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Detroitisit Hosts Second Annual Sustainable Urban Design Summit Oct 13, 2022

How Planning with Sustainable Urban Design Top of Mind will Further the Development Cities

On October 13, Detroitisit, the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Chicago, and Dutch Design Week will bring together architects, urban planners and design experts for the second annual Sustainable Urban Design Summit focused on sharing smart design and new innovations built to transform our cities into sustainable urban centers.

As one of the most densely populated countries in the world, the Netherlands is a global leader in sustainable urban design – focusing on the re-usability of products, minimizing wasted energy and resources, building climate-neutral buildings, adopting smart transportation practices, and more. Detroit is a city in transition where development looms large, and equitable investments and community building sit center stage.

“We can learn so much from each other,” said John Jourden, Design Director for Gensler Detroit.

The Dutch design process is inclusive to a wide variety of incomes and that’s how developments are structured there. This is so relevant to Detroit – layering in the sustainability thinking during the design process – and we can glean a lot of information from the Dutch to inform our design and development practices.

Moderator Antoine Bryant, Director of Planning for Detroit echoes this saying, “The

ANTOINE BRYANT, DIR OF PLANNING CITY OF DETROIT

ANTOINE BRYANT, DIR OF PLANNING CITY OF DETROIT

interconnectivity between the two municipalities is so interesting, and I plan to focus on that as I facilitate conversations around integrating sustainability in urban design.”

Conversely, the Dutch and others around the world can learn from Detroit. Detroit seems to be focused on purpose-driven development projects with collaborations and developments integrating meaningful infrastructure. For many, Detroit has extraordinary diversity and a mixture of assets such as the Riverfront and Eastern Market.

The Summit is a full day of programming offering multi-layered conversation and provocative panels to grow and ideate the best solutions around Sustainable Urban Planning, the Circular Economy, Climate and the City, Energy Efficiency, Social Justice, and more.

An overarching theme to be woven throughout the panels and discussions will be: How Thinking for Sustainable Urban Design can and Will Further the Development of a City.

WINKA DUBBELDAM, CO-FOUNDER ARCHI-TECTONICS

WINKA DUBBELDAM, CO-FOUNDER ARCHI-TECTONICS

This topic will be further dissected during the 2:05 pm panel with Archi-tectonics Founding Partner and Chair of Dept of Architecture Univ of Pennsylvania Winka Dubbeldam, MVVA Principal, Nate Trevethan, John Jourden, Design Director, Gensler Detroit, moderated by Antoine Bryant, Director of Planning for the City of Detroit.

Attendees can look forward to contemplating this concept through the lens of the following concepts and topics:

 

  • What will urban spaces look like as they are brought to life and as designers, developers and engineers play with rules to break them?
  • How can we connect fragmented urban design concepts and help come to the right design position for cities and places to be climate leaders themselves?
  • What methods need to be applied to solve climate change challenges in building resilient buildings and spaces?
  • What is future-proofing and how do we challenge ourselves to execute towards it?
  • How do we tackle challenges such as creating equitable societies through sustainable urban design thinking in cities with a big footprint such as Detroit?

Considerations regarding the built environment and urban planning for a new era also involve contemplating the repurposing of existing buildings versus the construction of new developments.

Said Jourden, “As we think about how to leverage existing assets such as adapting and

JOHN JOURDEN, DESIGN DIRECTOR, GENSLER DETROIT

JOHN JOURDEN, DESIGN DIRECTOR, GENSLER DETROIT

repurposing old and under-used buildings and infrastructure versus demolishing them and starting over, these things have such a broad impact on sustainability in so many ways. The repositioning of assets and leveraging what we already have is a profound thing.”

 

To experience the panel virtually and attend the panel in person at the Madison Building at 2:05 pm on October 13, register here.

 

As always, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for regular updates on all things Detroit.

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