Systems of Social Infrastructure

Thu, Jul 11    12:30pm

Systems of Social Infrastructure
David Giles, Chief Strategy Officer, Brooklyn Public Library
introduction by Shin-peyTsay

Infrastructure systems are typically represented as hard and fixed – - sewers underground, street networks, or electrical wires. But the city is also interlaced with social infrastructures – communities, organizations and even informal networks. Recent severe weather events in the NYC region (as elsewhere) have pointed to the critical role social infrastructure plays in recovery and rebuilding. David Giles will highlight some of the most significant social infrastructures vital to New York City and why they are crucial to its future.

David Giles joined the library in 2015 as chief strategy officer, overseeing Brooklyn Public Library’s strategic initiatives and partnerships, including the development of a new vision and action plan for the Library. Giles helped to design and launch the BKLYN Incubator, an innovation fund and support system for library-community partnerships. Named a 2016 “Mover and Shaker” by Library Journal, Giles has written and spoken widely on the changing role of libraries in the 21st century information economy. While at the Center for an Urban Future, a Manhattan-based public policy think tank, he was the lead author of Re-Envisioning New York’s Branch Libraries, a detailed report on the capital needs of New York’s over 200 branch libraries, and Branches of Opportunity, a report about the role public libraries are playing in education and community development. David has an MA from the University of Chicago and a BA from Boston College.

Shin-pei Tsay is Founder and CEO of Make Public, a firm that specializes in social impact assessments of the public realm. Previously she served as executive director of Gehl Institute where she built the non-profit organization from the ground up; bridged design and planning with critical issues such as public health, criminal justice, and equity; and led the development of a new data standard for public life. A serial social entrepreneur, Shin-pei has served as deputy executive director at TransitCenter where she contributed to its establishment as a national philanthropy, and she founded and directed the Cities and Transportation Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where she led a project with Senator Bill Bradley and Secretary Tom Ridge to reform and fund the federal transportation program. Shin-pei’s past roles include Deputy Director of Transportation Alternatives, Chief Operating Officer of Project for Public Spaces, and founding member of ZGF Architects’ NYC office. She also worked with Fortune 500 companies to develop Internet strategies. Shin-pei is on the Board of ioby and Transportation Alternatives and is a Commissioner for the New York City Public Design Commission. Shin-pei holds an MSc in Cities, Space, and Society from London School of Economics and Political Science and a BA with distinction from the College of Arts and Science at Cornell University.

Free and open to the public.
Organized by the Urban Design program.

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