Calling All Citymakers…


“Calling all Citymakers…” is a lecture/discussion that frames ideas discussed in Cassim Shepard’s 2017 book Citymakers: the Culture and Craft of Practical Urbanism. The book, based on seven years of reporting for The Architectural League’s groundbreaking online publication Urban Omnibus, seeks to expand the notion of who is an active shaper of the built environment. Conversations about cities tend to focus on the powerful — elected officials, real estate developers, architects — or the powerless — community members buffeted relentlessly by rising rents and policy choices outside their control. This talk will introduce some of the characters in between, and invite the audience to consider various modes of engagement with the potential to make our cities more sustainable, resilient, beautiful, and just.

Cassim Shepard is an urbanist, filmmaker, and writer. As the founding editor-in-chief of Urban Omnibus, an online publication of The Architectural League of New York, he spent six years working with hundreds of local architects, designers, artists, writers, and public servants to share their stories of urban innovation. His video work has been screened at the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, and the United Nations, among many other venues around the world. Shepard teaches in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University and has been a guest lecturer in the Cities Programme of the London School of Economics and a Poiesis Fellow at the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. He studied filmmaking at Harvard University, urban geography and Kings College London, and city planning at MIT.

This program is organized by the Architectural League of New York, which nurtures excellence in architecture, design, and urbanism, and stimulates thinking and debate about the critical design and building issues of our time. As a vital, independent forum for architecture and its allied disciplines, the League helps create a more beautiful, vibrant, innovative, and sustainable future.