Saturday Night Assembly
Sustainable Development: An International Perspective
The Right Honorable John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, leads off the evening plenary.
During the last 9 years as Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Prescott has implemented successful policies to encourage an urban renaissance, develop brownfield land, deliver more affordable housing, and promote better local governance. His policies have combated sprawl in favor of compact, walkable, mixed-used communities in which jobs, homes, transport, and schools are planned and built together.
John Prescott has championed sustainable development, not just in Britain, but in Europe and around the world. Following his well received speech at CNU XI in 2003, the Deputy Prime Minister’s appearance continues his long, productive dialogue with CNU members about how we can create sustainable communities in a rapidly chaning global economy.
Tribute to Jane Jacobs
Robert Campbell, architect and Pulitzer Prize-winning design critic, follows with a tribute to Jane Jacobs, who opened our eyes to the street and led us to embrace urbanism. Campbell will then introduce Daniel Solomon for his plenary address, Whatever Happened to Modernity?
Whatever Happened to Modernity?
Daniel Solomon, co-founder of CNU, will build on the special address by discussing contentious design issues. In the United Kingdom, as in the United States, New Urbanism is pinned in the crossfire of style wars. On one side are jihadists who regard the entire modern world as cultural nihilism; on the other are critics and powerful institutions relentlessly embracing novelty in the name of an historically ordained modernity. Between these extremes, New Urbanism steers an unsteady course, snipped at from all directions.
The situation is made more intractable by the Germanic strain of modernism that infected the teaching of architecture and town planning. However, other, more useful modernist traditions infuse cultural phenomena such as fashion, dance and music with different historiography and different conceptions of the relationship of the tenses: past, present, future, and future perfect.
Robert Campbell will follow with a response.