Dan Barasch

Inquire About This Speaker

Leading Expert on Design and Innovation for the Future of Cities; Pioneer of Urban Futurism; Authority on Carrying Out Large-Scale Urban Development Projects; Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Lowline; Author, “Ruin and Redemption in Architecture” (2019)

Biography

The future of humanity is in the city. Urbanization has already transformed global living patterns and will continue to accelerate. But with more people moving to cities, there is greater risk of straining infrastructure and resources, harming the natural environment as open spaces give way to concrete, and displacing people and communities. Dan Barasch, leading expert on sustainable urban planning and co-founder and executive director of New York City’s Lowline project, addresses these issues through his practical yet innovative understanding of how cities can be redesigned for the future. His insights and expertise serve as an important guide to city planners, policymakers, developers, businesses and citizens throughout the world.

A pioneer in the field of “Urban Futurism,” Barasch’s new book, “Ruin and Redemption in Architecture” (Phaidon Press, April 2019), explores the magic and potential of reimagined, redeveloped and forgotten urban places. He offers practical examples from all over the world of how creative designs have spurred redevelopment in sites long neglected or abandoned. Barasch sees city planning in the 21st century as the art of bringing together diverse stakeholders with diverging interests to work for the common good. In New York, the problem was the lack of space within the city to develop a park that serves as a community hub; the innovative solution was to look not to the city streets but underneath them. Barasch saw an opportunity to filter natural light into an abandoned subterranean trolley terminal, and the Lowline, the world’s first plan for an underground park, was born. But that impressive idea was only the beginning. As the project’s executive director, Barasch must not only navigate the technical aspects of building the Lowline but the political, bureaucratic, financial and public relations dimensions. This ongoing experience gives Barasch a unique ability to speak and advise about nearly any issue that arises from the difficulties of large-scale development in a major city.

Barasch worked in strategy, marketing and operations roles with Google before travelling to Kenya as a consultant with UNICEF. Answering a deep, inner call to contribute to the development of his hometown, he returned to New York to work in city government before embarking on his mission to build the Lowline. Barasch began his career producing international affairs programming at the World Affairs Council in San Francisco, where he co-produced the weekly NPR show “It’s Your World.” He graduated from Cornell University and holds a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School.

Dan Barasch is available for paid speaking engagements, including keynote addresses, speeches, panels, and conference talks, and advisory/consulting services, through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Videos

Books & Research

Ruin and Redemption in Architecture

(Phaidon Press, April 2019)

Intro Video

Video Thumbnail

A-Z Name

Barasch, Dan

Biography

The future of humanity is in the city. Urbanization has already transformed global living patterns and will continue to accelerate. But with more people moving to cities, there is greater risk of straining infrastructure and resources, harming the natural environment as open spaces give way to concrete, and displacing people and communities. Dan Barasch, leading expert on sustainable urban planning and co-founder and executive director of New York City’s Lowline project, addresses these issues through his practical yet innovative understanding of how cities can be redesigned for the future. His insights and expertise serve as an important guide to city planners, policymakers, developers, businesses and citizens throughout the world.

A pioneer in the field of “Urban Futurism,” Barasch’s new book, “Ruin and Redemption in Architecture” (Phaidon Press, April 2019), explores the magic and potential of reimagined, redeveloped and forgotten urban places. He offers practical examples from all over the world of how creative designs have spurred redevelopment in sites long neglected or abandoned. Barasch sees city planning in the 21st century as the art of bringing together diverse stakeholders with diverging interests to work for the common good. In New York, the problem was the lack of space within the city to develop a park that serves as a community hub; the innovative solution was to look not to the city streets but underneath them. Barasch saw an opportunity to filter natural light into an abandoned subterranean trolley terminal, and the Lowline, the world’s first plan for an underground park, was born. But that impressive idea was only the beginning. As the project’s executive director, Barasch must not only navigate the technical aspects of building the Lowline but the political, bureaucratic, financial and public relations dimensions. This ongoing experience gives Barasch a unique ability to speak and advise about nearly any issue that arises from the difficulties of large-scale development in a major city.

Barasch worked in strategy, marketing and operations roles with Google before travelling to Kenya as a consultant with UNICEF. Answering a deep, inner call to contribute to the development of his hometown, he returned to New York to work in city government before embarking on his mission to build the Lowline. Barasch began his career producing international affairs programming at the World Affairs Council in San Francisco, where he co-produced the weekly NPR show “It’s Your World.” He graduated from Cornell University and holds a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School.

Dan Barasch is available for paid speaking engagements, including keynote addresses, speeches, panels, and conference talks, and advisory/consulting services, through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Speech Topics

Building a Creative Vision, Underground: The Story of the Lowline

A native New Yorker, Dan Barasch always had an intense interest in and passion for his hometown. Returning from Kenya where he worked with UNICEF, Barasch joined New York’s city government only to become disillusioned with the slow pace of bureaucracy. It was then that he developed his plan for the world’s first underground park: an abandoned trolley terminal in which natural light could be filtered to sustain vegetation. Barasch sees his project as the repayment of his debt to the city that raised him and hopes the Lowline will become one of the great defining New York landmarks. In this illuminating presentation, Barasch discusses how he arrived at his creative vision and the practical ways in which he is carrying it out. He can address audiences across industries and speak about multiple aspects of his grand project to build a green community space under the streets of one of the world’s busiest cities.

Innovative Solutions for the Future of Cities

As humanity becomes more urbanized, the world’s cities will struggle not just with the immediate practical issues of maintaining housing and infrastructure, but also with the strain on the environment and community ties. Rapidly growing cities too often result in green spaces being marginalized or entirely paved over, and individuals and communities facing dislocation and alienation. Dan Barasch saw one solution in his native New York: turn an abandoned trolley terminal into the world’s first underground park. The Lowline represents a way of finding space where most people don’t see any – in this case looking under rather than on the crowded city streets.

In this presentation, geared toward urban planners, policymakers and architects, Barasch discusses the challenges 21st century cities will face, and how audiences can similarly develop innovative ideas for preserving parks and community spaces amidst rapid growth and development.

Bringing History Back to Life: How to Re-Develop Old Buildings

Cities throughout the world must constantly build to accommodate rising populations. But what of the history contained in these places? How do we decide what is worthy of preservation, and when, where and how to modernize and re-develop? Dan Barasch, who has always been fascinated with the historical buildings of his native New York, has broadened his interest to the historical sites of cities throughout the world. In this presentation, based on his new book “Ruin and Redemption in Architecture” (Phaidon Press, April 2019), Barasch addresses architects and real estate developers who seek to renovate rather than destroy the forgotten historical treasures of the world’s cities. As we walk the fine line between progress and destruction, Barasch’s contributions in this area will become ever more important to planning for the future of cities.

Media

Array

Books & Research

Array

Social Media

Similar Speakers

Array