Skip to content


Van Alen Sessions: Infrastructure on Film

Thursday Nov 2nd @ 6:00pm

Join Van Alen Institute for the world premiere of Season Three of the short documentary series Van Alen Sessions, exploring the capacity and limits of rapidly changing technology in cities at a time of increasingly automated infrastructure, illuminated through the expert insight of designers and engineers and the stories of everyday people. These new episodes give viewers an up-close examination of how revolutionary robotic maintenance systems and retrofitted underground waterways are making our cities more productive and environmentally efficient.

Following the screening of the 2 short films, join us for a fast-paced conversation that digs deeper into how some cities are changing the narrative of our nation's crumbling infrastructure while engaging local citizens, including Nicole Flatow, editor, CityLab; Molly Heintz, chair, School of Visual Arts MA Design Research, Writing and Criticism; and Lucy Wells, director, Van Alen Sessions, moderated by Steven Thomson, managing producer, Van Alen Sessions and programs and communications manager, Van Alen Institute.

What to do With 520 Miles of Coastline?

Thursday Nov 2nd @ 6:00pm

With 520 miles of coastline, New York is a city of islands and water. When local manufacturing declined in the mid-twentieth century, much of the city's shoreline fell into disuse and disrepair. Recently, New York has begun to reclaim this vital asset, cleaning up its waterways, reopening shoreline access, and building waterfront parks across the five boroughs. The work is part of an important larger trend in social awareness and a focus on public space in urban design.

Join Arup and ADFF for a screening of the short film “From Pier to Pier: New York City’s new backyard” followed by a panel discussion with leading members of the city's waterfront and public space communities.

  • Francesca Birks: Leader of Foresight + Research + Innovation for Arup Americas

  • Captain Jonathan Boulware: Executive Director of South Street Seaport Museum
  • Rob Holbrook: Director of Planning at the New York City Economic Development Corporation. NYCEDC
  • Nancy Choi: Arup Senior Engineer
  • Dong-Ping Wong: Founding Partner of Family