Introducing a New Lecture and Podcast Series to Address Current Issues in Urban Design

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How can we redesign existing cities, their systems, and their policies to address 21st century challenges? To advance understanding and to offer inspiration from designers and decision-makers, Mike Messner, alumnus of Georgia Tech’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has generously chosen to support a series of public lectures from urban designers, city planners and architects. These public lectures and interviews will be presented by the School of Architecture in the College of Design at Georgia Tech.

The series titled, “REDESIGNING CITIES: The Speedwell Foundation Talks @ Georgia Tech” will devote an evening to each of the topics of equity, social capital, climate change, out-of-date infrastructure, technological disruption, and urban economics. The evening’s program will feature both a presentation and a public conversation between two top experts on that topic. Subjects will range from the impact of autonomous vehicles on cities, gentrification without displacement, and green vs grey infrastructure’s capacity to adapt to climate change, just to name a few.

Organizing and leading this series is Ellen Dunham-Jones, professor and director of Georgia Tech’s Master of Science in Urban Design degree. Dunham-Jones was recently recognized as Architectural Record’s Women Educator of 2018 award and in 2017, Dunham-Jones was ranked among Planetizen’s Top 100 Most Influential Urbanists. Dunham-Jones will oversee the production of videos and podcasts from the series for broad impact.

Messner and his wife, Jenny Messner, created the Speedwell Foundation, an organization focused on restoring and expanding public parks and green spaces in cities around the U.S. Their foundation also helps fund up to 30 study abroad scholarships each year for high school students from central Pennsylvania.

“As a top tier university in the dynamic city of Atlanta, there’s no place better than Georgia Tech to bring together leading minds to work on the biggest challenges facing cities," said Messner. “Jenny and I are thrilled that our family foundation can support this lecture series and the dissemination of the results to the larger public and decisionmakers.”

The School of Architecture plans to host six talks during the 2018-2019 academic year. To stay up-to-date on the upcoming lecture series, please complete this form to join our mailing list.



  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: cwagster3
  • Created: 09/25/2018
  • Modified By: cwagster3
  • Modified: 09/27/2018

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