Cityspeak

Cityspeak

Cityspeak features the visionaries who are designing, building, and reimagining cities as we know them today. From the shimmering skyscrapers of Hong Kong to the stuccoed bungalows of Los Angeles, cities across the globe develop through a familiar pattern. Like the cell cycle of an organism, buildings are constructed, demolished, and reconstructed in a chaotic choreography performed to the rhythm of each city. Join host Max Masuda-Farkas as he interviews the people shaping the cities we love, right down to the parcel, block, and neighborhood. Follow Cityspeak on Twitter @cityspeak_pod.

Episodes

May 10, 2022 23 min

The design of school buses in the U.S. has remained mostly unchanged for decades, yet school buses make up the largest public transportation system in the country, moving 27 million children every day. Hear from Ritu Narayan, the founder and CEO of Zūm, a startup that has set out to give the yellow school bus a full system upgrade.

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Joel Klein graduated from public high school in Queens in 1963. Nearly 40 years later, he was appointed Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education. Tune in for the former Chancellor's views on public education in the nation's biggest cities.

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Bert Kaufman is the head of corporate and regulatory affairs at Zoox, the autonomous vehicle arm of Amazon. He discusses what's in store for cities when self-driving cars eventually roam the earth.

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U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana was part of a coterie of ten Senators largely responsible for getting the $1 trillion infrastructure package to the President's desk. In this special edition of Cityspeak, he discusses the importance of infrastructure spending for U.S. cities and towns and the unique relationship between the federal, state, and local governments in building it.

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Professor Sheila Foster is the Scott K. Ginsburg Professor of Urban Law and Policy at Georgetown University Law Center, where she researches and lectures on environmental law and justice, urban land use law and policy, and state and local government. In her upcoming book, Co-Cities, she proposes a new framework for how cities can and should be governed.

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Will Butler-Adams is the CEO of Brompton Bicycle, the manufacturer of the world-renowned Brompton folding bike. The Brompton is beloved by urban cyclists around the world and is for many the embodiment of city living.

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In the season finale of CitySpeak, Los Angeles City Planning Director Vince Bertoni shares some of the joys and challenges of running one of the largest urban planning organizations in the nation.

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With nearly 600 gas stations dotting the Los Angeles landscape, the rise of the electric vehicle presents an opportunity for the city to repurpose a significant portion of its urban fabric. Yan Krymsky, a design director at Perkins&Will, discusses some of his ideas for what L.A.—and other car-centric cities like it—should do with its gas stations.

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Eric Jaffe is the Editorial Director at Sidewalk Labs, an urban innovation company with a plan to tackle sustainability and affordability in cities around the world. Eric joins Max to highlight some of the company’s revolutionary technologies.

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Ken Steif is a data scientist, city planner, and professor at the University of Pennsylvania Weitzman School of Design, where he leads the school’s Master of Urban Spatial Analytics program. In his new book Public Policy Analytics, he explains how the public sector can catch up to private industry in adopting data science to make wiser, more efficient decisions.

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Saskia Sassen is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University where she researches globalization and migration in the context of global cities, a term which she coined in her 1991 book of the same name. Professor Sassen looks back on the three decades since the publication of her seminal study and offers her predictions on what’s in store for cities in the decades still to come.

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Tyler Duvall is the CEO of Cavnue, a company that is designing and building roads optimized for autonomous vehicles. He joins Max to answer a central question: What will the infrastructure of the future look like?

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In the season premiere of CitySpeak, Max Masuda-Farkas is joined by engineer, architect, and inventor Carlo Ratti. Ratti is the head of MIT’s Senseable City Lab, where he leads a team of researchers designing technologies for the cities of tomorrow.

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Karin Liljegren is the founder and principal of Omgivning, an architecture and interior design firm that specializes in taking old buildings and giving them a new life. This practice is known as adaptive reuse architecture, and a quick glance at Omgivning’s portfolio will reveal that it is at the forefront of this practice. Karin and Max discuss the special responsibility that the adaptive reuse architect holds as the chief conserv...

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Jonathan Lee is a Principal and Managing Director of George Smith Partners, a national provider of capital market services to the commercial real estate industry. Jonathan joins Max to discuss the impacts that the pandemic has had on real estate lending and the changes he foresees for the wider market as we emerge out of the pandemic.

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Samantha Millman is the President of the Los Angeles City Planning Commission, the central forum for members of the public to voice their opinions on the real estate development projects under consideration in their city. Tensions run high at the Commission—the casual observer could easily mistake the virulence and vitriol for what you might hear at the British House of Commons. As President, Samantha acts as both mediator and adju...

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Doane Liu is the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Department of Convention and Tourism Development. His sole mission—to raise up Los Angeles’ status as a convention and tourism destination—has been dealt a serious setback ever since the coronavirus spread across the Southland. Max and Doane dig into the numbers and forecast just how long the decline in tourism might last.

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Jim Arnone is in his thirtieth year as a partner at international law firm Latham & Watkins. As the firm’s Global Chair of the Environment, Land & Resources Department, Jim has helped his clients navigate the uncertain and treacherous terrain that is California land use law. Over the course of his long career, Jim has seen this body of law grow to become the behemoth it is today, garnering praise from some and opprobrium fr...

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In the season premiere of CitySpeak, Max Masuda-Farkas is joined over Zoom by Bruce Katz, co-author of The New Localism and Executive Director of the Nowak Metro Finance Lab. Bruce has spent his career churning out new ideas for how cities can maintain their preeminence as the engines of economic growth in America. Since the coronavirus pandemic began, Bruce’s work has taken on a whole new urgency.

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Eric Owen Moss is the principal and lead designer of his eponymously named architecture firm Eric Owen Moss Architects. Alongside his formidable portfolio of international projects, Mr. Moss is widely known for almost single-handedly designing the Culver City neighborhood known as the Hayden Tract, a fantasy world of experimental architecture developed in collaboration with Mr. Moss’s longtime partners and friends, Frederick and La...

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