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International Council 2019: New York

October 30–November 2

Private Means to Public Ends

According to projections, New York City is set to increase by another 500,000 residents over the next two decades. The impacts of this growth, coupled by shrinking municipal coffers, promise to exacerbate the City’s challenges around aging infrastructure, a severe housing crisis, and income inequality. In response, New York and other global cities are looking for creative ways to leverage private money to meet the needs of their swelling populations. 

From the creation of parks and open space, to the development of entirely new neighborhoods, private interests are shaping our spatial city more than ever before. This reality underscores the importance of balancing private investment with public benefit. What best practices can guide collaboration across the public, private, and design sectors to ensure the most equitable outcomes?

The International Council traveled to London this past spring to probe this question and foster learning across cities, by examining two case studies: Kings Cross and Olympic Park. Equipped with lessons on London’s approach to benefits and tradeoffs, the Council is continuing their exploration in New York City from October 30 to November 2, focusing on Brooklyn as the city’s 21st century engine of economic growth.


All photos by Cameron Blaylock

Pat Arnett, Silman
Carl Bäckstrand
, White Arkitekter (Council Co-Chair)
Luis Becker, Henning Larsen
Alice Brittion, Squint Opera
Alfredo Caraballo,
Allies and Morrison (Council Co-Chair)
Niklas Carlen, Wingardhs
Jonas Edblad, Wingardhs
Daniel Elsea
, Allies and Morrison (Council Co-Chair)
Karen Frome, Silman
Benjamin Garcia Saxe, Studio Saxe
Denzil Gallagher, BuroHappold
Amalia Gonzalez Dahl, Henning Larsen
Tony Grist, HASSELL
Nancy Hudson, Silman
Scott Hughes, Silman
Hauke Jungiohann, BuroHappold
Sara Navrady, Mecanoo
Nat Oppenheimer, Silman
Carmen Pereira, Mecanoo
Sara Rubenstein, Henning Larsen
Monica von Schmalensee, White Arkitekter (Council Co-Chair)
Morten Schmidt, Schmidt Hamer Lassen
Michael Sorensen, Henning Larsen
Thomas Stokke, Haptic

The International Council is a platform for exchange among leading architects, designers, developers, and planners, representing practices across more than 26 cities and 15 countries. Members meet twice annually to identify and investigate issues facing cities around the world, and to guide the impact of the Institute’s public programming, research, and design competitions. Council members also convene with local policymakers, developers, researchers, and designers, identifying topics with the potential for deeper exploration with Van Alen’s international audience.

The Council is currently led by Co-Chairs Alfredo Carabello and Daniel Elsea of Allies and Morrison, and Carl Bäckstrand and Monica von Schmalensee of White Arkitekter. The next International Council meeting will be held October 30⁠ to November 2, 2019 in New York.

For more information, please contact Stacey Anderson, Associate Director of Business Development and Special Initiatives at sanderson@vanalen.org, or 212-924-7000.