Friday, November 11:  Cornell Tech

Welcome Remarks

  • Michael Samuelian, FAIA, AICP, Founding Director, Urban Tech Hub, Cornell Tech;
  • Theodore Liebman, FAIA, Principal, Perkins Eastman, GUD Senior Fellow and New York Coordinator, and CSU Board Member;
  • Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, CSU President, and GUD Senior Fellow;
  • Jane Katz, GUD Vice Chair and Washington Coordinator, UN-Habitat World Urban Campaign Steering Committee Member, and Urban Representative, UNDRR/Sendai Stakeholder Engagement Advisory Group;
  • Dr. Marc Weiss, GUD Chairman and CEO;
  • Chris Williams, Director, UN-Habitat New York Office.

8:45–9:30 am
Opening Plenary
Keynote Speakers: Dr. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director Emeritus, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and GUD Advisory Board Member (33-minute video about “Bauhaus Earth“: the Urban Built Environment as a Carbon Sink); and Vishaan Chakrabarti, FAIA, Founder and Creative Director, Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU) (11-minute TED talk)

Roundtable on New Technologies, Materials, and Methods
Moderator: Dr. Marc Weiss

  • Dr. Banning Garrett, GUD Vice Chair and Berlin Coordinator
  • Vlada Kenniff, Senior Vice President for Sustainability, New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)
  • Sam Ruben, Co-Founder and Senior Sustainability Advisor, Mighty Buildings, and GUD Senior Fellow
  • Michael Blanford, Research Engineer, Affordable Housing Research and Technology, US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • Mark Reed, Founder, Contact Fund
  • David Smith, Founder and CEO, Affordable Housing Institute

Roundtable on Sustainable Innovation Communities
Moderator: Lance Jay Brown

  • Jane Katz
  • Theodore Liebman
  • Sri Husnaini Sofjan, Senior Program Administrator and Strategist, Huairou Commission, Co-Chair, UN-Habitat World Urban Campaign Steering Committee, and GUD Advisory Board Member; and Shorai Chitongo, Programs Officer, Huairou Commission
  • Edgar Westerhof, Vice President and North American Adaptation Solution Lead, Arcadis
  • Peter Cavaluzzi, FAIA, Principal, Perkins Eastman
  • Dr. Marc Weiss

12:30–2:00 pm
Lunch Plenary and Urban Lab hosted by Shibumi International
Moderator: Nicholas Billotti, Managing Director, Shibumi International, and GUD Senior Fellow
Keynote Speaker: Jean-Daniel Kuhn, Co-Founder and Managing Director, XtreeE, and GUD Senior Fellow.

2:00–3:30 pm
Roundtable on Policy, Financial, Legal, and Regulatory Challenges
Moderator: Jane Katz

  • Olivia Caldwell Nielsen, Associate Principal, Miyamoto International, and GUD Fellow;
  • Stewart Sarkozy-Banoczy , Global Director, Policy and Investments, Resilient Cities Network, and GUD Advisory Board Member;
  • Brian McLaughlin, President, Enterprise Community Development, and President, Community Development Division, Enterprise Community Partners;
  • Sam Ruben;
  • Judy L. Baker, Global Lead, Urban Poverty and Housing, and Lead Economist, Urban Africa; World Bank (invited);
  • Dr. Edmundo Werna, Associate Professor of Construction, Property, and Surveying, London South Bank University, and GUD Advisory Board Member (invited)

Roundtable on Sustainable Housing Design
Moderator: Theodore Liebman

  • Emily Billheimer, Sustainability Project Manager, Socotec, and GUD Fellow;
  • Lois Arena, PE, Director, Passive House Services, Steven Winter Associates (invited);
  • Wids DeLaCour – Principal, DeLaCour, Ferrara, and Church Architects (DFCA)

Urban Thinkers Session and Closing Plenary

Urban Lab: Walking Tour of Roosevelt Island Affordable Housing
Led by Theodore Liebman

No-host Reception at Cornell Tech

Saturday, November 12: Brooklyn


  • Urban Lab tour of Brooklyn examples of affordable housing technologies
  • Visit to development site(s) led by Peter Bafitis, AIA, Managing Principal, RKTB Architects; and a potential visit to the Pratt Institute’s Consortium for Research & Robotics (CRR) at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Supporting Organizations

Sponsored by UN-Habitat, Urban Thinkers Campus, World Urban Campaign, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction Learning Lab, Global Urban Development, Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization, and Cornell Tech

Get Involved

Support Our Work

Learn more about our interdisciplinary network.


Reflections from the 2024 Gala