Exploring the power of place in our lives, this year the Great Issues Forum poses questions such as: How does our sense of place define us? How are our notions of space and place evolving as we move into the future? How is urbanization shaping our physical and human environment?
Participants include Malcolm Gladwell, best-selling author and New Yorker contributor; Jerilyn Perine, Executive Director of the Citizens Housing and Planning Council; and Robert Hammond, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Friends of the High Line.
The conversation is moderated by John Mollenkopf, Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology at the Graduate Center, and Director of the Center for Urban Research.
Malcolm Gladwell has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1996. He is the author of the Times best-sellers "The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference," "Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking," "Outliers: The Story of Success," and "What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures."
Robert Hammond, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Friends of the High Line, has worked as a consultant for a variety of entrepreneurial endeavors and non-profits, including the Times Square Alliance, Alliance for the Arts and National Cooperative Bank (NCB). Hammond is also a self-taught artist. From 2002 to 2005 he served as an Ex-Officio Trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He was awarded the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome in 2009. Born and raised in San Antonio, TX, he graduated with Honors in History from Princeton University.
John Mollenkopf is director of the Center for Urban Research. He is a Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology at the Graduate Center and coordinates its interdisciplinary concentration in public policy and urban studies. He has authored or edited fifteen books on urban politics, urban policy, immigration, and New York City.
Prior to joining the Graduate Center in 1981, he directed the Economic Development Division of the New York City Department of City Planning and taught urban studies and public management at Stanford University. He received his PhD from Harvard and BA from Carleton College.
With Philip Kasinitz, Mary Waters, and Jennifer Holdaway, Mollenkopf recently completed Inheriting the City: The Children of Immigrants Come of Age (Harvard University Press 2008), a book on educational attainment, labor market position, and political and civic involvement among second generation immigrant and native minority young adults in the New York metropolitan area.
His current research focuses on immigrants and politics in New York and Los Angeles, the political incorporation of immigrants in Europe and the U.S., and the comparative analysis of the situation of the second generation in eight European countries. His Place Matters: A Metropolitics for the 21st Century, co-authored with Peter Dreier and Todd Swanstrom, won the Michael Harrington Prize of the American Political Science Association in 2002. The New York Chapter of the American Planning Association gave him its Robert Ponte award for distinguished contributions to the understanding of economic development in New York City.
He has served as a consultant to many public agencies in New York City, is a member of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Building Resilient Regions, has helped to organize the Research Alliance for New York City Schools, and serves on the international advisory committee of the Netherlands Institute for City Innovation Studies.
Jerilyn Perine has built a talented team at CHPC to spearhead a high impact agenda to improve the quality of public debate, inform public policy, promote new ideas, and engage a wide audience as well as a diverse and active Board Membership to improve NYC neighborhoods. Ms. Perine is an urban planner with 30 years of experience in housing and community development. She was appointed Commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development by both Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Mayor Michael Bloomberg to lead America's largest municipal housing agency with more than 3000 employees and an annual operating and capital budget of $800 million.
As Commissioner, Ms. Perine was the author of Mayor Bloomberg's New Housing Marketplace Plan, announced in December 2002 that provided $3 billion over 5 years to preserve and create over 65,000 units of affordable housing. Under Mayor Giuliani she designed and oversaw the management and operation of programs designed to return a significant inventory of tax foreclosed residential property to local, private ownership.
She has lectured widely and collaborated with practitioners in Germany, Austria, Spain, Northern Ireland, England, and Australia. Ms. Perine is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and was a member of the International Brownfield Exchange between 1998 and 2002. She serves on the board of Highbridge Voices, a children's choir in the South Bronx; West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing; and the New York Housing Conference.
Best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell laments the "disastrous" rezoning of certain areas in New York City, particularly Sixth Avenue, but praises the "weirdness" of the High Line, a 1.45-mile urban park located on Manhattan's West Side.
New York City's municipal government is known for its inefficiency, but has this "backwardness" actually proven to be fertile ground for the seeds of innovation? Author Malcolm Gladwell points out that if not for bureaucratic disjointedness, the city would have torn down the High Line long before its creative renovation.