Thursday, October 08, 2009

Speculating on Change at Vera List Center

Michael A. Cohen
Speculating on Change: Four Paradoxes of Our Urban Future
Friday, October 16, 2009 - 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
The New School, Kellen Auditorium
65 Fifth Avenue, between 12th and 13th Streets
New York City
Admission: $8, free for all students, New School faculty, staff and alumni with valid ID

Each year, an inaugural lecture launches the Vera List Center's annual theme, defining the intellectual territory that will be explored in public programs throughout the year. The lecturer introduces the theme in the broadest sense, serving as a guide to the range and richness of the topic at hand, and rooting the concept within The New School's intellectual tradition.

This year's programs call for a speculation on notions of "change," specifically some of the descriptions, procedures and perceptions associated with change that inform collective action, whether political, scientific, or cultural. The inaugural lecture is delivered by Michael A. Cohen, Director, The Graduate Program of International Affairs at The New School.

The current global economic crisis demonstrates the impact on the economic welfare and political stability of both rich and poor countries of accelerating global flows of people, ideas, capital and competition for control over human and natural resources. Cohen discusses cities both as sites of the greatest impacts of global change, but also as sites providing solutions to some of the challenges that result from such change.


Michael A. Cohen (Ph.D., University of Chicago) is Director of the International Affairs Program. He also works as Advisor to the Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, Design, and Urban Planning of the University of Buenos Aires. Before coming to the New School in 2001, he was a Visiting Fellow of the International Center for Advanced Studies at New York University. From 1972 to 1999, he had a distinguished career at the World Bank. He was responsible for much of the urban policy development of the Bank over that period and, from 1994 to 1998, he served as the Senior Advisor to the Bank's Vice-President for Environmentally Sustainable Development. He has worked in over fifty countries and was heavily involved in the Bank's work on infrastructure, environment, and sustainable development. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Panel on Urban Dynamics.

Cohen is the author or editor of several books, including most recently Preparing the Urban Future: Global Pressures and Local Forces (ed. with A. Garland, B. Ruble, and J. Tulchin), The Human Face of the Urban Environment (ed. with I. Serageldin), and Urban Policy and Economic Development: An Agenda for the 1990s. Other recent publications include articles in 25 Years of Urban Development (Amersfoort, The Netherlands, 1998), Cities Fit for People (Kirdar, ed., 1996), The Brookings Review, Journal of the Society for the Study of Traditional Environments, International Social Science Review, Habitat International, and Finance and Development. He is currently completing a study of urban inequality in Buenos Aires. He has taught at the University of California at Berkeley, The Johns Hopkins University, and the School of Architecture, Design, and Urban Planning of the University of Buenos Aires.

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