A conversation between: Janice Perlman, Founder and President,
The Mega Cities Project Saskia Sassen, Robert S. Lynd Professor
of Sociology and Co-Chair of the Committee
on Global Thought, Columbia University Gordon Feller, Director, Internet Business
Solutions Group, CISCO Systems
Moderator: Fred Guterl, Executive Editor,
Compass Summit, a forum for true interaction and exchange, examines some of today's most pressing problems through the lens of global citizenship, recognizing that human ingenuity is an unlimited resource. Guided by NPR's Ira Flatow, an intimate group of some of the of the world's best thinkers and doers convened along the rugged Palos Verdes coastline on Oct 23-26, 2011 at Terranea Resort to engage in meaningful conversation, ask questions, and challenge ideas -- we invite you to join in the conversation.
For more than 25 years Gordon Feller has been building partnerships around urban environmental and urban transport issues that link private sector, public sector, independent sector and academia.
As CEO of Urban Age Institute he advises governments, foundations and multinational companies on urban sustainability issues. "Urban Age Magazine" was founded inside the World Bank in 1992; an international non-profit - with program activities in Asia, Africa and Europe - was spun off nearly 10 years later.
More than 400 of Gordon's articles, commentaries and editorials have appeared in 100+ magazines and newspapers. In periodicals ranging From the Financial Times of London to TIME and Fortune, Gordon has been arguing for a new and more holistic to seemingly intractable environmental, transport and energy issues.
Feller holds a Bachelors Degree, cum-laude, from Columbia University and a Masters Degree in International Affairs from Columbia University, also cum-laude. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and was the recipient of numerous fellowships and scholarships, both as an undergraduate and a graduate student, including: Dean's Fellow at Columbia; NY State Governor Lehman Fellow at Columbia; Ripon Society Fellowship honoring US Senator Mark Hatfield (R: Oregon); Club of Rome Fellowship; German Marshall Fund Fellowship; and Wallach Fellowship at Columbia.
Fred Guterl is the executive editor of Scientific American. Previously, Guterl was the deputy editor of Newsweek, where he wrote and edited a wide range of stories for both print and digital media. He was Newsweek International’s first science and technology editor, writing and editing dozens of cover packages and special issues on climate change, global health, energy, biotechnology and other subjects. His writing and editing have contributed to numerous awards and nominations from the American Society of Magazine Editors. His article “Riddles in the Sand,” in Discover, was named best magazine article in 1998 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and his Newsweek article “The Wasteland,” on Russia’s plan to accept the world’s nuclear waste, was honored by the Overseas Press Club for environmental writing. He has been a guest on CNN, MSNBC, Charlie Rose, The Today Show and other television venues. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Rochester and has taught science writing at Princeton University.
Janice Perlman is an independent scholar and the Founder/President of The Mega-Cities Project, a transnational non-profit working to "shorten the lag time between innovation and implementation in urban problem-solving". The next generation version MegaCities/ MegaChange MC 2 --is being developed now.
Perlman's book, "FAVELA: Four Decades of Living on the Edge in Rio de Janeiro" (Oxfrd University Press) won the PROSE Award in two categories. Among her other awards is a Guggenheim, a Fulbright and the C. Wright Mills Award.
Perlman was a Professor of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley, and has taught at Columbia, NYU and Trinity College. She was Coordinator of the Neighborhoods Task Force/National Urban Policy; Director of Strategic Planning/NYC Partnership; creator of the Science, Technology and Public Policy Program/ NY Academy of Sciences and Senior Scholar at the World Bank.
Carolyn Stephens is Reader in Ecology and Global Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Visiting Full Professor of the Faculty of Medicine of the Universidad Nacional de TucumÃ¡n, Argentina, where she is currently based. She has lived and worked internationally for over 25 years, first based in India; then Africa (Ghana; Liberia; Tanzania, and Nigeria) and most recently Latin America (principally Argentina and Brazil). Her research work has been focused on the health of the most disadvantaged communities, in both rural and urban settings. She has published extensively on urban health inequities, environmental justice, indigenous health, human rights and ethics.
She has advised governments and international agencies on equity, health and rights including WHO, UNDP, UNHabitat, World Bank, UNEP and the UN Poverty Environment Network. Alongside her international research, in 2007 she won the Royal Society Kohn Award for excellence in science communication, and the London Education Partnership Award for her voluntary work with disadvantaged urban youth in London. Her most recent research, supported by UNICEF, has been on new conceptual understanding of urban inequity and human rights, in the context of child health and sustainable development, for UNICEF's 2012 State of the World's Children.
People originally moved to cities "to live longer, to live healthier," explains Carolyn Stephens, professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. But the result, she says, is often a risk trade-off between putting food on the table and a shortened life span.
Programs pursued as a means of improving the urban environment and achieving certain social and economic objectives. Evidence of urban planning can be found in the ruins of ancient cities, including orderly street systems and conduits for water and sewage. During the Renaissance, European city areas were consciously planned to achieve circulation of the populace and provide fortification against invasion. Such concepts were exported to the New World, where William Penn, in founding the city of Philadelphia, developed the standard gridiron planthe laying out of streets and plots of land adaptable to rapid change in land use. Modern urban planning and redevelopment arose in response to the disorder and squalor of the slums created by the Industrial Revolution. The urban planner best known for his transformation of Paris was Georges-Eugène Haussmann. City planners imposed regulatory laws establishing standards for housing, sanitation, water supply, sewage, and public health conditions, and introduced parks and playgrounds into congested city neighbourhoods. In the 20th century, zoningthe regulation of building activity according to use and locationcame to be a key tool for city planners. See alsoPierre-Charles L'Enfant.