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EDRA50 Keynote and Plenaries

Jan Gehl, Keynote Speaker - Thursday, May 23

Mindy Fullilove, Plenary Speaker - Friday, May 24

Dennis Johnson, Plenary Speaker - Friday, May 24

C40 Plenary with David Miller, Robert Gifford, Irina Feygina, and Lynda Schneekloth - Saturday, May 25


Jan Gehl

Gehl Architects, Denmark

KEYNOTE: From Jane Jacobs to Livable Cities

Jan Gehl will discuss the course of design and design research in the past 50 years - the period roughly the time between his own first presentation at an environmental design research conference (Architectural Psychology in Kingston, UK, in 1970) and EDRA 50. This will include his own research and design that has helped shaped the use of space in Copenhagen, Melbourne, Sydney, New York, and Moscow..among others.

He will note how, in the lead up to that period Modernists “threw out everything known about good human habitat” so that in 1961, by the time Jane Jacobs rose to oppose Robert Moses, designers “knew NOTHING and had to built up the Environmental Design Research knowledge step by step from square one."…"Now we KNOW how to make good environments!! But do we make sufficient use of all this new knowledge??”

Jan Gehl, architect, professor and consultant on urban design, has focused his career on improving the quality of urban life, by reorienting the design of the city towards the pedestrian, public life and cyclists.

Forty years of research at the Royal Danish Academy School of Architecture in Copenhagen have resulted in a number of by now "classic" books. Life Between Buildings (1971) and Cities for the People (2010), now published in more than forty languages, are among the most referenced resources in city planning.

In 2000, Gehl founded with Helle Søholt Gehl Architects with the purpose of applying theories to practical planning. Major improvement projects have been carried out for Copenhagen, Melbourne, Sydney, London, New York and Moscow.

Dennis Johnson

MPA, Executive VP for Policy and Advocacy of Children’s Health Fund

Advocacy as a Path to Stewardship

Dennis Johnson will discuss his career at the nexus of policy, politics and advocacy as it relates to public education (past) and health (present). This has formed a perspective on children and, particularly, about our collective responsibility to maintain and strengthen a social framework to support opportunity and upward mobility for economically disadvantaged children.  As the director for public policy, government affairs and advocacy agendas for the Children's Health Fund (CHF), Mr. Johnson also coordinates relationships with a broad spectrum of public officials, public and private sector entities, advocacy groups, and health providers in support of the CHF work. 

When a natural disaster or terror attack hits, children are the hardest hit. Families often need years to recover the physical, environmental and economic damage it wreaks. Children and families living in poverty almost always require special support to recover from the damage and the trauma. Whether it's a flood, a hurricane or an epidemic, the CHF is committed to responding quickly and being there, no matter how long the road to recovery may be, even for years after initially responding to a crisis. Because the CHF is mobile, they hold the flexibility to go into rural and urban communities, as well as disaster and public health situations—anywhere that care is needed the most. CHF also collaborates with the National Center for Disaster Preparedness (NCDP) at Columbia University's Earth Institute to help document and asses the impact of major disasters on children and the communities they live in.


Mindy Fullilove

MD, Professor of Urban Policy and Health, American clinical psychiatrist
Team: Tim Nottage, Jacqueline Castaneda, and Aditi Nair

Place-Based Observance: 400 Years of Inequality and Urban Sustainability

The ecology of inequality in America is a designed landscape. 2019 will be the 400th Anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans to be sold into bondage in North America at Jamestown. These Africans were the first of millions that followed as slaves to work on plantations established on land stolen from the indigenous peoples of the continent; this moment served as a catalyst for a physical, political, and social landscape rooted in inequality, one replicated in myriad forms across the world. We now know that inequality is a threat to health and democracy; 400 years of division have created an apartheid society, and we need new practices to carry us through the challenges of climate change, decaying infrastructure, and unequal access to jobs, education, health care and affordable housing. Drawing on the particular power of anniversaries, design, and place-making, 400 Years offers a methodology for communities, designers, and planners to engage with this legacy on both a local and global context.

400 Years of Inequality is a diverse coalition of organizations and individuals calling on everyone - families, friends, communities, institutions - to plan their own solemn observance of 1619, learn about their own stories and local places, and organize for a more just and equal future.  We are dedicated to dismantling structural inequality and building strong, healthy communities.


Climate Action For Global Cities Now

The C40 Cities Approach and How Behavioral Research Can Support it

David Miller, Robert Gifford,  Irina Feygina, Lynda Scheekloth, and Ricardo Garcia Mira

Global climate change is one of the critical issues facing the world today and one that demands a powerful and coordinated response. In this EDRA50 session, David Miller, North American Director of the C40, will present a series of initiatives that cities can and must undertake to address this critical problem and less its impacts.  A panel of experts will then discuss how understanding human environmental behavior, through theory and evidence in environmental psychology and environmental design research, can support these proposed actions and help make them more effective.

Plenary Presenters: The Honorable David Miller is former Mayor of Toronto (2003-2010), former president of World Wildlife Fund-Canada, currently North America Regional Director of the C40 and C40 Ambassador for Inclusive Climate Action. The C40 is an organization of the world’s largest cities, working together to combat global climate change). The panel includes Robert Gifford, Psychology and Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria, Irina Feygina, former Director of Behavioral Science and Assessment for Climate Central, Princeton, NJ, and Lynda Scheekloth, Professor Emeritus of Landscape Architecture, SUNY Buffalo.


Register for EDRA50


May 22 - 26, 2019

When: Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Where: New York University
Tandon School of Engineering
Brooklyn, New York
United States



Register Today!

Online registration is available until: 5/22/2019


Mobile Sessions


Brooklyn Bridge


As many as ten mobile sessions to choose from, each only $25, will be offered on Friday and Saturday.

Details soon to come!