The 21st-Century City and Its Values:Urbanism, Toleration, and Equality

Friday, October 1, 2004
Miller Theater
Morningside Campus

Distinguished scholars, architects, urban planners, and other expert commentators explore new kinds of cities emerging in the 21st century.

"The 21st-Century City and Its Values" was presented as part of Columbia 250 Closing Festivities.

Symposium Cochairs
Hilary Ballon, Professor of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia, and author of New York's Pennsylvania Stations
Ira Katznelson, Ruggles Professor of Political Science and History at Columbia, and author of Black Men, White Cities and City Trenches: Urban Politics and the Patterning of Class in the United States

New cities, and new kinds of cities, are emerging in the 21st century, many at a rate so precipitous that existing ideas of the city may soon be largely irrelevant. Along the Asia-Pacific Rim, in particular, explosive urbanization has produced a distinctive environment marked by enormous size, extreme density, vast scale, and extremely rapid rates of expansion.

What models can describe the world's emerging cities? How can new urban centers promote the coexistence of multiple cultures and religions? How does a city's organization—its spaces, political and economic systems, normative expectations, and patterns of social relationships—further or hinder equality? To consider such questions, a C250 symposium cochaired by Columbia professors Ira Katznelson (political science and history) and Hilary Ballon (art history and archaeology) brought together architects and planners, legal experts, social scientists, and others for "The 21st-Century City and Its Values."

In three sessions—"Urbanism," "Toleration," and "Equality"—the daylong event convened many of the world's leading scholars and practitioners in related fields, among them Marilyn Taylor of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill; Yung Ho Chang, the Beijing University professor who founded China's first private architectural firm; noted legal scholars Martha Nussbaum, University of Chicago, and Kathleen Sullivan, Stanford University; and Partha Chatterjee, professor of political science at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, and professor of anthropology at Columbia.


Click on the speakers' names below to view their biographies.

  • 9:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
  • Miller Theater
  • Moderator
    Hilary Ballon, Columbia University
  • Panelists
    Steven Holl, Columbia University
    Yung Ho Chang, Peking University
    Marilyn Jordan Taylor, Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill
  • Concluding Remarks
    Mark Wigley, Columbia University
  • 1:30 p.m.–3:00 p.m.
  • Miller Theater
  • Keynote Speaker
    Martha Nussbaum, University of Chicago
  • Respondent
    Kathleen Sullivan, Stanford University
  • Moderator
    Ira Katznelson, Columbia University
  • 3:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
  • Miller Theater
  • Keynote Speaker
    Partha Chatterjee, Columbia University
  • Respondent
    Richard Sennett, London School of Economics
  • Moderator
    Lisa Anderson, Columbia University
For more information, see the program schedule.

Video Archive
View video highlights of the symposium and a transcript of the proceedings.
Conference Transcript
View the full text of the conference (PDF).
Executive Summary
Précis of the Proceedings
Quotations from the conference speakers.
Keynote Speaker Bios
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