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Panel 1. Disaster + Ecology
Drawing on lessons learned following the devastation caused by Tsunamis and Hurricanes in Southeast Asia and New Orleans, as well as the massive reconfiguration of urban territories in Panama following the return of the Panama Canal, what are the new limits and opportunities for re-conceptualizing urbanization as a sustainable process?

10:30 hrs: Registration
10:45 hrs: General Introduction

1. ANDREW CURTIS, GIS Research Laboratory, Dept. of Geography, USC (Los Angeles)
Many neighborhoods of New Orleans remain a mixture of destruction, decay, limited service provision, and spatially random return / rebuilding. Within a single street it is possible to find a temporary trailer, a storm damaged home, a church still daubed with search and rescue markings, and a manicured front lawn next to five-foot vegetation over growth. It is important to be able to dynamically capture this rebuilding process not only to facilitate the return of communities, but also in order to prepare for the “next time”. This presentation will draw on geographic surveys from October 2005 to June 2008 for Holy Cross and the Lower 9th Ward.

2. JOHANNES WIDODO, Director of CASA and executive editor of JSEAA (Singapore)
Towards a Sensitive, Sensible and Responsible Architecture
“Pulchrum Splendor est Veritatis” (Beauty emanates from Truth) – Thomas Aquinas

Human, fauna, flora and the environment is one organic entity, interrelated and interconnected as one ecosystem. The forms and built environment that we create through design bear a common responsibility to manage and to preserve our environment. In dealing with inevitable natural and human-inflicted disasters, we should not consider nature and people as enemies, but have to include them as organic members in the creation process.
The role of the architect is to give form in its totality to ambience, personality, and spirit of space which is intended by the human and the community, and to articulate the function or services that human gets, and to capacity that increases human survival capability. Design process is a problem solving that moves from inside to outside. Therefore it is fundamental to gain understanding about the fundamental problems and opportunities from the inside, before we can generate the resolutions through Architecture. The presentation will focus on the training of new generation of architects in facing the disasters and ecological challenges, who are not just professionally competent and technologically capable, but also culturally sensitive, environmentally sensible, and socially responsible. Some interesting students’ design projects will be presented to highlight the lessons learned from the previous Tsunami in Aceh, earthquake in Yogyakarta, and some critical ideas on ecological designs (e.g. autonomous dwelling, urban farming, etc.).

3. MANUEL TRUTE, Professor of Urban Planning (Panama)
Presentation of a Case Study

Environmental and Urban Feasibility Study for the South Sector of Juan Diaz District in Panama City will serve as an example of new sustainable planning practices facing actual land occupation processes. Due to the fragility of the existing ecosystems in the southeast sector of Panama City, and the actual pressures that the land market impose over these lands, the results of the study that will be presented include the identification of the environmental guidelines that might conduce to prevent and mitigate the negative impacts on mangroves and recommend solutions that take advantage of their positive impacts in such a way that its presence represent an opportunity to incorporate them to the rest of the functions of the city.   

4. PATAMA ROONRAKWIT, Community Architects for Shelter and Environment (CASE) (Thailand)
“Out of Professional Practice”
With the belief in the fact that ‘everyone is creative’, Patama Roonrakwit – the founder of (CASE studio) CASE, which dedicates itself for community sustainable development – will illustrate another approach to creative work.  Her presentation will show a number of projects that CASE (studio) has gone through and developed ways of working with several communities.  Such methodologies actually are based on inhabitants’ participations in order to indicate communal problems and to have them working out for proper solutions.  As a result, the community itself could possibly raise multi-layers of concerns, such as sufficient architectural solutions, impacts on social relations, sustainability of communal economy and creative solutions on political issues.  Hence it is essential for her to discuss on the paradigm shift on how creative people should work and evaluate a project. 

12:30 hrs: Lunch

Panel 2. Reconstruction + Planning
Traditional planning has often fixated on large-scale, unchanging and ideal plans. How does the current practice of sustainable planning challenge such ideals in its attempt to implement sustainable changes?

01:30 hrs
1. ALVARO URIBE, Professor of urbanism at the University of Panama and researcher CELA (Panama)

2. MARK MILLER, President, MK Think (San Francisco)
Intro:  US Post disaster and recovery planning methods are unsuited to sustainable practices, a San Francisco example.Point 1:  Traditional Planning is Based Upon Legislation and Control
Requires Centralization and Systemization:
Planning Result:  Formalized strategies that are centrally legislated:
-Conformity is prioritized over innovation
-Investment is infrastructure intensive
-Leads to highly inefficient process
-Is natural resource intensive
-Sustainability strategy relies on resource trade-offs and credits
Point 2:  Sustainability Requires Efficiency and Ultimately Balance:
Requires lateral processing and innovative problem solving
Planning Result:  Democratized planning that is minimal and liberating
-Network becomes the solution
-Innovation and micro scale problem-solving
-Solutions inspired at the edge of the network
-Resource is balanced at source of consumption
-Investment is at micro consumer level
Point 3:  Sustainability in Planning Practice Matters because architecture/construction is the problem: 
-5% of US GDP
-Consumption is 39% of natural resources and 40% of energy
-Construction generates 30% material/product waste
Disproportionate consumer of resources and prime contributor to environmental damage
Summary and Proposition
Precedent for architects and planners is the creative revolution offered by the Web:  it is fast, efficient and community building.  Legislators (planners) organizes the language and the pathways for efficiency, professionals (architects) create tools for users, users (clients) are empowered to creatively address their issues.

3. JAMES DART, Principal, dArchitects (New York)
Repositioning in Place: New Orleans Post-Katrina
In January 2005, Pratt Institute and New Jersey Institute of Technology received a Housing and Urban Development Community Outreach Partnership Grant (HUD COPC) to work with a local partner ACORN Housing in New Orleans.  Together we conceptualized a model for rebuilding along Lake Pontchartrain that would also address the larger problem of low lying suburban coastal areas bound to be affected by global warming; a design process as it engaged multiple socio-economic and political landscapes.
The political dimension of the design of New Orleans as a whole is nowhere more evident or intense than in New Orleans East; in the intrinsic conflict between the sustenance of the community and the sustainable landscape.  Because of its low-lying elevation, the extensive damage of Katrina and subsequent evacuation, this area of New Orleans was seen as a potential future wetlands requiring that its 6000+ houses be razed.  The assumption is that the population will remain diasporic and that, if it does return, it will move to other neighborhoods in the city. However, the impression given by the media that the area is abandoned is incorrect.  The tactical holding of every block with houses in some degree of renovation has occurred.  To simply level this area, which is no lower in elevation that the other suburban developments including ”whiter” Jefferson Parish therefore takes on political connotations of ethnic cleansing.
We believe that this territorial conflict emerges in part from the facts of the aftermath of the storm, but also from habitual design thinking that relies on totalizing gestures and infrastructure for controlling the environment on the one hand, and on individual self-determination for structuring the political process on the other.  In New Orleans East over the past two years, the catastrophic situation has rendered this dialectical approach to planning ineffective, with the shrill cry for wholesale erasure of a neighborhood presented as ecology confronting the wholesale immobility of individuals presented as community. In this milieu we have sought new approaches, beginning with the engagement of the individual resident but leveled at the surgical scale of the block and an assembly of blocks—which we call the Model Block. While the model could benefit a range of income groups, it is focused on the lower income populations who often inhabit low-lying areas, which are less desirable because of their vulnerable or marginal conditions. Our approach accepts the existing suburban settlement pattern composed of individual properties as the morphological unit whose incremental adaptation to new environmental and social factors when multiplied can come to have the impact of a master plan in the performance of the neighborhood. Our methodologies and programs therefore engage different scales of time as well as territory.  They consider planning as a phased event that accumulates and takes on different problems over longer periods.


5. RAYMOND VAIL NICHOLSON, Architectural and Engineering Consultant CSI CDT (Vancouver)

Moderator: KIMBERLY MEYER, Director MAK Center for Art and Architecture (Los Angeles)

03:00 hrs: Break

Panel 3. Design + Implementation

In the reconstruction of devastated areas, opportunities for massive-scale rebuilding of the built environment are often presented. What are the various ways in which sustainable design can inform not only new ways of thinking about individual buildings but their relationship to large-scale planning?

03.30 hrs
1. JEFFREY B. CAUSEY, AIA, LEED AP, Cooper Carry Architects (Atlanta)
Learning from experiences and discussions about Katrina and the energy crisis we face today has lead to explorations in sustainable waterfronts and communities.  The presented projects provide an eco smart balance to urban conditions.

2. MATTHEW BERMAN, Principal, workshop / apd (New York) 
Over the past nine years, we have been dissecting the programmatic relationships that occur within residential architecture - often breaking them down to their individual activities - in an effort to find commonalities, eliminate redundancy, and use space as efficiently as possible. This reduces the overall footprint, reduces material consumption, and reduces energy usage without sacrificing or compromising the demands of our clients. Sustainable, responsible design starts here, before recycled materials are specified and solar panels are added. Our winning entry for the Sustainable Design Competition for New Orleans started with this premise and, in addition, attempts to reconcile the current disparity between cutting-edge sustainable thinking, which implies higher cost, and the affordability demands of a recovering market. It is a laboratory - a work in progress - that is already yielding valuable information that will significantly impact the redevelopment of this region.

3. WALKER WELLS, AICP LEED AP, Global Green (Los Angeles)
How the Sustainable Rebuilding Competition and the effort since to build the project have proved valuable lessons in implementing green urbanism.

4. RAISA BANFIELD, Director Projects/Participation at Center of Environmental Repercussion (Panama)

5. ALEJANDRA LILLO, GRAFT, Make it Right (Berlin/Los Angeles)
Miss Lillo will be discussing the “Pink Project” and Make it Right in New Orleans.

Moderator: CLIFFORD A. PEARSON, Deputy Editor, Architectural Record