The urban age has been a long one. In 1900, only sixteen cities in the world had populations of one million people or more. By 2000, there were 417. In 1950, only one city in the world had a population of over ten million people; today, there are 19 megacities.
Building the rubric of Now Urbanism, we must move beyond visions of cities that disregard the richness and complexity of the present: NOW. Urban is not the form of human settlement. Urban is a way of looking at the world. Now Urbanism is a critical and complex practice that is simultaneously local, regional, and global. This Autumn, the UW’s urban initiative offers this kickoff and framing session on October 7, and talks later this quarter on Ecological Urbanism, Ecological Design for Healthy Cities, Networked Urbanism, and America’s War on Immigrants.
Now Urbanism, the University of Washington’s 2010-11 John E. Sawyer Seminar in Comparative Cultures, will feature nine monthly public discussions exploring the many dimensions of this extraordinary urban age, addressing the lived experience of urbanism around the globe.
On Thursday, October 7, we launch the conversation with fundamental questions for the next generation of urban change, whether for megacities or the urban regions of the Pacific Northwest: Where does the local connect to the global? How is sustainability cultural and political, as well as environmental? Grounded in urban history, and considering how multidisciplinary scholarly insight can inform transformative practice, this first colloquium will begin a conversation about culturally based place-making that is both positive and critical.
October 7: Now Urbanism, Now Seattle
Kane Hall, Room 210
Now Seattle: Launching a conversation about the connections between past and present, built and human, local and global – in Seattle and beyond.
Dean, UW College of the Environment, Seattle
A scientist known internationally for research on climate and ecosystems with a track record of getting wide-ranging groups of experts to focus on environmental issues, Lisa Graumlich currently serves as the inaugural Dean of the University of Washington’s College of the Environment, now in its first academic year. Graumlich was previously at the University of Arizona as the Director of the School of Natural Resources and the Environment.
As a paleoecologist, Graumlich investigates how ecosystems and human societies adapted to climate change, with a special focus on severe and persistent drought. She is renowned for her interdisciplinary focus and has a career-long interest in global climate change, especially with regard to how to best manage natural and human resources in an uncertain future. Graumlich received her B.S. in Botany and M.S. in Geography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her Ph.D. in Forest Resources from the University of Washington (1985). She was named an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow in 1999 and was elected as Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2004.
- William Rees Morrish
Dean, Parsons The New School for Design, New York City
A licensed architect, William R. Morrish is currently Dean at The School of Constructed Environments at Parsons. Morrish previously served at the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture where, as the school’s first interdisciplinary professor, he taught and led research in the areas of sustainable urban infrastructure, new housing models, and global urbanization and climate change. The author of Growing Urban Habitats: Seeking a New Housing Development Model (with Susanne Schindler; William Stout Architectural Books, 2009), Civilizing Terrains: Mountains, Mounds, and Mesas (William Stout Architectural Books, 2004), and Planning to Stay: Learning to See the Physical Features of Your Neighborhood (with Catherine Brown; Milkweed Editions, 2000), Morrish’s work has recently focused on addressing what he calls the “second generation of sustainability”: the design of cultural ecologies.
- Philip J. Ethington
Professor, History & Political Science, University of Southern CaliforniaNorth American Editor and Multimedia Editor of the journal Urban History and Co-Director (with Tara McPherson) of the USC Center for Transformative Scholarship. An interdisciplinary historian, Ethington’s scholarship explores the past as a cartography of time. His recent published work include theoretical work on a spatial theory of history; sociological studies of residential segregation; large-format maps of urban historical change; Online interactive Web 2.0 tools, archives, and publications for urban studies; and museum exhibit collaborations. He is co-PI of the HyperCities project (funded in part by the MacArthur Foundation and HASTAC).
Most recently, Ethington co-wrote the award-winning film Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman (Art House Films, 2009), which is narrated by Dustin Hoffman. His photography and cartography have been published and exhibited internationally. He is currently completing a large-format graphic book, interactive online publication, and public art exhibit Ghost Metropolis: Los Angeles, since 13,000 BP.
- Panel Moderated by Raymond Gastil, Gastilworks, Seattle