In 2018, Perkins Eastman led a consortium to develop a master plan to decommission an existing airport in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The airport was constructed in 1950 outside city limits. The 240-hectare site was built when the city had a population of 258,000, and commercial jets had recently gone into service. By 2018, when our firm was brought on board, it stood at the geographic center of Grand Guayaquil. The surrounding population had grown to 4 million, and the region’s needs had outgrown the site’s usefulness. The mayor, the business community, and other constituents were asking, what’s next?  This lecture will provide an in-depth review of our process, including what it takes for a multinational company based in New York to work effectively in the global south, respecting differences while providing practical leadership. 

Event Recording

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Speaker & Moderator


Stephen Forneris


Stephen Forneris is a principal and board director at Perkins Eastman with 28 years of experience in the field of architecture. Mr. Forneris shares his time between New York City and Ecuador, where he manages the firm’s Guayaquil office and Latin American practice. Mr. Forneris holds active licenses and registration to practice Architecture in both the USA and Ecuador. Though Mr. Forneris returned to live principally in the USA in 2001, he has maintained continuous projects under development and construction in both Ecuador and the USA. He remains an authority of building and construction practices in Latin America and was asked to serve on the committee to draft the 2008 Ecuadorian building code. In 2011 he published a bilingual guide to building an earthquake-resistant house with drawings and links to current seismic codes.


Theodore Liebman

FAIA, Board Member CSU

Having worked on developments across the United States, Middle East, Russia, Eastern Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa, Ted Liebman is considered a firm-wide ambassador for Perkins Eastman, sharing knowledge on urban housing and sustainable communities. He has lectured extensively, teaches affordable housing at NYU, and sits on several United Nations’ NGO Major Groups, along with many other housing/urban-related advisory boards and committees. He previously worked as Chief of Architecture at the New York State Urban Development Corporation, where his research, supported by a Harvard Wheelwright Fellowship, allowed Ted to experience European affordable housing design innovations firsthand, living in 80 housing developments and new towns across ten countries.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the key actions taken by the City of Guayaquil to adapt the historic city to population increase and a sustainable future.
  • Discuss how Guayaquil has increased the residential density of the city while striving to maintain and enhance green space.
  • Identify how the City of Guayaquil, the local business community, and other stakeholders worked effectively with a multinational company based in New York, respecting differences and planning world-class, environmentally progressive infrastructure.
  • Illustrate how planning for large-scale infrastructure projects, such as the expansion of the international airport, can be used to demonstrate the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals and shared environmental values.

Collaborating Organizations for Green Cities 2022

Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization, UN-Habitat, AIA New York, AIANY Planning & Design, the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, Habitat Professionals Forum for Sustainable Cities, Perkins-Eastman, Creative Exchange Lab, Columbia Center for Buildings, Infrastructure & Public Space, and Global Urban Development (GUD)

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