2013 Future Cities; Livable Futures: Symposium


The 2013 Future Cities; Livable Futures: Symposium in Cincinnati, Ohio explored the future of urban life, and how to sustainably and equitably develop urban areas. With the majority of the world’s population now living in cities, new challenges have arisen in development and sustainability. The symposium examined the issues surrounding development in urban locations. Cincinnati is a mid-sized city and experts predict that cities of 300,000 to one million people are the cities of the future. Cincinnati faces challenges and opportunities in common with other cities across the country and the globe and serves as a city with a rich history to learn from.

In mega-cities, the environmental, social and developmental barriers to sustainable growth stand exponentially higher and are further entrenched than in midsized cities. However, problems such as transportation, housing, employment and social equality can also lead to opportunities rather than setbacks. If these issues can be approached sustainably before infrastructure hardens around them, it sets the stage for later inclusive, stable growth. The purpose of Future Cities; Livable Futures is to open a dialogue about the future.


Julian Agyeman

Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University

Ilma Barros

Distinguished Fellow at Fowler Center for Sustainable Value

Marshall Brown

Architect, Urban designer and Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor at IIT

Roberta Feldman

Architectural activist, Researcher and Educator committed to democratic design

Thomas Fisher

Professor in the School of Architecture and Dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota

Tony Fry

Professor, Design Futures Program, Griffith University, Brisbane

Chris Luebkeman

Director, Global Foresight & Innovation, Arup

Anna Rubbo

Research Scholar at Columbia University’s Earth Institute

Alex Stepick

Professor of Global and Sociocultural Studies at Florida International University in Miami and Professor of Sociology at Portland State University



Director of the Charles Phelps Taft Research Center and Associate Professor in the UC Department of Sociology and the School of Architecture and Interior Design, Adrian Parr, and Architect Michael Zaretsky, who is also an assistant professor in the School of Architecture and Interior Design discuss planning for urban change and designing livable cities. Listen to it here: 91.7 WVXU Cincinnati


With the majority of the world’s population now living in cities, new challenges have arisen in development and sustainability. Future Cities; Livable Futures is a symposium bringing world-renowned visionaries to Cincinnati to discuss futures both global and local. Read more here: Soapboxmedia.com



9:30 – Registration

10:00 – Introductions

10:15 – Tom Fisher
Cities and the Survival of the Species

10:30 – Roberta Feldman
Democratic Design

10:45 – Alex Stepick
Race, Class, and Power in the 21st Century American City

11:00 – Anna Rubbo
Diepsloot, My Paradise

11:15 – Julian Agyeman
Toward Just Sustainabilities

11:35 – Roundtable Discussion

12:15 – Break


1:00 – Welcome Back

1:15 – Marshall Brown
Smooth Growth™ Urban Design

1:30 – Ilma Barros
One Vision, Many Voices

1:45 – Tony Fry
Whose City, Whose Future?

2:00 – Chris Luebkeman
[Y]our New Normal

2:20 – Roundtable Discussion

3:00 – Afternoon Break

3:30 – Demand Better Panel Discussion
Moderated by Eric Avner

4:45 – Concluding Remarks

5:00 – End of Event


Eric Avner

Vice President for Community Development at the Haile Foundation/Moderator

Jim Cheng

Design Architect and co-founder of emersion DESIGN

Colin Groth

Director of Strategic Assistance for Strive

Kate Hanisian

Executive Director and co-founder of Design Impact

Chad Munitz

Executive Vice President of Asset and Capital Management for 3CDC

Tim Riordan

City Manager of the City of Dayton

William D. Williams

Director of the School of Architecture and Interior Design at DAAP


Michael Zaretsky, AIA

Head, Department of Architecture
Interim Director
School of Architecture and Environment
University of Oregon

Adrian Parr

College of Design
Senior Fellow
Design Futures Council
University of Oregon
Affiliate Faculty
University of Texas at Arlington