded with important prizes like The Rice Design Alliance Prize to emerging architects in 2009 or the Architectural Record Design Vanguard Prize in 2005, and was selected by SANAA to participate in the Venice Biennale of Architecture 2010. This year Antón has been elected an International Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) for his services to international architecture, and has been curator of the Spanish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale presenting “Spainlab”. Beside his professional career, he keeps a strong involvement with the academic community through teaching and research. He co-founded with Débora Mesa the Positive City Foundation in 2009, with the aim of forwarding their views on urban development, and they are in the process of setting up a research laboratory at MIT, the POPLab (Prototypes of Prefabrication Laboratory).

Alexander D'Hooghe

Associate Professor, Architecture, MIT

Alexander D’Hooghe is associate professor with tenure at MIT and founding partner of the ‘Organization for Permanent Modernity’, a professional firm and think tank for urbanism and architecture, with locations in Boston and Brussels. Currently, he also directs the MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism at MIT, focused on large-scale contemporary design problems. He has published internationally, notably with ‘the Liberal Monument’ (Princeton, Fall 2010) and with recent papers in relevant journals in Germany, Israel, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, the USA, etc. His urban designs and analyses have included sites in New York City, Shenzhen, Brussels, Ostend, The Hague, Reykjavik, South-Korea, parts of Russia, etc. With the design office, he develops durable architectures: simple artifacts able to handle complex demands and requirements. Currently ongoing projects include a masterplan for the slaughterhouse district in Brussels (including a 25,000 sq.m. market building), development prototypes for middle ring suburbs in East Coast cities (for NAIOP), a series of public facilities and town centers around Brussels, a plan for the protection and expansion of the coastline between France and the Netherlands (68km, 2009), as well as a competition-winning entry for a large landfill in South-Korea (401, 2008). D’Hooghe obtained his Ph.D. at the Berlage Institute in 2007 with T.U. Delft, after achieving a Masters in Urban Design at the Harvard GSD in 2001, and a master in Architecture and Civil Engineering from the University of Leuven in 1996. He worked with among others Rem Koolhaas and Marcel Smets.

Alex Klatskin

General Partner, Forsgate Industrial Partners

Alex Klatskin is a General Partner of Forsgate Industrial Partners, a private industrial real estate development and investment firm based in Teterboro, New Jersey. Forsgate has built and owns ten million square feet of industrial property. Before joining Forsgate in 1992, he was with the New York City architectural firm of Kohn, Pedersen, Fox and Associates, working on commercial projects in London and New York.

Alex was the 2011 National Chairman of NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association. At NAIOP, he is also a former President of the New Jersey Chapter. In addition, Alex is a member of the Washington, DC based Real Estate Roundtable and a member of the Board of Regents of the American Architectural Foundation. He is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects, a member of the Architectural League of New York and the American Real Estate Society.

He has been a visiting architectural critic at the Universities of Michigan and Illinois, Florida A&M, Catholic University and the Illinois Institute of Technology and has been a visiting lecturer in the real estate programs of Cornell and Johns Hopkins Universities and the School of Architecture and Planning at MIT.

Alex holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois and a Master of Architecture from the University of Maryland. He is a Registered Architect in New York, New Jersey and the District of Columbia, and a licensed Professional Planner in New Jersey. He lives in New York City with his wife and their two children.

Kent Larson

Principal Research Scientist, MIT

Kent Larson directs the Media Lab's Changing Places group. Since 1998, he has also directed the MIT House_n research consortium in the School of Architecture and Planning. His current research is focused on four related areas: responsive urban housing, new urban vehicles, ubiquitous technologies, and living lab experiments. Larson practiced architecture for 15 years in New York City, with work published in Architectural Record, Progressive Architecture, Global Architecture, The New York Times, A+U, and Architectural Digest. His book, Louis I. Kahn: Unbuilt Masterworks was selected as one of the Ten Best Books in Architecture, 2000 by The New York Times Review of Books. Related work was selected by Time magazine as a "Best Design of the Year" project.

Christopher Lee

Adjunct Associate Professor of Urban Design, Harvard University

Christopher Lee is the co-founder and principal of Serie Architects London, Mumbai and Beijing. He is Adjunct Associate Professor of Urban Design at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design. He previously served as Design Critic at the GSD (2011-12). Prior to that he was the Director of the AA Projective Cities MPhil Programme (2010-12) and AA Diploma and Intermediate Unit Master (2002-09­). Lee graduated with the AA Diploma (Honors) from the AA, received the RIBA President’s Medal Commendation Award, and his Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture and Urbanism from the Berlage Institute and TU Delft.

The work of Serie is underpinned by the exploration of the problem of type and the city, with particular focus on the renewed relevance of typological reasoning and experimentation – or working projectively in series – to describe, conceptualise, theorise and ultimately project new typological ideas for and from the city. Serie is the recipient of the prestigious BD Young Architect of the Year Award and was recently named as one of the 10 visionary architects for the new decade by the Leading European Architects Forum and was selected by ICON as one of 20 Essential Young Architects in the world in 2008. Serie's current projects include the Singapore Subordinate Courts Complex, BMW London 2012 Pavilion, and Wuxi Xishan Civic Complex, China.  

Christopher Lee is the author of Working in Series and co-authored Typological Formations: Renewable Building Types and the City, both published by AA Publications. He also co-edited Wiley Academy Architectural Design Issue Typological Urbanism: Projective Cities. Christopher Lee lectures widely and the works of Serie has been exhibited as a travelling solo exhibition in Hong Kong University Shanghai Architecture Gallery, Shanghai in 2009 and culminated in the Architectural Association School of Architecture in November 2010.

Miho Mazaereeuw

Lecturer, Architecture, MIT

Miho Mazereeuw is a landscape architect and architect, who has taught at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University and the University of Toronto prior to joining the faculty at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As an Arthur W. Wheelwright Fellow, she is completing her forthcoming book entitled Preemptive Design: Disaster and Urban Development along the Pacific Ring of Fire featuring case studies on infrastructure design, multifunctional public space and innovative planning strategies in earthquake prone regions. Her design work on disaster prevention has been exhibited at the Architect's Museum in Tokyo Japan, University of Texas at Austin and de Ark Architecture Center in Leewarden Netherlands. As a co-director of OPSYS, Mazereeuw is collaborating on a number of projects with international non-profit organizations in the field of disaster reconstruction/prevention and is currently working in Haiti, Japan and Chile. She was formerly an Associate at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture in Rotterdam where she worked on projects in the Latvia, China, Belgium, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Dubai. She has also worked in the offices of Shigeru Ban and Dan Kiley. Mazereeuw completed a Bachelor of Arts with High Honors in Sculpture and Environmental Science at Wesleyan University and her Master in Architecture and in Landscape Architecture with Distinction at the Harvard Graduate School of Design where she was awarded the Janet Darling Webel Prize and the Charles Eliot Traveling Fellowship.

Petra Messick

Senior Officer, Outreach and Communications North, NEC Infrastructure & Investment Development, Amtrak

Petra Todorovich Messick is senior officer of outreach and communications in the Northeast Corridor Infrastructure Investment Development (NEC IID) division at Amtrak, the Nation’s Railroad. NEC IID is the new business line at Amtrak devoted to planning, maintaining, and improving the Northeast Corridor, the rail corridor stretching from Boston to Washington, DC and hosting more than 2,000 daily intercity, commuter, and freight trains. In her position at Amtrak, she conducts strategic outreach to a range of partners and stakeholders impacted by Amtrak’s plans for the corridor.

Prior to coming to Amtrak, Messick was director of America 2050, Regional Plan Association’s national infrastructure planning and policy program, which provides leadership on a broad range of transportation, sustainability, and economic-development issues impacting America’s growth in the 21st century. Messick led America 2050’s research, advocacy, and planning, working with partners, such as the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and the Rockefeller Foundation. In this position, she co-authored three publications on high-speed rail and was a frequent speaker on transportation policy and regional planning.

Prior to the launch of America 2050, Messick directed RPA's Region's Core program and coordinated the Civic Alliance to Rebuild Downtown New York, a network of organizations that came together shortly after 9/11 to promote the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site and Lower Manhattan.

Messick is also an Assistant Visiting Professor at the Pratt Institute, where her teaching focuses on implementing plans and projects in dynamic, politically fragmented, metropolitan regions. Messick received a B.A. from Vassar College, and a Masters in City and Regional Planning from Rutgers University.

Hon. James L. Oberstar


James Oberstar was born on September 10th, 1934 in Chisholm, Minnesota. His father, Louis Oberstar, was an iron ore miner, and his mother, Mary, worked in a garment factory to supplement the family income while she raised him and his two brothers.

In college Oberstar worked in the open pit mines to pay for his education. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1956, with a double major in French and Political Science. He continued his education at the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium, Laval University in Quebec and Georgetown University in Washington. From 1959-1962 he worked at the U.S. Naval Mission to Haiti, teaching French and Creole to U.S. Marine Corps personnel and English to Haitian military.

In 1963 Oberstar began working for Rep. John Blatnik from Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District. When Rep. Blatnik retired in 1974, Oberstar sought and won his first term in the House of Representatives. The people of Northeast Minnesota returned him to Washington for 17 more terms; he ended his career as the longest-serving Member of Congress in Minnesota history.

In the 36 years he served in the House, Congressman Oberstar became the body’s leading expert on transportation policy. He was a champion of safety in all modes of travel, and a fierce advocate for federal investment in our national transportation infrastructure.

Although his time in Congress has ended, Congressman Oberstar continues to be active in transportation, as a speaker, lecturer and consultant.

He resides in Maryland with his wife, Jean, but still travels frequently back to his home state. He is chairman of the advisory board for the Humphrey School of Public Affairs’ Center for Excellence in Rural Safety at the University of Minnesota, and is a Visiting Scholar at both the Humphrey School and the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

Congressman Oberstar is a member of the board of directors of Geronimo Wind Energy of Edina, Minnesota, and the board of International Student House of Washington, D.C. He serves as Senior Advisor to consulting firm NSI, of Washington D.C., which assists companies with state and local government procurement and policy issues. He is also an Advisor to medical technology firm GeaCom, Inc., of Duluth, Minnesota.

Because of his life-long love of the French language and the French people, and his efforts in Congress for improved understanding and relations between the United States and France, Oberstar was awarded the rank of Commander in the National Order of Merit (Commandeur dans l'Ordre National du Mérite) by the French government in June, 2012.

Henk Ovink

Director of National Spatial Planning, Netherland Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment

Henk Ovink is the Deputy Director General for Spatial Planning and Director of National Spatial Planning for the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment. He is responsible for the development of the new Dutch Spatial Planning Policy; the Architecture Policy on Architecture and Spatial Design; the new Spatial Planning Act (WRO); several long-term plans and studies, including the Randstad 2040 Structural Vision and the Dutch Spatial Olympic Strategy Plan for the 2028 Olympics 2028. He has also established the research and development agenda on spatial planning for the Netherlands, two academic chairs at the University of Utrecht (Planning Studies) and the Delft University of Technology (Design and Politics), and different research projects on sustainability, spatial planning, governance and, design.

He is cocurator for the 5th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, entitled "Making City" and scheduled to open in April of 2012, and curator of "Design and Politics: The Next Phase for the Aedes Network Campus Berlin." He regularly teaches, lectures, and writes on new ways of planning, the position of politics and design, and the exchange between governance and planning.

He is the coeditor of the Design and Politics book series, published by 010 Publishers, which presents historical and political perspectives on spatial planning as well as focuses on specific issues such as designing the Randstad and compact cities. He studied mathematics, art, and architecture.

Stephen Ramos

Assistant Professor, University of Georgia

Stephen J. Ramos is an Assistant Professor in the College of Environment and Design at the University of Georgia. His research explores the roles and meanings of large-scale infrastructure in shaping port geographies. He is author of Dubai Amplified: The Engineering of a Port Geography (Ashgate Press: 2010), and co-editor of Infrastructure Sustainability and Design (Routledge: 2012). He is a founding editor of the journal New Geographies, and editor-in-chief of New Geographies Volume 1: After Zero (Harvard GSD and University Press: 2009). His writing has appeared in the Harvard Design Magazine, Volume, and Neutra. He recently curated Discrete Aperture: The Work of Nils Folke Anderson at the University of Georgia Circle Gallery as part of a year-long series on Art + Infrastructure. His professional practice includes work with the Fundación Metrópoli in Madrid, the International Society of City and Regional Planners in The Hague, along with NGO work throughout Latin America. He received his Doctor of Design degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. 

Brent Ryan

Assistant Professor, DUSP, MIT

Professor Ryan's research focuses on emerging urban design paradigms, with a particular focus on postindustrial cities and neighborhoods. His book Design After Decline: How America rebuilds shrinking cities, was published in 2012 by the University of Pennsylvania Press and was selected by Planetizen as a Top Ten Book of 2012. Ryan has worked as a city planner and urban designer in New York City, Boston, and Chicago. From 2007 to 2009, he was Assistant Professor of Urban Planning at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, and from 2002 to 2007 he was Assistant Professor of Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and co-director of their City Design Center. Ryan has published in edited volumes including The City After Abandonment (2012) and the Oxford Handbook of Urban Planning (2012) as well as in the Journal of Urban Design, Journal of the American Planning Association, Urban Morphology, Journal of Planning History, and Urban Design International. Ryan received his B.S. degree in Biology from Yale in 1991, his M. Arch. from Columbia in 1994 and his Ph.D. in Urban Design and Planning from MIT in 2002.

Adèle Naudé Santos

Dean, School of Architecture and Planning, MIT

Adèle Naudé Santos, FAIA, was appointed Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning in February of 2004. Prior to that she was professor at the University of California, Berkeley, where her academic focus was the design of housing environments. Her academic career includes professorships at University of California Berkeley, Harvard University, Rice University, and the University of Pennsylvania, where she also served as Chair of the Department of Architecture. She was the founding Dean of the new School of Architecture at UC San Diego and has had numerous visiting appointments around the world.

In addition to her administrative duties at MIT, Dean Santos, along with fellow MIT faculty and students, have recently begun a research project with a major firm in China to design and construct a demonstration business park.

In addition to her academic work, she is principal architect in the San Francisco based firm, Santos Prescott and Associates. Her architectural and planning projects include affordable and luxury housing and institutional buildings throughout the globe. She is currently working on projects in California, Guatemala and China.

Dean Santos has received many housing awards and honors including the 2009 Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education. She also serves as a juror for numerous national and international design competitions and award programs.

She holds N.C.A.R.B. Certification, is a registered architect in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania and is a Member of the Pennsylvania Society of Architects, the American Institute of Architects, and the Architect’s Registration Council, UK.

Professor Santos has an AA Diploma from the Architectural Association in London. She also received a Master of Architecture in Urban Design from Harvard University as well as a Master of Architecture and a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania.

Roger Sherman

Founder, Roger Sherman Architecture and Urban Design

Roger Sherman founded Roger Sherman Architecture and Urban Design (RSAUD) in 1989. He has personally been the recipient of many honors and awards, including being a finalist for the Ventulette Distinguished Chair in Architectural Design at Georgia Tech in 2004; presenting a paper at the “Pragmatism” Conference at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2000; being a Wheelwright Fellow at Harvard in 1995; and a Skidmore Owings and Merrill Traveling Fellow in 1984. In 1987, he and Edmund Chang earned the commission for the West Hollywood Civic Center by virtue of having won an international design competition from a field of over 300 entrants.

Mr. Sherman currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Westside Urban Forum (WUF), and on the Advisory Board of Livable Places, a non-profit developer of affordable housing. He has also served on the City of West Hollywood’s Cultural Heritage Advisory Board, and as a Partner of the Weingart Center Association, a homeless organization. Sherman is an Adjunct Associate Professor at UCLA’s Dept. of Architecture and Urban Design, and was formerly Director of the FreshURBS postgraduate program at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). He was a Visiting Studio Professor at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design in 2001, and has both lectured and served as a visiting critic at a wide range of academic institutions, including Yale, Rice, Princeton, Michigan, Arizona State, and CCAC.

Roger edited and was a contributor to “RE American Dream: Six Housing Prototypes for Los Angeles (Princeton Architectural Press, 1995), and recently completed work on “Under the Influence: “Negotiating the Complex Logic of Urban Property”, forthcoming from the Univ. of Minnesota Press. His work and writing are widely published, including Los Angeles Magazine, L.A. Architect, G/A, Log, Places, Praxis, and several issues of Lotus, among other journals.

Upon graduating magna cum laude with a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Sherman went on to attend Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, where he received his M. Arch with Distinction, and was awarded the AIA Henry Adams Medal as the top-ranked student in his class. Upon graduation, he worked for Rafael Vinoly Architects in New York City for 2 years. He is licensed in both California and New York, since 1989.

Marcel Smets

K.U. Leuven

Marcel SMETS has studied architecture (University of Ghent, 1970) and urban design (Technical University Delft, 1974). He obtained a PhD from the University of Leuven (1976), where he was appointed to the chair of Urbanism in 1978. He has been active in theory and history with books on H. Hoste, Ch. Buls, the Belgian garden cities and the reconstruction of Belgium after 1914. He served as a critic for Archis, Topos, Lotus, Casabella and as juror for many competitions. He was founding member of the ILAUD (Urbino,1978), visiting professor at the University of Thessaloniki (1987), and Design Critic at the Harvard University GSD (2002, 2003, 2004). From 1989 to 2001, he founded and directed Projectteam Stadsontwerp, a research and design group of the Leuven University, specialized in the urban re-appropriation of abandoned industrial areas and outworn infrastructures. In this function, he acted as chief urban designer for widely published conversion projects in Leuven (B), Antwerpen (B), Hoeilaart (B), Rouen (F), Genoa (I), Conegliano (I). In June 2005, Smets was appointed Chief Architect for the Flemish Region, a five year mandate in which he managed the public design commissions for the Government. In line with his design practice, Smets’ main research interest shifted to infrastructure as a means of structuring cities and landscapes. In 2010, he co-authored with K. Shannon the influential book on The Landscape of Contemporary Infrastructure. Today, he chairs the Scientific and Strategies Committee for the City on the Move Institute (IVM- Paris), and leads the urban design team in charge of transforming the “Isle of Nantes”.

Malcolm Smith


Malcolm Smith is the founding Design Director of the Integrated Urbanism Unit at Arup in London, and the Arup Global leader of Masterplanning and Urban Design. He joined Arup after completing his Masters degree in Architecture at Yale University. Prior to undertaking his Masters, Malcolm worked in Australia on a wide range of projects including waterfront development, tertiary education buildings and masterplans, entertainment and arts facilities.

Malcolm sets the design strategy for a wide range of urban design projects both in the United Kingdom and internationally that have sustainable place making at their core. Besides the physical issues of places, his work encompasses issues such as integrated systems, resource efficiency, cultural strategy, risk and resilience. This approach comes together in the process of Integrated Urbanism.

Besides his project work, Malcolm has been an invited member of the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE). He is invited to lecture around the world on sustainable environments, most recently at the Green Building Council of Australia, Melbourne, City of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Singapore, and the Princes Foundation in the UK. He was an invited participant at the inaugural Global Humanitarian Forum in Geneva, and an invited advisor to the Gore Foundation. He is appointed by the City of Amsterdam as lead designer for Zuidas, the new commercial centre for Amsterdam.

Anne Spirn

Professor of Landscape Architecture & Planning

Anne Spirn has an international reputation as the preeminent scholar working at the intersection of landscape architecture and environmental planning. Her first book, The Granite Garden: Urban Nature and Human Design, won the President's Award of Excellence from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) in 1984, has been translated into two other languages, and remains a standard university text.
Her second book, The Language of Landscape, sets out a theory of landscape and aesthetics that takes account of both human interpretive frameworks and natural process. Spirn is credited with playing a seminal role in applying theories and principles of ecological landscape design to urban areas. Her path-breaking scholarly research and writing applies ecological principles to urban settings. Since 1987, she has directed the West Philadelphia Landscape Project (WPLP), in an inner city community near the University of Pennsylvania ( WPLP links landscape design, community development, and urban water infrastructure in an action research program integrating research, teaching and community service. Its goals include development of strategic landscape plans to enhance environmental quality, implementation of landscape improvements to stimulate economic development, and mutual strengthening of public school curricula and undergraduate and professional education. The project was cited as a "Model of Best Practice" at a White House summit in March 1999 for forty leading "Scholars and Artists in Public life." In 2001, Spirn was awarded Japan’s International Cosmos Prize for “contributions to the harmonious co-existence of nature and mankind.” Her website is a gateway to her work and activities:

Nader Tehrani

Chair, Department of Architecture, MIT

Nader Tehrani is a Professor and Head of the Department of Architecture at MIT. He is also Principal of NADAAA, a practice dedicated to the advancement of design innovation, interdisciplinary collaboration, and an intensive dialogue with the construction industry.

Tehrani received a B.F.A. and a B.Arch from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1985 and 1986 respectively. He continued his studies at the Architectural Association, where he attended the Post-Graduate program in History and Theory. Upon his return to United States, Tehrani received M.A.U.D from the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1991. Tehrani has also taught at Harvard Graduate School of Design, Rhode Island School of Design, Georgia Institute of Technology where he served as the Thomas W. Ventulett III Distinguished Chair in Architectural Design, and University of Toronto as the Frank O. Gehry International Visiting Chair.

As the principal and founder of Office dA, Tehrani’s work has been recognized with notable awards, including the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award in Architecture (2007), the United States Artists Fellowship in Architecture and Design (2007), and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Architecture (2002). He has also received the Harleston Parker Award for the Northeastern University Multi-faith Spiritual Center (2002) and the Hobson Award for the Georgia Institute of Technology Hinman Research Building (2012). Throughout his career, Tehrani has received fourteen Progressive Architecture Awards as well as numerous AIA, Boston Society of Architects and ID awards.

Tehrani has lectured widely at institutions including the Guggenheim Museum in New York, Harvard University, Princeton University and the Architectural Association. Tehrani has participated in many symposia including the Monterey Design Conference (2009), the Buell Center ‘Contemporary Architecture and its Consequences’ at Columbia University (2009), and the Graduate School of Design ‘Beyond the Harvard Box’ (2006). The works of Nader Tehrani have been widely exhibited at MOMA, Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, LA MOCA and ICA Boston.

He has served as principal-in-charge of various projects on digital fabrication (Raemian Model Home Gallery, Helios House, Banq), institutional projects of complex programmatic order (RISD, Harvard and Northeastern University), and residential projects of large and small scale (Macallen Building, Dortoir Familial and Tongxian Arts). Having won the commissions of three Schools of Architecture, Tehrani has completed the Hinman Research Building at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and is currently working on completion of the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne, and the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto.

Meejin Yoon

Associate Professor, Architecture, MIT

J. Meejin Yoon is an architect, designer and educator. She is the founder of MY Studio, co-founder of Höweler + Yoon Architecture, LLP and an Associate Professor with tenure in the Department of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Awarded the United States Artist Award in Architecture and Design in 2008, the Athena RISD Emerging Designer Award in 2008, Architecture Record’s Design Vanguard Award in 2007, the Architecture League’s Emerging Voices Award in 2007, and the Rome Prize in Design in 2005, Yoon’s work has been widely recognized for its innovative and interdisciplinary nature. Her design research investigates new intersections between space, technology and materiality.

Yoon is currently the Director of the Department of Architecture Undergraduate Program and has taught at Graduate Level Architecture Design Studios at MIT for the past 10 years. She is the author of Expanded Practice: Projects by Höweler + Yoon and MY Studio (Princeton Architectural Press 2009), Public Works: Unsolicited Small Projects for the Big Dig (MAP Book Publishers 2008), and Absence, a World Trade Center Memorial artist book (Printed Matter and the Whitney Museum of Art 2003). Her work has been exhibited in the National Design Triennial at the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Institut Valencia d’Art Modern in Spain, and the National Art Center in Tokyo.

Yoon received a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University with the AIA Henry Adams Medal in 1995, a Masters of Architecture in Urban Design with Distinction from Harvard University in 1997, and a Fulbright Fellowship to Korea in 1998.

Chris Zegras

Associate Professor, DUSP, ESD, MIT

Christopher Zegras’ teaching and research interests include the inter-relations between transportation and the built and natural environments, transportation system finance and policy, and integrated system modeling. He has co-taught urban design and planning studios and Practica in Beijing, Santiago de Chile, Mexico City, and Cartagena, Colombia. His journal articles have been published in Energy Policy, Journal of Urban Planning and Development, Transport Policy, Transportation Research Record, and Urban Studies; he has numerous book Chapters; and he co-edited the book, From Understanding to Action: Sustainable Urban Development in Medium-Sized Cities in Africa and Latin America. Current research projects include: Future Urban Mobility; Making the “Clean Energy City” in China; Travel Behavior of the Baby Boomers; and, Implementing Bus Rapid Transit: The Institutional Dimensions. Zegras has consulted widely, including for the International Energy Agency, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Canadian, German, US, and Peruvian Governments, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and the United Nations Center for Regional Development. Zegras previously worked for the International Institute for Energy Conservation in Washington, DC and Santiago de Chile and for MIT’s Laboratory for Energy and the Environment. He currently serves as the MIT Lead for the MIT-Portugal Program Transportation Systems Focus Area, on the Faculty Advisory Council of the Transportation@MIT Initiative, and on the Transportation in Developing Countries Committee of the Transportation Research Board of the National Research Council.

Cino Zucchi

Partner, Cino Zucchi Architetti

Born in Milano in 1955, Cino Zucchi earned a B.S.A.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1978 and a Laurea in Architettura at the Politecnico di Milano in 1979, where he is Chair Professor of Architectural and Urban Design and member of the PhD program. He is presently John T. Dunlop Visiting Professor in Housing and Urbanization at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He is in the forum of Lotus International magazine, editor and author of several articles and books on matters of architectural and urban history and theory, and participated to various editions of the Venice Biennale and the Milano Triennale.

Together with his studio CZA he has designed and realized many industrial, commercial, residential and public buildings, public spaces, master plans and renewals of industrial and historical areas. The renovation of the Junghans factory site in Venice and the one of the former Alfa Romeo factory area in Milano were awarded various international prizes. Other major urban design works include the Keski Pasila master plan in Helsinki (Finland), master plans proposals for areas in Lugano and Andermatt (Switzerland), Herten and Münich (Germany) Deventer and Groningen (Holland), St. Petersburg (Russia), Tirana (Albania) and in many Italian cities. Recent architectural realizations include the extension of the Car Museum and the ongoing new Lavazza Headquarters in Turin, the Salewa Headquarters in Bozen, housing complexes in Parma, Bologna, Ravenna and in Milano for the Expo 2015.


The 'Infrastructural Monument' Symposium will be held at the MIT Media Lab.

MIT Media Lab
Building E14, 6th floor
75 Amherst Street
Cambridge, MA 02139


A number of rooms with a special rate have been arranged with the Kendall Hotel and Boston Marriott Cambridge for the nights of April 8 & 9, 2013. All rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis and may be sold out prior to the booking deadlines listed below. Please note that the online reservation links are available primarily for reserving rooms for the nights of April 8 & 9. There is some limited availability before and after these dates, however, if one of the dates is not available, the whole span of your stay may show as being unavailable. If you are hoping to extend your stay, you should call the reservation lines directly, or reserve the main nights online at the special rate and then call the hotel to check on available rates/availability for extended stays.

Please be sure to review the cancellation terms and conditions of your reservation.


Cambridge Marriott Hotel
Two Cambridge Center, 50 Broadway
Cambridge, MA 02139

Currently $249.00 per night, plus applicable taxes (upto March 18, 2013)- for reservations please call 1-800-228-9290 or 617-494-6600 and ask for 2013 CAU Symposium

The Kendall Hotel
350 Main Street
Cambridge, MA 02142

Currently $219.95 per night plus applicable taxes (upto March 8, 2013) - reservations may be made online at :, or by phone, please call 617-577-1300 and ask for the CAU room block.


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