• Urban Design Biennial
    Anne Guiney, Cathy Lang Ho, and Michael Sorkin
    Institute for Urban Design
    Institute for Urban Design

The Urban Design Biennial is the first edition in a series of bilingual publications presenting the most innovative and progressive contemporary urban design work from across the Americas. The deeply intertwined and often-fraught relationship between North and South American cities on issues including immigration, trade, and environmental protection has structural and spatial ramifications that play out in the physical spaces of cities on both continents. The Biennial examines the interplay of these relationships within the region through the lens of public space and its design. Over time, the Biennial will serve as a record of the changing dynamics of successful public spaces across the western hemisphere. Each edition seeks to examine these dynamics in their entirety, with a particular concern for impacts on the environment, social justice, cultural identity, community participation, economic development, and local autonomy.

Anne Guiney is the executive director of the Institute for Urban Design (IfUD), a not-for-profit advocacy group and think tank of architects, developers, planners, landscape architects, and journalists that works to deepen the debate about issues of urban design and planning. Guiney has extensive experience in design and architecture journalism. Prior to her appointment at IfUD, she was the editor of the New York edition of the Architect's Newspaper and was part of the original team that launched the Newspaper in 2003. She was the design editor at Architecture magazine and Metropolis and has written widely on architecture and design for other publications, including Architect, ID, and Details. Guiney, who is fluent in Spanish, will oversee all major aspects of the Urban Design Biennial. Working with a small team drawn from the staff and the Board of Directors of IfUD, she will supervise the organization and production of the book.

Cathy Lang Ho is the founder and former editor-in-chief of the Architect's Newspaper. She served as editor at Architecture magazine and, with Richard Ingersoll, coedited the Berkeley-based journal Design Book Review. Her work has appeared in Architectural Record, Arquitectura Viva, Blueprint, Domus, ID, Frame, Mark, Metropolis, and the New York Times. She is the recipient of the 2008–09 Rome Prize in Design, and is a member of the board of the Institute for Urban Design. Ho will work closely with the jury and guide the editorial process.

Saskia Sassen is an urban sociologist internationally recognized as one of the leading authors and academics in her field, and is presently the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology and a member of the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University. Her books have been translated into nineteen languages and include, most recently, A Sociology of Globalization (2007) and Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages (2006), and, most notably, The Global City (1991). Sassen will lead the Biennial's advisory board, help develop the jury and guidelines, and contribute a critical essay.

Michael Sorkin is the Distinguished Professor of Architecture and director of the Graduate Program in Urban Design at the City College of New York, and is principal of the Michael Sorkin Studio, an award-winning architecture and urban design practice. In addition to writing innumerable articles on architecture and the built environment, he has authored Variations on a Theme Park (1992) and Twenty Minutes in Manhattan (2009). Sorkin is the founder and president of the nonprofit Terreform and chairs the board of directors of the Institute for Urban Design. Sorkin will help develop the jury and guidelines, supervise the premiating process, and write an introduction to the volume.

The Institute for Urban Design is dedicated to expanding the public dialogue about urban planning, development, and design. Since its founding in 1979, the Institute has served as a central platform for debate among architects, planners, policymakers, developers, academics, journalists, and urbanists who make up our primary membership. In addition to organizing lectures and symposia, we produce publications that offer both analysis and criticism by some of the most relevant and influential voices of our time. We believe that quality in planning and urban design emerges from a dialogue that represents the range of stakeholder voices affected by urban development. Through these avenues, and through research and advocacy, we hope to create an environment where the various actors in the urban system may speak out to ensure a better, more vibrant and sustainable future for our cities.