Ruin and Redemption in New York City
Robert Hammond, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Friends of the High Line
Dan Barasch, Co-Founder and Executive Director, the Lowline
Today, the High Line and the Low Line are two of the most iconic public spaces in New York City. Both projects repurpose neglected infrastructure, with varying outcomes and considerable debate. The founders of each “Line” will reflect on the potential of urban ruins, how they sought to bring the projects to life, what has resulted, and what might have been.
Co-Founder and Executive Director of the High Line, Robert Hammond had the vision and foresight to lead the effort to build an elevated park on an abandoned railway line in New York City 20 years ago. In 2017, he formed the High Line Network, which focuses on the equitable development of underused city infrastructure to develop new urban landscapes. He has been awarded the Vincent Scully Prize (2013), the Rome Prize by the American Academy in Rome (2010), the Rockefeller Foundation’s Jane Jacobs Medal, along with David (2010), and an honorary doctorate from The New School (2012). Hammond is also a self-taught artist and served as an ex-officio member of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Board of Trustees. Additionally, Hammond is a co-producer of the film Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, which premiered at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival and was the opening-night selection for DOC NYC. Released via IFC in April 2017, the film chronicles a clash between mid-20th-century urban planning methods, and chronicles how they relate to today’s urban renaissance. He has been a mediation teacher since 2014. Hammond is a graduate of Princeton University.
Dan Barasch is Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Lowline, a non-profit social enterprise to build the world’s first underground park, using emerging solar technology and equitable public design. For over a decade, he has helped uncover global enthusiasm for the power of technology to improve our cities, adaptive re-use of aging urban infrastructure, and the vast potential of forgotten underground spaces. He is the author of a book on abandoned and reclaimed architecture projects around the world, Ruin and Redemption in Architecture (Phaidon, 2019). He has held leadership roles at Google, UNICEF, PopTech, the 9/11 Survivors’ Fund, and within New York City government. He began his career producing international affairs programming at the World Affairs Council, where he co-produced the weekly National Public Radio show “It’s Your World.”
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.