Ecogram III

Africa, Cities and Eco-Crisis Conference

October 1, 2010 • 10:00AM – 6:00PM

Columbia University, Avery Hall, Wood Auditorium

Urbanists, biologists, nanotechnologists, and sustainable cities activists addressed the relation between environment and cities, including landgrabs and their consequences, forced migration to the cities and environmental refugees, climate change and systems resilience to climate variability, engineering and technology of flooding, urban services and the challenges of waste management.

This conference was part of the Signature Research Project Urbanizing Technology: The Mobility Complex.


Intro: Bridging the Ecologies of Cities and of the Biosphere

  • Saskia Sassen, Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology, Columbia University

War and Its Consequences on Environments and People

  • Arthur H. Westing, Westing Associates in Environment, Security, & Education

Panel: Cities and Eco-Disasters: What We Can Do

  • Cities and Floods; Living on a 'Water Machine' Ties Rijcken, Researcher in Integrated Water Infrastructure Development, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands
  • Adapting to Climate Risks: Comparing Approaches Shiv Someshwar, IRI/Earth Institute, Columbia University
  • Avoiding a Global Environmental Catastrophe Richard Matthew, Director, Center for Unconventional Security Affairs, University of California, Irvine

Panel: ‘Living Technology’ and the Built Environment

  • Living Materials for the Built Environment Rachel Armstrong, Co‐Director, AVATAR (Advanced Virtual And Technological Architectural Research) in Architecture & Synthetic Biology, The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London
  • Smart Cities and Climate Change: Crusade or Cynical Exercise Greg Lindsay, Fast Company contributing writer, co‐author of Aerotropolis: The Way We'll Live Next
  • Performative Wind Technologies and the Built Environment P. Michael Pelken, Center of Excellence Fellow, Assistant Professor of Architecture for Design and Technology, Syracuse University School of Architecture
  • Rise or Fall of Megacities (Rich or Poor), in the Face of Climate Change and Natural Disasters Klaus Jacob, Special Research Scientist, Lamont‐Doherty Earth Observatory, Professor of International and Public Affairs, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University

Panel: Organizing for a Better Eco-urban Relation: Disaster Preparedness, Applied Technologies, Inter-city Networks

  • Disaster Preparedness: Public Health and Large‐Scale Catastrophic Events Irwin Redlener, President, Children's Health Fund Director, National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Columbia University
  • Senseable Spaces: Ubiquitous Computing in the Natural and Built Environment Lindsey Hoshaw, SENSEable City Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Transnational Municipal Networks and Climate Change: From Global Governance to Global Politics Noah Toly, Director of Urban Studies, Assistant Professor of Politics and International Relations, Wheaton College
  • Environmental Activism in the Urban Ecosystem Dana R. Fisher, Associate Professor of Sociology, Columbia University
  • Coca‐Cola or Drinking Water? The Growing Water Conflicts Between Industry and Community in India Amit Srivastava, Coordinator, India Resource Center